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Proper Selection

of
Flow meters

By
Dinesh Dubey
GET - Electronics

Flow meter
The instrument to conduct flow
measurement is called
flow meter

Measure of a Product Gas, Liquid or


Solid
Two Forms: Volumetric and Mass
Volumetric: Measure of a Volume or
Space such
as gallons or liters
Mass: Measure of the Weight of a
material in lbs
or grams

Types of Flow
Reynolds number, Re= vD/ is the
key
parameter in determining whether
or not a
flow is laminar or turbulent
Laminar Flow = Re < 2000
Transient to Turbulent Flow =
2000<Re<4000
Turbulent Flow = Re > 4000

Laminar vs. Turbulent Flow


Laminar: Highly ordered fluid
motion with smooth
streamlines.
Turbulent: Highly disordered
fluid motion characterized by
velocity fluctuations and
eddies.

Why Measure Flow?

Want to know
Consumption
Product Quality
Energy Savings
Savings on Cost of
Material

What factors affect Flow


Meter Selection?

Fluid Phase (Gas, Liquid, Steam)


Flow Condition (Clean, Dirty, Abrasive, viscous)
Flow Range
Process Conditions (pressure and temperature)
Material preferences, particularly in the case of
corrosive fluids
Pipe Size
Accuracy
Repeatability
Cost

Types of Flow meter


Differential Pressure
1) Orifice
2) Flow Nozzle
3) Venturi
4) Pitot Tube
5) Annubar
6) Elbow
Variable Area
1) Rotameter
Positive Displacement
1) Nutating Disc
2) Oval Gear
Magnetic
Turbine
Ultrasonic
Vortex
Coriolis

DP Flow meter
Differential pressure transmitters
measure the difference between two
pressures,
In a pipe, the pressure drop is created
by constricting the flow stream. The
constricting device is called a primary
element.
A secondary element, the pressure
transmitter, measures the differential
pressure.
The flow rate is proportional to the
square root of the differential pressure
and relies on Bernoulli's equation.

m1 m2
m Av
1 A1v1 2 A2 v2
incompress ible

1 2
A1v1 A2 v2

Basic Equations:
a.) Continuity:
mass in = mass out
b.) Bernoullis Eqn.
Total pressure is
constant throughout

Bernoulli
P0 Total Pr essure const.
1 2
v P
2
1
1
2
2
1 v1 P1 2 v 2 P2 P0
2
2
P static pressure
P0 total pressure
1 2
v dynamic pressure
2

Y = Compressibility Factor

v2

Flow

2 P

1
A2

1
A1

=1 for incompressible flow


or when P<< Pabs
C= Discharge Coefficient

=f(Re) and nature of specific flow meter

Rate
1

Q A2v2 A2

A2

1
A1

2 P

For Re al Flow
1

Q YCA 2

A2

A1

2 P

Ideal

1
1
2
2
P P1 P2 2 v2 1v1
2
2
2

1
1 A2 2
2
v2
2 v2 1
2
2 A1
2

A2
1 2

v2 1
2

A1
when
1 2

Flow Pattern

Orifice Plate

The orifice plate is used most extensively due


its simple shape, easy manufacture, and high
although large pressure loss is inevitable

Concentric orifice plate


It is recommended for clean liquids, gases,
and steam flows when Reynolds numbers
range from 20,000 to 10,000,000 in pipes
under six inches .
They are not recommended for multi-phase
fluids
in horizontal lines because the secondary
phase
can build up around the upstream edge of
the
plate. In extreme cases, this can clog the
opening, or it can change the flow pattern,
Creating measurement error.

Concentric
Pipe Size (in) >1.5
Steam
yes
Clean Gas
yes
Dirty Gas
no
Clean Liquid yes
dirty liquid
no
slurries
no
Accuracy
1-4%

Segmental
4 to 14
na
na
yes
na
na
na
2-4%

Eccentric
4 to 14
na
na
yes
na
na
na
2-4%

Integral Orifice is used for pipe size less than 0.5 to 2,


It is applicable to Clean Liquid ,Clean Gas & Steam.

