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Flow meter

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Flow measurement is the quantification of bulk fluid movement. Flow can be measured in a variety of ways. Positive-displacement flow meters accumulate a fixed volume of fluid and then count the number of times the volume is filled to measure flow. Other flow measurement methods rely on forces produced by the flowing stream as it overcomes a known constriction, to indirectly calculate flow. Flow may be measured by measuring the velocity of fluid over a known area.

Both gas and liquid flow can be measured in volumetric or mass flow rates, such as liters per second or kilograms per second. These measurements can be converted between one another if the material’s density is known. The density for a liquid is almost independent of the liquid conditions; however, this is not the case for gas, the density of which depends greatly upon pressure, temperature and to a lesser extent, the gas composition.

When gases or liquids are transferred for their energy content, such as the sale of natural gas, the flow rate may also be expressed in terms of energy flow, such as GJ/hour or BTU/day. The energy flow rate is the volume flow rate multiplied by the energy content per unit volume or mass flow rate multiplied by the energy content per unit mass. Where accurate energy comes to the time of the legit flow rate is desired, most flow meters will be used to calculate the volume or mass flow rate which is then adjusted to the energy flow rate by the use of a flow computer.

Types of Flow meters

There are various types of Flow meters.The most commonly used flow meters are

  • Electromagnetic flow meter
  • Ultrasonic flow meters

Electromagnetic flow meter-

Magnetic flow meters, often called “mag meter”s or “electromag”s, use a magnetic field applied to the metering tube, which results in a potential difference proportional to the flow velocity perpendicular to the flux lines. The potential difference is sensed by electrodes aligned perpendicular to the flow and the applied magnetic field. The physical principle at work is Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction. The magnetic flow meter requires a conducting fluid and a nonconducting pipe liner. The electrodes must not corrode in contact with the process fluid; some magnetic flowmeters have auxiliary transducers installed to clean the electrodes in place. The applied magnetic field is pulsed, which allows the flowmeter to cancel out the effect of stray voltage in the piping system.

Ultrasonic flow meter-

An ultrasonic flow meter is a type of flow meter that measures the velocity of a liquid or gas (fluid) by using the principle of ultrasound. Using ultrasonic transducers, the flow meter can measure the average velocity along the path of an emitted beam of ultrasound, by averaging the difference in measured transit time between the pulses of ultrasound propagating into and against the direction of the flow. Ultrasonic flow meters are affected by the temperature, density and viscosity of the flowing medium. They are inexpensive to use and maintain because they do not use moving parts, unlike mechanical flow meters.



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