How do Flow Meters Work?

Have you ever wondered how much liquid or gas is passing through a given medium? It has to do with flow rate measurements, and this information is extremely important to many industries today. But what is a flow test and how do flow meters work? Let’s look a little closer to see.

What is a Flow Meter?

Flow meters measure the amount of gas, liquid, or vapor that flows through a system. You can measure how much material flows through in a given time. For example, you might need to know how many ounces per minute your system pumps. Perhaps you want to know the total flow for an entire day or shift.

An electronic flow test uses a transducer and transmitter. A transducer can tell how much fluid is flowing. It then takes this analog flow test data and turns it into digital data that computerized equipment can read. Here is how it might work.

Suppose an analog gauge uses an arrow which points to numbers on the gauge. As this arrow turns, it moves a device like a rheostat that produces an electric signal. It also turns this signal into numbers (digital signal). Computer systems work by taking binary code data (like 0100010) and turning it back into information we can understand.

Flow Test Types

There are several types of flow meters, such as:

  • Velocity – uses magnetic energy to measure how fast something flows. However, they can use other systems like ultrasonic, turbine, and vortex shedding technologies.
  • Volumetric – uses positive displacement technology to measure fluid volume
  • Mass – measures mass flow
  • Inferential – uses differential pressure to figure mass, volume, or velocity. It doesn’t measure them directly but in comparison to differential pressure.

Installation Tips

It’s important to install your flow test equipment by the manufacturer’s suggestions. This gives you the best results.

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