How to Choose a Flow Meter

Introduction to Types of Flowmeter

Flow meter is used to measure flow from fluids (liquid withliquid flowmeter), sludge with sludge flow meter, or gas with gas flow meter), both in high temperature or low temperature. In choosing type of flow meter, the fluid condition and fungsi flowmeter should be compatible.
Before choosing type of flow meter, we need to know that the characteristic of there are wide range of fluids that can be measured with flow meter, such as corrosive fluids with high acid level characteristic is more compatible with  flowmeter made from material like PVC / non metal.
Based on conducted analysis, biggest mistake done by someone who wants to purchase flow meter and another instrument equipment is not fully understand the product and even cannot describe the specification of desired flow meter. Another cause is the flow meter distributor which basically just want to sell their stock of flow meter as fast as possible. Because of this, if wrong decision is made when choosing, can cost greatlyand make flowmeter accuracy not reached, no additional benefits, high maintenance cost, and short service life.
There are many tipes of flow meter that are used in industry, such as: electromagnetic flow meter, ultrasonic flow meter,  coriolis mass flow meter, etc. And based on its applications, flow meter divided into water meter, fuel meter, solar meter, flow meter air, mud, flange, sea water, etc. Based on its installation flow meters are divided into: clamp on, flow meter portable, flow meter in line, flow meter insertion dan open channel flow meter.

Choosing type of flow meter

Before purchasing flowmeter, its better to just understand its function to measure flow of fluids, but also understand its service life, budget, installation cost, maintenance cost, and how optimal  the flow meter you are going to purchase.
The many models and types of flow meter manufactured by various manufacturer must be a critical point for engineers to be able to get a rough picture based of the desired application, which compatible with its purpose and usefulness of flow meter installation, which suited with means and position of flow meter istallation method, this can help choose flow meter with long service life and low maintenance costs .
For fluids with high temperature, special material is used. Same principles applied to fluids with high density level, types of flow meter need to be adjusted. For fluids applied on food ingredients or drugs which demand pipe and flowmeter material with food grade more or less similar to stainless steel SUS 316L, because it is better suited. For corrosive environment such as at sea, body and flange flow meter might be more suited if made using stainless steel material.

Determining types of flow meter

Thorough understanding of fluid characteristic and benefir, also how Flowmeter works and functions of flow meter itself, is needed. There are various variables need to be considered when CHOOSING FLOW METER when determining type of flow meter and model of flowmeter  suited our desired application. These varibles for choosing flow meter are:
  • Type of Fluid that will be measured using flow meter : gas, water, chemical, oil , liquid gas, sludge, etc
  • Measurement done by flow meter only for flow or total amount of fluid flown or both
  • Viscosity of the fluid, cleanliness/dirtiness of the fluid (muddy, dusty, or clean) flown to flow meters
  • Purpose of Flow meter : as measurement tool for flow, total volume, control, switch;  sending electric signal as control or data to a computer or handphone via message.
  • Whether display is needed or not flowmeter or electronic signal output or electrical output.
  • Amount (max dan min) from Flow rate, working Pressure, Temperature of the fluid measured using flow meter
  • Whether waterproof system is needed or not flow meter or if the area is flammable or explosive or normal
  • Chemical or food usage, acid level of fluid, whether food grade is needed or not for flow meter material, which often used on pharmaceutical, food, or drink industri.
  • Size of the pipe where flow meter is going to be installed, including means of installment, using flange or fitting or screw connection system
  • flow meter installation system : Vertical or horizontal
  • Another information that is needed to choose type of flow meter because basically flow meter can be made/ordered tailored to the buyer (custom)

Types of Installation of Flow meter

Based on its installation and its function, flow meter can be grouped into:

Inline Flow Meter

Inline Flow Meter is a type of flow meter with installation method by cutting the pipe then later connected using flange or screw, and can be directly welded into pipe that has been cut, and also there is a wafer type by clamping the flow meter to both sides that has been equipped with flange.

Insertion Flow Meter

Insertion Flow meter is a type of flow meter which installed by drilling a hole then placing a fitting through welding process or installing a saddle fitting. Then the flow sensor part of the flow meter is inserted and tied into the fitting, both with screw and flange.

Clamp On Flow Meter

Clamp on flow meter is a type of flow meter which installation does not require cutting or drilling a hole in the pipe, but by placing then clamping the flow meter on to the outside surface of the pipe. Nowadays, this type of flow meter is commonly used because it does not require the pump or valve  to be turned off, and this can help production process. Clamp on flow meter belongs to the ultrasonic flow meter type, and often referred to as clamp on ultrasonic flow meter.
Ultrasonic flowmeter is a type of flow meter which measures fluids flow speed using ultrasound, which makes it possible to be read from ultrasonic transmiter.
By using ultrasonic flow meter transducer, or also usually called ultrasonic sensor, can measure average speed of fluids flow inside the pipe by measuring the average time difference between the time when signal is sent and time when signal received and also with the direction of flow.
For more info on product clamp on ultrasonic flowmeter, click here
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Open Channel Flow Meter

Open channel flow meter is a flow meter which installed to measure flow in open channel system, such as: canal, river, trench.
Basically, open channel flow meter measures the flow velocity by considering the surface height. For measurement of flow velocity, it can be done by using transittime flow meter or Magnetic flow meter. Whereas for the flow surface height can be done by using an ultrasonic level sensor.
Combining velocity and with cross-sectional area can produce flow capacity or flow rate of the flow in the canal.
For more info on product Open Channel Flow Meter, click here

Portable Flow Meter

Portable flow meter start getting noticed when untrasonic flow meter type is introduced, its installation and utilization is easy and fast, Also it can be carried around.
This portable flowmeter is often similar with clamp on flow meter where transducer ultrasonic, or simply called sensor, can be clamped onto the outside surface of the pipe. With easy installment, which does not require cutting or drilling hole into the pipe, the installation cost of the clamp on flow meter clamp is cheap and isntallation can be done quickly.
Untuk jenis flow meter portable biasanya di lengkapi dengan data logger vaik itu secara internal maupun external dan untuk power karena sifatnya portable biasanya menggunakan battery yang bisa di charge dan umumnya battery mampu bekerja pada waktu cukup lama diatas 5 jam.
For more info on product portable flow meter, click here
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Flow meter has many types and based on how it works, it is divided into various type: