Measuring the flow of liquid or gas plays a critical role in several industrial applications. In fact, in some of the industrial operations, the significance of conducting accurate flow measurement is highly prioritized as they can impact the factors of either making a profit or loss.
In many of the industrial applications, inaccuracy or error in taking flow measurements can cause serious or even disastrous outcomes. When it comes to the measurement of most liquid flows, the flow instruments typically determine the flow rate inferentially by measuring velocity of the liquid or the change in its kinetic energy.
But there’s more to these instruments when it comes to taking measurements of liquids and gasses. Continue to read till the end to learn more things essential about flow meter.
Flow Meter – What is it?
A flow meter is basically a flow instrument that is utilized for indicating the amount of liquid, gas or vapor is moving through a pipeline or conduit by determining the measurements of mass, volumetric, linear or non-linear flow rates. Since flow regulation is an essential operation, measuring the flow rates of gasses and liquids is a vital requirement for several industrial applications. Based on the nature of application, there are different types of flow meters that are used.
The choice of ideal flow meter depends on the consideration of various intangible factors such as familiarity of the plant personnel, availability of spare parts, plant personnel’s experience with maintenance and calibration, meantime between failure history and more. It is also suggested that an estimated calculation for the cost of installation shall be considered.
Choosing the Right Flow Meter
The fundamental process of selecting the right flow meter is to clearly understand the specific application requirement. Hence, it is highly recommended to invest a good amount of time to thoroughly evaluate the nature of the process liquid and the overall system installation. The development of specifications that state the application needs should be a step-by-step and systematic process.
The initial steps that need to be taken for selecting the appropriate flow meter is to determine if the information of the flowrate should be totalized or consistent and whether this information is required remotely or locally.
If it is remotely then whether the transmission be digital, analog or shared and if it is shared then what would be the data-update frequency requirement. Once the expert has answers for all these questions then the evaluation of the flow characteristics and properties of the process fluid and the piping that shall accommodate the flow meter shall take place.
Flow and Fluid Characteristics
The fluid and its pressure temperature, density, conductivity, allowable pressure drop, viscosity and vapor pressure at maximum temperature operation are listed, simultaneously with an indication of how these elements might interact or vary.
Temperature and Pressure Ranges
Forecast of maximum and minimum temperature and pressure values must be provided together with the normal operating values. Whether reversal of flow can happen or not? Whether it doesn’t always fill the pipe or not? Is there any chance of slug flow development? Whether there can be sudden temperature changes or not? All of these facts must be stated as well.
Pipe and Installation Area
In concern to the piping area and where the flow measurement meter is to be installed, the following information must be specified.
FOR THE PIPING
- Its direction
- Flange-pressure rating
- Upstream and downstream turns
- Straight-pipe run lengths available
FOR THE INSTALLATION AREA
- Specified engineer must be aware of the present or possible vibration or magnetic fields
- Availability of the pneumatic or electric power
- If the area is classified for explosion hazards
- If there are any special requirements for compliance with the safety or sanitary regulations
Accuracy and Flow Rates
The following step involves determination of the needed meter range by identifying the maximum and minimum flows that shall be measured. Consecutively, the flow measure accuracy requirement is then determined. Generally, accuracy is specified in the actual reading’s percentage, in calibrated span’s percentage or in full scale units percentage. The accuracy requirement should be stated separately at normal, minimum and maximum flow rates.
Maintenance of A Flow Meter
There are a number of factors involved that can impact the maintenance requirements and even the life expectancy of a flow meter. The primary factor is of course, picking the flow instrument that matches with the suitable application.
Devices that are selected poorly can have the risk of causing early issues. Also, flow meters that have no moving components will need comparatively less attention than instruments that have moving components. However, it is to be noted that eventually all flow meter require some level of maintenance.
Periodic internal inspection is suggested for flow meters that have moving parts especially if the flow meter is used for measuring liquids that are viscous or dirty. Installation of filters prior to using the instrument will definitely help in lessening the wear and fouling.
If you are interested to learn more about flow meters then make sure to get in touch with the best suppliers now.