The most common principals for fluid flow metering are: • Differential Pressure Flowmeters • Velocity Flowmeters • Positive

Displacement Flowmeters • Mass Flowmeters • Open Channel Flowmeters

Differential Pressure Flowmeters
In a differential pressure drop device the flow is calculated by measuring the pressure drop over an obstructions inserted in the flow. The differential pressure flowmeter is based on the Bernoullis Equation, where the pressure drop and the further measured signal is a function of the square flow speed.

The most common types of differential pressure flowmeters are: • Orifice Plates • Flow Nozzles • Venturi Tubes • Variable Area - Rotameters

The TurnDown Rate for orifice plates are less than 5:1. or lower pressure drops. Nozzle and Venturi Meters Venturi Tube Due to simplicity and dependability. the fluid is passes through a pressure recovery exit section. than the orifice plate can provide. with a sharp edge to the upstream side. the fluid flow is measured through the difference in pressure from the upstream side to the downstream side of a partially obstructed pipe. The plate obstructing the flow offers a precisely measured obstruction that narrows the pipe and forces the flowing fluid to constrict. . Wear reduces the accuracy. Their accuracy are poor at low flow rates. The orifice plates are simple. cheap and can be delivered for almost any application in any material. generating a pressure difference. is recovered. In the Venturi Tube the fluid flowrate is measured by reducing the cross sectional flow area in the flow path. After the constricted area.Orifice Plate With an orifice plate. A high accuracy depend on an orifice plate in good shape. where up to 80% of the differential pressure generated at the constricted area. • Orifice. the Venturi tube flowmeter is often used in applications where it's necessary with higher TurnDown Rates.

and available for many applications in many materials. • Orifice. The TurnDown Rate and accuracy can be compared with the orifice plate.With proper instrumentation and flow calibrating. the Venturi Tube flowrate can be reduced to about 10% of its full scale range with proper accuracy. This provides a TurnDown Rate 10:1. The flow nozzle is relative simple and cheap. • Orifice. Nozzle and Venturi Meters Flow Nozzles Flow nozzles are often used as measuring elements for air and gas flow in industrial applications. Nozzle and Venturi Meters .

Nozzles and Venturi Meters After the pressure difference has been generated in the differential pressure flow meter. This situation is used in many control systems to maintain fixed. Recovery of Pressure Drop in Orifices. the pressure drop in orifice plates is significant higher than in the venturi tubes. accurate. where the differential pressure generated at the constricted area is partly recovered. At this point it's not possible to increase the flow by lowering the downstream pressure.Critical (Choked) Flow Nozzle When gases accelerate through a nozzle. and a metering float which is free to move within the tube. where it breaks Mach 1 or sonic. the minimum area. Fluid flow causes the float to rise in the tube as the upward pressure differential and buoyancy of the fluid overcome the effect of gravity. the velocity increase and the pressure and the gas density decrease. The flow is choked. Variable Area Flowmeter or Rotameter The rotameter consists of a vertically oriented glass (or plastic) tube with a larger end at the top. As we can see. . the fluid pass through the pressure recovery exit section. repeatable gas flow rates unaffected by the downstream pressure.The Sonic Nozzle . The maximum velocity is achieved at the throat.

and integrating the flow speed over the flow area. The height of the float is an indication of the flow rate. . The tube can be calibrated and graduated in appropriate flow units.The float rises until the annular area between the float and tube increases sufficiently to allow a state of dynamic equilibrium between the upward differential pressure and buoyancy factors. The accuracy may be as good as 1% of full scale rating. Magnetic floats can be used for alarm and signal transmission functions. The rotameter meter typically have a TurnDown Ratio up to 12:1. and downward gravity factors. Velocity Flowmeters In a velocity flowmeter the flow is calculated by measuring the speed in one or more points in the flow.

. Calorimetric Flowmeter The calorimetric principle for fluid flow measurement is based on two temperature sensors in close contact with the fluid but thermal insulated from each other. especially in air applications as ventilation and HVAC systems.Pitot Tubes The pitot tube are one the most used (and cheapest) ways to measure fluid flow. The use of the pitot tube is restricted to point measuring. the dynamic pressure can be measured across the velocity profile. and the annubar obtains an averaging effect. The pitot tube measures the fluid flow velocity by converting the kinetic energy of the flow into potential energy. or multiorifice pitot probe. With the "annubar". even used in airplanes for the speed measurent.

