Choosing the Right Flow Meter


Flow meters are needed to be able to measure the rate of liquid or gas, and there are different factors to consider when choosing the right one.

Some factors that go into determining the right low flow gas meter include the experience of plant personnel with maintenance and calibration, as well as the variability of parts. It’s important to choose a flow meter based on how it will perform, instead of trying to justify the device by saying it is less costly. Usually, the inexpensive ones can lead to more costly installations.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Flow Meter

There are a number of questions you should ask in order to be able to choose the right low flow gas meter or other flow meters. You first want to determine the fluid that is being measured. The second is to determine if you require rate measurement or totalization. Do you need a local display on the meter, or does it need to send the information elsewhere? Determine the maximum and minimum flow rate needed, as well as the process pressure and process temperature.

Different Types of Flow Meters

Depending on the application and fluid, there are five basic classifications of flow meters.

Differential Pressure Flow Meter: These meters measure the differential pressure. There are primary and secondary elements in these meters to measure different changes. These are used in the gas and oil, HVAC, water, beverage, mining, and chemical industries. They are some of the most common flow meters available.

Positive Displacement Flow Meter: These meters will measure the amount of fluid that is transferred, and they are known for their accuracy. These meters will measure the actual flow of the fluid, while many other types of meters will measure a different parameter and then convert it. These meters are used in the transfer of fluids and oils, such as hydraulic fluids and gasoline.

Mass Flow Meter: These meters are used in mass-related processes, since these measure the force that comes from the acceleration of mass. These meters are used for chemical processes, and some other industries that use these meters include power, pharma, and mining.

Velocity Flow Meter: These meters give you the volumetric flow rate by measuring the velocity of the stream. These types of meters also include paddlewheel, electromagnetic, turbine, and sonic/ultrasonic meters.

Open Channel Flow Meter: These meters will measure liquid in open channels and allow for the free movement of liquids based on the size and shape of the structure, which can all be different. These meters allow for the reading of the flow rate to be used. These are commonly used for free moving liquids, such as in irrigation channels, sewer systems, and rivers and streams.