How to Find the Right Flow Meter for Your Project

by Emily on May 13, 2020

in Articles

When you are working on a project that requires a flow meter of some sort, you might be wondering exactly how to start finding the right one. Because the reasons for using a flow meter and the applications of such devices are so versatile and varied, you will very likely need to have a custom flow meter designed to suit your specific needs. 

That being said, there are a few different categories of flow meter that you can choose from as well as some standard products that might be a more affordable alternative. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for the perfect flow meter for your project.

Types of Flow Meters

As you begin your search for a flow meter, it is good to have an understanding about the different types available on the market. While custom flow meters can be designed and developed to suit your needs, you will need to know what sort of device is going to work best for your project. Generally speaking, there are three main types of flow meters.

Volumetric flow meters, which are also known as positive displacement flow meters, are the only type of meter that will give you an output of the actual measurement of the gas or liquid you are monitoring. There are a number of different models of volumetric flow meters that you can choose from depending on the type of project you are working on and the gas or liquid that you are monitoring. Positive displacement flow meters are typically held to be the most accurate type so if you need to have the most precise measurements, then this is the type you should go with.

Some flow meters use velocity in order to give you a reading. Devices that fall into this category include electromagnetic flow meters and ultrasonic flow meters. While the ways in which these meters vary, the general idea is the same. Essentially, some sort of wave is introduced into the liquid or gas being measured and the output reading that you get is based on the velocity with which that wave passes through the fluid. 

Mass flow meters, which are typically either thermal meters or Coriolis meters, give an output that is based on the mass of fluid or gas that goes through the meter itself. These meters are generally used in the oil and gas industry as well as in chemical related industries.

Environmental Factors

Before you select a flow meter, you should also take into account the environmental factors surrounding your project. For instance, what is the temperature going to be of the fluid or gas that your will be measuring? What pressure levels are going to be present at the location of your project? Are there going to be hazardous or explosive materials present where your flow meter will be running? All these questions will contribute to the type of flow meter you eventually go with.

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