Turbine Flowmeter There is many different manufacturing design of turbine flow meters.1%. Response times will vary due the thermal conductivity of the fluid. The calorimetric flowmeter can achieve relatively high accuracy at low flow rates. but in general they are all based on the same simple principle: If a fluid moves through a pipe and acts on the vanes of a turbine. Every obstruction has a critical fluid flow speed at which vortex shedding occurs. the turbine will start to spin and rotate. When the fluid flow increases. Electromagnetic flowmeters can measure difficult and corrosive liquids and slurries. and they can measure flow in both directions with equal accuracy. Electromagnetic Flowmeter An electromagnetic flowmeter operate on Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction that states that a voltage will be induced when a conductor moves through a magnetic field. In a stationary (no flow) fluid condition there is a constant temperature difference between the two temperature sensors. The voltage produced is directly proportional to the flow rate.One of the two sensors is constantly heated and the cooling effect of the flowing fluid is used to monitor the flowrate. • The Vortex Flowmeter Principle . . In general lower thermal conductivity require higher velocity for proper measurement. Accuracy may be better than +/-0. heat energy is drawn from the heated sensor and the temperature difference between the sensors are reduced. The liquid serves as the conductor and the magnetic field is created by energized coils outside the flow tube. The turndown ratios may be more than 100:1 if the turbine meter is calibrated for a single fluid and used at constant conditions.An introduction to the vortex flowmeter principle. These alternating low pressure zones cause the obstruction to move towards the low pressure zone. The reduction is proportional to the flow rate of the fluid. The rate of spin is measured to calculate the flow. With sensors gauging the vortices the strength of the flow can be measured. Vortex shedding is the instance where alternating low pressure zones are generated in the downstream. Vortex Flow Meter An obstruction in a fluid flow creates vortices in a downstream flow. Two electrodes mounted in the pipe wall detect the voltage which is measured by a secondary element.

Positive Displacement Flowmeter The positive displacement flowmeter measures process fluid flow by precision-fitted rotors as flow measuring elements. • Oval-gear meters have two rotating.Electromagnetic flowmeters have a relatively high power consumption and can only be used for electrical conductive fluids as water. The revolutions of the impeller are counted and registered in volumetric units. • Nutating disk meters have moveable disks mounted on a concentric sphere located in spherical side-walled chambers.An introduction to the electromagnetic flowmeter principle Ultrasonic Doppler Flowmeter The effect of motion of a sound source and its effect on the frequency of the sound was observed and described by Christian Johann Doppler. the frequency of the returning signal decrease. animal and vegetable fat. freon. Thermal meters use a heated sensing element isolated from the fluid flow path where the . the frequency of the returning signal will increase. two or more compartments. • The Ultrasonic Doppler and Time of Flight Flowmeter • An Ultrasonic Flowmeter Tutorial . The pressure of the liquid passing through the measuring chamber causes the disk to rock in a circulating path without rotating about its own axis. Shaft rotation can be monitored to obtain specific flow rates. lubrication oils. pressure. Mass Flowmeters Mass meters measure the mass flow rate directly.A basic tutorial about ultrasonic flowmeters. It is the only moving part in the measuring chamber. The positive displacement flowmeter may be used for all relatively nonabrasive fluids such as heating oils. rotating impellers. The frequency of the reflected signal is modified by the velocity and direction of the fluid flow If a fluid is moving towards a transducer. oval-shaped gears with synchronized. close fitting teeth. Known and fixed volumes are displaced between the rotors. • The Electromagnetic Flowmeter Principle . A fixed volume of liquid is swept to the meter's outlet from each compartment as the impeller rotates. The positive displacement rotor construction can be done in several ways: • Reciprocating piston meters are of single and multiple-piston types. and many more. The impellers are in continuous contact with the casing.1% of full rate with a TurnDown of 70:1 or more. The rotation of the rotors are proportional to the volume of the fluid being displaced. Thermal Flowmeter The thermal mass flowmeter operates independent of density. inside the meter's housings. and viscosity. printing ink. The frequency difference is equal to the reflected frequency minus the originating frequency and can be use to calculate the fluid flow speed. A fixed quantity of liquid passes through the meter for each revolution. • Rotary vane meters consists of equally divided. As fluid moves away from a transducer. Accuracy may be up to ?0. polymer additives. The number of rotations of the rotor is counted by an integral electronic pulse transmitter and converted to volume and flow rate.

