Understanding water meter accuracy

Since the water meter is what enables fair billing of the utility’s services and products, knowing what makes accuracy – and what does not – is key.

In water metering, dynamic range is sometimes mistaken for accuracy so that meters with a high dynamic range are considered more accurate than those with a low dynamic range. Albeit dynamic range relates to accuracy, there is no direct link between the two terms.

In fact, dynamic range does not necessarily say anything about a meter's actual measurement capability. To make informed decisions about your water metering investment and gain the most value from it, you must look beyond that one number and see the bigger picture.

Accuracy in practice

A meter with a lower dynamic range can actually be more accurate than a high dynamic range one.

So to assess accuracy fairly, look beyond the dynamic range and also take lower start flow, accuracy within the maximum permissible error margin and measurement technique into account. At Kamstrup, dynamic range is not a main focus during the development and production of water meters.

Our meters do not necessarily have the highest dynamic range in the market, but we are able to ensure a very high accuracy by means of: A robust construction and strict component tolerance, databased calibration and adjustment and continuous tests of the meter batch in three flow rates.

Understanding meter accuracy does not have to be hard. If the dynamic range matters the most to you, relate the error margin to consumer profilers (how your consumers consume water) to determine the actual impact.

If, on the other hand, low flow is what matters the most, consider the actual measurement technique and meter longevity.

How dynamic range influences meter reverification

To ensure a high and consistent accuracy, each water meter must be verified according to national or international regulations before use. In some countries, either a portion of or all meters must also be re-verified at a given interval to ensure that the accuracy does not diminish over time.

But how does the dynamic range of a water meter influence the meter reverification, and why can it be more troublesome to re-verify a meter with higher dynamic range?

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