Base Flow & Base Load

What base flow and base load are and how to use them.
Written by Josh Springfeld
Updated 7 months ago

Understanding your site's utility consumption when everything is off, is a great way to quickly identify any inefficiencies or potential leaks. The base flow function in SUMS is a useful tool for both water and gas meters. Similarly, base load can be used for electricity meters.

How is Base Flow and Base Load Calculated?

Both base flow and base load function the same way, where the average 15-minute consumption is calculated between the start and end times selected. This figure is then scaled to the relevant chart interval.

If the graph intervals are selected to daily or lower, base flow and base load are calculated on a daily basis where all plots in a specific day will be the same.

For example, the below chart shows the base flow between 1 am and 2 am in 15-minute intervals over 1 whole day. Here, the average 15-minute consumption between 1 am and 2 am is 7.5 L, and therefore is plotted as that over the entire day.

Next, we are looking at a graph with base flow enabled between 1 am and 2 am. As opposed to the previous example, this chart is in daily intervals over one week. Here, the base flow changes each day and has been scaled up to daily intervals. For example, on Friday the base flow was 480 L whereas on Saturday it was 960 L.

How to enable Base Flow and Base Load?

To enable either base flow, or base load, you click the enable button to the right underneath the chart.

Here, you can also select a From time and To time, which will be used in the calculations.

Useful Notes

Base Flow Combined with Hiding Meters

Combining the base flow and hide meters functions can be utilised to quickly find inefficiencies over a long period of time.

The below example is looking between Jan 1, 2021, and Sep 8, 2021, in daily intervals with base flow enabled between 1 am and 3 am. By clicking on the regular meter in the legend, only the base flow will appear in the chart. As you can see, there are four spikes in consumption, each indicative of a potential leak or irregularity in consumption.

Irrigation & Other Consumption Variables.

When using base flow, it is important to select a period when there is no irrigation occurring. If this does happen, the base flow will often be higher than a regular day's consumption, and may falsely indicate any issues.

This is similar to other consumption variables, such as refilling water towers.

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