The weir results an increase in the water level. The fluid to be measured runs through a U-shaped tube that is caused to vibrate in an angular harmonic oscillation. The Coriolis meter can also be used to measure the fluids density. pressure. temperature. This additional component causes a phase shift on some places of the tubes which can be measured with sensors. With the ability to measure liquids. The conducted heat is directly proportional to the mass flow rate and the he temperature difference is calculated to mass flow. Mass measurement is not sensible to changes in pressure. Due to the Coriolis forces.flow stream conducts heat from the sensing element. the Cipolletti weir. slurries and gases. flow rate.1% with an turndown rate more than 100:1. the V-Notch Weir. The accuracy of the thermal mass flow device depends on the calibrations reliability of the actual process and variations in the temperature. The Coriolis flow meters are in general very accurate. . Common used is the Sharp-Crested Weir. Coriolis flowmeters are universal meters. or head. which is measured upstream of the structure. the Rectangular-Notch Weir. Coriolis Flowmeter Direct mass measurement sets Coriolis flowmeters apart from other technologies. Open Channel Flowmeters A common method of measuring flow through an open channel is to measure the height of the liquid as it passes over an obstruction as a flume or weir in the channel. the Parshall Flume or Venturi Flume. Coriolis Mass Flowmeter uses the Coriolis effect to measure the amount of mass moving through the element. Weirs are structures consisting of an obstruction such as a dam or bulkhead placed across the open channel with a specially shaped opening or notch. the tubes will deform and an additional vibration component will be added to the oscillation. The flow rate over a weir is a function of the head on the weir. better than +/-0. heat capacity and viscosity of the fluid. viscosity and density.

Sutro (proportional) weir and compound weirs (combination of the previously mentioned weir shapes). For standard weirs . the triangular or v-notch weir. Weirs are called sharp-crested if their crests are constructed of thin metal plates. Other available weirs are the trapezoidal (Cipolletti) weir. Flow measurement installations with broad-crested weirs will meet accuracy requirements only if they are calibrated. They consist of a sharp edged plate with a rectangular. and broad-crested if they are made of wide timber or concrete. Rectangular Weir The flow rate measurement in a rectangular weir is based on the Bernoulli Equation principles and can be expressed as: q = 2/3 cd b [2 g]1/2 h3/2 (1) where q = flow rate h = head on the weir b = width of the weir g = gravity cd= discharge constant for the weir . Broad-crested weirs can be observed in dam spillways where the broad edge is beneath the water surface across the entire stream.must be determined cd must be determined by analysis and calibration tests. • Common Standards and Specifications for Weir Flow Measurements Rectangular weirs and triangular or v-notch weirs are often used in water supply. triangular or v-notch profile for the water flow. and the broad-crested weir.cd .is well defined or constant for measuring within specified head ranges. . wastewater and sewage systems.Common weir constructions are the rectangular weir. Water level-discharge relationships can be applied and meet accuracy requirements for sharp-crested weirs if the installation is designed and installed consistent with established ASTM and ISO standards.

The pressure transmitter outputs a linear level signal .Triangular . Some of the transmitters can even calculate a linear flow signal .and the flow must in general be calculated in the control system. . Ultrasonic level transmitters can be used for all measurements.4-20 mA . or • pressure transmitters Ultrasonic level transmitters are positioned above the flow without any direct contact with the flow. then use the equations above for calculating. Pressure transmitters can be used for the sharp-crested weirs and for the first measure point in broad-crested weir. It's common to measure the levels with: • ultrasonic level transmitters.like a pulse signal or 4-20 mA signal before transmitting it to the control system.Flow Rate Calulator Broad-Crested Weir For the broad-crested weir the flow rate can be expressed as: q = cd h2 b [2 g (h1 .Triangular or V-Notch Weir For a triangular or v-notch weir the flow rate can be expressed as: q = 8/15 cd b [2 g]1/2 tan(θ/2) h5/2 (2) where θ = v-notch angle • An Online V-notch .h2)]1/2 (3) Measuring the Levels For measuring the flow rate it's obviously necessary to measure the flow levels.

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