There are a lot of different types of flow meters available on the market. Low-temperature applications are just one type of fluid flow measurement, and many factors affect what type of technology is right for your application. The good news is that no matter what kind of data you need from your process or how complex it gets, there’s probably a low temperature flow meter out there that can help! You can measure the flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM) or liters per minute (lpm) depending on how big your tank is or how much liquid you need to move through your system at any given time. You might also be looking for something more specific, like totalize or cumulative measurement capabilities.
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What is a flow meter?
A Flow Meter is a device used to measure the flow of fluids. The estimated material can be liquid or gas, and the device may be installed inside or outside a pipeline. Flow meters are used in many industries, including water treatment, chemical processing, petroleum refining, and manufacturing.
There are many different types of flow meters. The smallest meter is a handheld pump installed at a water fountain that measures your consumption by counting how many times you press it down each minute (or hour). These are easy to install, but they have little versatility since once they’ve been set up, they don’t change their measurements based on factors like temperature or pressure differences across them (which we’ll discuss later).
Why do we measure fluid flow?
In many cases, we need to measure the flow of fluids to monitor how much water is being used or how much fuel is consumed. Measuring fluid flow can also gauge various aspects of industrial processes like oil refining and mining.
We measure fluid flow using a device called a flow meter. A standard flow meter uses two metal plates with some expansion mechanism between them. When liquid flows through the machine, this expansion mechanism causes one plate (the “reference” plate) to move relative to another (the “measurement” plate). By measuring this relative movement between these two plates over time, you can calculate your overall volume or mass rate of flow as well as other key characteristics like temperature, pressure, and density.
How is the type of flow meter technology right for my application?
Many types of flow meters can be used for liquid and gas applications. To figure out which technology is best for your application, you need to know the following:
- Flow rate
- Temperature range (for temperature-compensated flow meters)
- Pressure range (for pressure-compensated flow meters)
- Viscosity, density, contaminants type, and concentration (for viscosity compensated or density compensated sensors).
What are the types of flow meters?
The most common type is a Pitot tube, which involves measuring the difference in pressure between two locations to determine the flow rate. This can be done with one or two tubes. Other flow meters include:
- Positive displacement (e.g., orifice plate, gear).
- Coriolis mass flow meters.
- Ultrasonic velocity sensors.
- Magnetic Flux Leakage systems.
Vortex shedding is also commonly used for low-temperature fluid flow applications because it has very low sensitivity to obstructions in the pipe and operates well at high Reynolds numbers (Re).
Low-temperature fluid flow meters are used for various applications in the oil and gas, petroleum refining, power generation, water treatment, and food processing industries. The following is an overview of some of these applications:
- Oil & Gas – Measuring gas flow rates through pipelines is critical for optimizing efficiency across all aspects, including safety, reliability, and profitability. Low-temperature systems are ideal for measuring this type of natural gas at shallow temperatures (less than 10 degrees Celsius) because they can operate at elevated pressures without any additional components required, such as compressors or associated piping to take care of initial pressure build-up before the flow starts.
There are a lot of options for low-temperature flow measurement.
There are a lot of options for low-temperature flow measurement. For example, you can use a single-element device that measures the change in pressure over time to determine the flow rate. This can be especially useful when working with low-density fluids—or even gases! Or would you prefer a turbine meter that uses multiple elements and can measure mass and volume?
Some hybrid options are also available, such as those using two different sensors combined into one unit. For example, this could mean using an ultrasonic sensor (for measuring viscosity) alongside a thermal mass flow meter (for measuring density). In other cases, it may involve using two or more ultrasonic chips mounted on the same vibrating plate—each chip collecting its own data sets while contributing towards its overall accuracy thanks to this dual/triple-sensing capability!
Also, You Can Read: Water Flow Indicator: Why Should You Consider It
Now that we’ve covered the basics of a measurement let’s talk about how we can help you choose the best low temperature fluid flow meter for your application. As we discussed earlier, many types of devices are available today—and even more, are on the horizon!—but our team has experience working with all of them. Our engineers will work with you to determine which type best suits your needs and budget, so you don’t have to waste time or money figuring out what works best.
Here are a few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:
Define Pulse Output Flow Meter and Explain its Types
Inline Water Flow Meters: Advantages and Disadvantages
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