Meter Tap Location


Flange Taps
Pipe Taps
Vena - Contracta Taps
Corner Taps

Flange taps
They are not recommended for use on pipelines under 2
inches
in diameter. They are preferred for convenience & space
saving,
but requires much higher values of Reynolds Number
(100,000 minimum)

Corner taps

They are recommended for pipes under 2 inches,


With corner taps, the relatively small clearances represent a
potential maintenance problem.

Pipe taps
They detect the smallest pressure difference and, because of
the
tap distance from the orifice, the effects of pipe roughness,
dimensional inconsistencies, and, therefore, measurement
errors
are the greatest.

Vena contracta taps


They are preferred for maximum pressure
differential, but also the most noise.
Additionally, if the plate is changed, it may
require a change in the tap location. Also, in
small pipes, the vena contracta might lie
under a flange. Therefore, vena contracta
taps normally are used only in pipe sizes
exceeding six inches.

Venturi Tube
Venturi tube is used for large pipelines.It is more
accurate than the Orifice Plate, but considerably
more expensive and more difficult to install.
Pressure Taps are located at the points of max. &
min. pipe diameter.

Like nozzles, venturi tubes have


superior
durability and small pressure loss. As
its excellent
construction eliminates accumulation
of
precipitation, this venturi tube is used
for fluid
containing foreign matters. It can also
be used
when pressure loss is required to
minimize.

Flow Nozzle

Features
Nozzles have superior durability and
larger flow coefficient in comparison
with
orifice plates
They are suitable for measuring
flow of high temperature, high pressure
and high velocity steam and water
They are mostly used for steam & water
line
application & air/gas flow in ducts,
where
pressure loss cannot be tolerated.

Recovery of Pressure Drop

Typical Transmitter
Installation

Liquid Flow Applications


Place taps to the side of the
line.
Mount beside or below the
taps.
Mount the transmitter so that
the
Drain/vent valves are oriented
upward.

Gas Flow Applications


Place taps in the top or side of
the line.
Mount beside or above the
taps.

Steam Flow Applications


Place taps to the side of the
line.
Mount beside or below the
taps.
Fill impulse lines with water.

Pitot Tube
The pitot tube measures the fluid flow velocity
by converting the kinetic energy of the flow
into potential energy. Pitot tubes sense two
pressures simultaneously, impact and static.
The impact unit consists of a tube with one
end bent at right angles toward the flow
direction. The static tube's end is closed, but a
small slot is located in the side of the unit

Features
Low cost
Absence of moving parts
Easy installation
Minimum pressure drop
Accuracy is 3 to 5 %
A disadvantage of Pitot tubes is
that they sample pressure at a
single point in the flow stream,
which limits accuracy. This is
overcome by using Annubar.

Annubar
Annubar is averaging Pitot tubes which
were developed to counteract the
limited accuracy of single-point Pitot
tubes.
The averaging Pitot tube computes an
average of pressures measured at a
number of points on the tube,
significantly improving accuracy

Features
Accuracy varies from 0.5% to 1.5%
Available for pipe sizes from 0.5in
to 150in
It is economical to install,
particularly in the larger pipe sizes
where pipe couplings can replace
large, expensive orifice flanges.
Poor performance with dirty or
sticky fluids.

Rotameter, variable-areaflowmeter
Force balance
Drag Force
Gravity
Buoyancy
(usually
negligible)

The Rota meter consists of a vertically oriented


glass (or plastic) tube with a larger end at the top,
and a metering float which is free to move within
the tube. 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 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, and downward gravity
factors. The height of the float is an indication of the
flow
rate.

Features of Rotameter
Low Cost,ease of installation
Maintenance free & tends to have
a long operating life.
They are used in smaller sizes
They are used extensively on
purge applications & for many
process flow in pipe sizes 0.5 to
2.
They are not suitable for high
viscous liquids.

Disadvantages
It gives incorrect reading due to
variation in temp & pressure.
Larger the viscosity, higher the
error.

