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Flow measurement

5-1. Introduction Most fluid meters consist of a primary and a sec

The determination of fluid flow is one of the most ondary element. The secondary element indicates,
important measurements in industrial processes as measures, or records the effect of the primary element
well as in experimental procedures. In the latter upon the fluid or the fluid upon the primary element.
instance it is necessary to measure the rate of flow In some meters, such as the two ele
the rotameter,
either into or out of engines, turbines, steam gen ments may be combined. The secondary element may
erators, pumps, compressors, and heat exchangers. In be located adjacent to the primary element or at some
industrial installations flow-rate measurement may be distance for remote reading or control. A high degree
used to control the proportion of elements entering of centralization is achieved by the use of the remote
a continuous chemical process or to aid in cost deter type of secondary element. Only the primary ele
minations. Most people are familiar with flowmeters ments will be discussed here. The reader is referred
used to determine the domestic consumption of water to the references at the end of the chapter for addi
or gas. tional information pertaining to the various types of
Theabove are only a few of the many possible in
secondary elements.
dustrial applications; however, they serve to indicate Fluid meters may be classified in a number of ways,
the need for some knowledge of fluid meters on the but the following arrangements will be employed
part of the engineer. A vast quantity of data and here:
information pertaining to fluid meters is available to
the engineer in the form of special society reports, Class I. Rate meters (inferential).
technical papers, books, and technical material fur Variable head.
nished by various meter manufacturers. Space will Venturi.
not permit the inclusion of more than a brief discus Flow nozzle.
sion of some of. the more important fluid meters. Orifice plate.
Wherever possible, references are cited in the hope Pitot tube.
that the reader will pursue his study further. Variable area.
Direct measurement by weighing is undoubtedly Rotameter.
the preferred method of flow measurement where that Cylinder and piston.
method can be used. Volumetric measurement, the Variable head and area.
volumes being calibrated by weighing displaced Weir.
liquids of known density, is the next best method of Variable force.
flow-rate determination. Vane.