Magnetic Flow meter


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. The
liquid serves as the conductor and the magnetic
field is created by energized coils outside the flow
tube.
The voltage produced is directly proportional to the
flow rate. Two electrodes mounted in the pipe wall
detect the voltage which is measured by a
secondary element.
Electromagnetic flowmeters can measure difficult
and corrosive liquids and slurries, and they can
measure flow in both directions with equal
accuracy.
Electromagnetic flowmeters have a relatively high
power consumption and can only be used for
electrical conductive fluids as water.

FEATURES
1. Flow of the electric conductive liquid is
measured without influences of
temperature, pressure, density or viscosity.
2. Pressure loss is none.
3. Because of no movable parts, it has a long
life.
4. Response is fast.
5. Measuring range is wide. (wide range
ability)
6. It is able to measure the both direction
(plus and minus) flows.
7. It is available for measurement of strong
corrosive liquid or slurry by selection of
lining materials.

Disadvantage
Current/Flow Calibration
depends on total ckt resistance
so that any change in fluid
conductivity could produce
large error.
It is not suitable for Gas or
vapour measurement.

Ultrasonic Flow meter


Operating Principle
To detect flow through a pipe,
ultrasonic flow meters use acoustic
waves or vibrations of a frequency
>20 kHz. They use transducers on
the pipe perimeter to couple
ultrasonic energy with the fluid
flowing in the pipe.
They are of two types
Doppler Flow meter
Transit Time Flow meter

Doppler Flow meters


Doppler ultrasonic flowmeters operate on the
Doppler effect, whereby the transmitted
frequency is altered linearly by being reflected
from particles and bubbles in the fluid. The
net result is a frequency shift between
transmitter and receiver frequencies that can
be directly related to the flow rate.

To use the Doppler effect to measure flow in a


pipe, one transducer transmits an ultrasonic
beam of ~0.5 MHz into the flow stream.
Liquid flowing through the pipe must contain
sonically reflective materials such as solid
particles or entrained air bubbles. The
movement of these materials alters the
frequency of the beam reflected onto a
second, receiving transducer. The frequency
shift is linearly proportional to the rate of flow
of materials in the pipe and therefore can be
used to develop an analog or digital signal
proportional to flow rate.

Volumetric Flow
Rate =

Transit-Time Flow meters


Transit-time meters, as the name
implies, measure the difference in travel
time between pulses transmitted in the
direction of, and against, the flow

Each transducer alternately transmits and


receives bursts of ultrasonic energy; the
difference in the transit times in the
upstream vs. the downstream directions (TU TD) measured over the same path can be
used to calculate the flow through the pipe
Liquid flow velocity is directly proportional to
the measured difference between upstream
and downstream transit times. Because the
cross-sectional area of the pipe is known, the
product of that area and the flow velocity will
provide a measure of volumetric flow.

With this type of meter, particles


or air bubbles in the flow stream
are undesirable because their
reflecting qualities interfere with
the transmission and receipt of the
applied ultrasonic pulses.

Features

The meter can measure pure water,


wash water, sewage, process liquids,
oils,slurries and highly viscous liquids.
The basic requirement is that the fluid
be capable of ultrasonic wave
propagation.
It measure flow through the pipe without
any wetted parts, ensuring that
corrosion and other effects from the fluid
will not deteriorate the sensors.
Measurement accuracy can be in the
range of 1% of flow rate, and speed of
response can be as fast as 1 s.

It can measure the Reverse Flow


It have wide rangeability
It induce no pressure drop or
disturbance in the flow stream as
no obstruction is present in the
flow path.
No moving parts,low maintenance
cost.
Higher initial setup cost.

Transit Time Flow meter


Steam
no
Gas
yes
Clean Liquid
yes
Dirty Liquid
no
Slurries
na
Corrosive
yes
Reverse Flow
yes
Cryogenic
na
Reynolds Number
10000

Doppler Flowmeter
no
no
no
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
4000

Vortex Flow meter


Vortex flowmeters, also know as oscillatory
flowmeters, measure the vibrations of the
downstream vortexes caused by the barrier
placed in a moving stream. The vibrating
frequency of vortex shedding can then be
related to the velocity of flow. On the side of
the bluff body where the vortex is being
formed, the fluid velocity is higher and the
pressure is lower. As the vortex moves
downstream, it grows in strength and size,
and eventually detaches or sheds itself in a
regularly oscillating fashion.The frequency of
oscillation is directly proportional to
volumetric flow rate.

There are number of techniques to count the


pulses, such as pressure sensors, capacitance
sensors, heated thermistors, and strain gauge
velocity sensors based on the piezoelectric
effect. The most recent development has been
to use ultrasonic measurement techniques. An
ultrasonic beam is sent from one side of the
pipe to the other; the amplitude modulation of
the received signal reflects the presence of
the vortex.

Applications & Limitations


They can not measure very low flow rates
because vortices won't form unless there is a
minimum amount of turbulence in the flow
stream. Because the Reynolds number drops
as viscosity rises, vortex flowmeter
rangeability suffers as the viscosity rises. One
can expect a better than 20:1 rangeability for
gas and steam service and over 10:1 for lowviscosity liquid applications.
The accuracy of most vortex meters is 0.5-1%
of rate for Reynolds numbers over 30,000. As
the Reynolds number drops, metering error
increases. At Reynolds numbers less than
10,000, error can reach 10% of actual flow.

If the process fluid tends to coat or build-up


on the bluff body, as in sludge and slurry
service, They are not recommended for such
applications
When measuring multi-phase flow (solid
particles in gas or liquid; gas bubbles in
liquid; liquid droplets in gas), vortex meter
accuracy will drop
The permanent pressure loss through a vortex
meter is about half that of an orifice plate.
The main advantages of vortex meters are
their low sensitivity to variations in process
conditions like temperature, pressure and low
wear relative to orifices

Mass Flow meter (Coriolis)


It is based on Coriolis principle

Process fluid entering the sensor


is split, half passing through each
flow tube. During operation, a
drive coil is energized. The drive
coil causes the tubes to oscillate
up and down in opposition to one
another.

Magnet and coil assemblies, called pick-offs, are


mounted on the flow tubes .Wire coils are mounted on
the side legs of one flow tube, and magnets are
mounted on the side legs of the opposing flow tube.
Each coil moves through the uniform magnetic field of
the adjacent magnet. The voltage generated from each
pickoff coil creates a sine wave. Because the magnets
are mounted on one tube, and the coils on the opposing
tube, the sine waves generated represent the motion of
one tube relative to the other.

No Flow - Tube Motion:


The flow tubes oscillate 180 degrees in opposition to
one another; while one tube moves downward, the
other tube moves upward and then vice versa.
Both pickoffs - the one on the inlet side and the one on
the outlet side - generate sine wave current
continuously when the tubes are oscillating. When
there is no flow, there is no Coriolis effect and the sine
waves are in phase with each other.

Flow - Coriolis Effect:


When fluid is moving through the sensor's
tubes, Coriolis forces are induced. These
forces cause the flow tubes to twist in
opposition to each other. When the tube is
moving upward during half of its vibration
cycle, the fluid flowing into the sensor resists
moving upward, by pushing down on the
tube.Having the tube's upward momentum as
it travels around the bend, the fluid flowing
out of the sensor resists having its vertical
motion decreased by pushing up on the tube.
This causes the tube to twist.

As a result of the twist in the flow tubes, the sine waves


generated by the pickoffs are now out of phase because
the inlet side is lagging behind the outlet side.
The amount of time difference between the sine waves
is measured in microseconds, and is called Delta-T.
Delta-T is directly proportional to the mass flow rate.
The greater the Delta-T, the greater the mass flow rate.

Applications & Features


Application:
If we want piping of an expensive gas, we
would certainly want to keep track of the
amount of gas used based on mass, not
volumetric flow.
Features:
It measures the mass flow which is
independent of fluctuating temperature &
pressure.
Since there are no obstruction in the fluid
path, so they have inherently low pressure
drop.
Accuracy is very high 0.5%
They can measure any kind of fluid, slurries.

Questions/Comments/Suggestions