The ultimate goal of any system is efficiency and accuracy. Flow meters are no different. A flow meter should operate in such a way that the user gets an accurate reading at any time. However, some instances or rather where the flow meter is being applied requires more accuracy than others.
An efficient flow meter ensures three things:
- Power consumption is reduced.
- Flow capability is increased.
- A sustainable working system.
To achieve these goals, the right meter should be used for the right application. No matter how efficient a system might be, some factors cause errors in flow master measurements. Thankfully, some applications can mitigate these factors.
How To Choose Flow Meters
One of the reasons flow meter optimization takes a back banner with the user is cost. Unfortunately, in this case, cheap can be very costly as there are other factors such as installation that are at play.
Another reason is choosing based on the rating or requirements of the system. Sadly, this can be an issue in flow calibration since there is no blanket measurement as far as flow meters go. Choosing a flow meter is not an ABC process. There is a need to take it one step at a time. Below are some of the steps to take to optimize flow sensors.
Choose the Right Flow Meter
Before settling on a given flow meter, it is best to understand what is available. As technology evolves, so do flow meter sensors. There are several options available depending on the need of a system.
As the name states, it all boils down to a difference in pressure at two areas. Inflow meters, there is an upstream and downstream. With Differential pressure, the pressure in both these points calculates the difference to give the meter reading.
Mass Flow Meters
While differential pressure flow meters use pressure in measurement, mass flow meters use the mass of a liquid or gas passing through a pipe or any other medium at a period.
When it comes to accuracy in flow meters, Coriolis flowmeters rate highly. It is a type of Mass flow meter but works differently. It capitalizes on the Coriolis effect, in which it creates motion on different sides of the meter: inlet and outlet. The inlet turns in a different direction from the outlet. The motion or force created should be directly proportional to the liquid or gas mass in question.
This is another highly accurate flow meter. It measures the volume of liquid or gas using automatic displacement of
This type of flow meter uses sound to measure the flow of liquid or gas. Ultimately, sound is passed through the flow to establish measurement. It is very accurate but expensive as well. The initial cost is very high, but the cost should not be an issue here due to minimal maintenance.
Which to Pick?
This is an age-old question. At the turn of the century, technology has flooded the market with different flow meters. Most users do it have enough technical know-how to pick the right meter for specific applications. To them, flow meters are flow meters. It doesn’t matter what flow calibration is needed or what type of fluid is flowing through. So how do you choose the beat flow meter? Here are some factors you can consider.
What is Being Measured?
As stated before, not all liquids or gases are the same. Some are more dense and conductive than others. There is also the issue of conditions in terms of temperature and pressure. When investing in inflow sensors, all this must be put into consideration.
What is the system?
Installing a flow meter also requires knowledge of the system that needs the flow sensor. It is not just a matter of purchasing and implementing but also where to install, what flow calibration is needed, and who gets the information from the meters. They need to be strategically placed to ensure effectiveness and accuracy in measurement.
Cost is key in terms of optimization. No matter what is at stake, the cost is at the forefront. Factories and companies in general are in the race to be cost-effective and reduce the overuse of resources. The common mistake that most users make is considering the initial cost. That is, the cost of buying and installing the flowmeter without factoring in the maintenance. Maintenance can be very costly, especially with downtime. Another cost that may not be foreseen is the replacement cost. If the meter is not appropriate for the process, then replacement may be necessary.
Climate change has brought about regulations in which a factory needs to operate. A flow meter needs to help meet these regulations. The installation points can cause leakage and, in turn, cause environmental damages. To avoid this, it is best to choose the right meter beforehand. Otherwise, it can be very costly.
When settling for a flow meter, you can also divide it into 4. This way, it becomes much easier to select which best fits your needs in cost-effectiveness, performance, and accuracy. Here are the four factors.
Replacing pipes to install a flow meter is quite the challenge. Not just in cost but also the downtime, which adds to the cost ultimately. In the end, you have to factor in flow calibration, which may require a pipe or two to be replaced.
Flow meters affect the overall operability of a factory or process. The performance needs to match up with the requirements of the company. Some flow meters do not require much accuracy. Just an approximation is enough in most cases. While in other cases, an accurate sensor is what is required. If you want the best performance, look for the best performing flow meter option.
It is not just a matter of installing effective flow meters; the cost is also very important. Buyers tend to go for the cheapest flow meters to minimize not realizing that there is more to slow meters than just buying the meter. Installation and maintenance have a huge impact on the overall cost. Cheap meters can be expensive in that regular replacement might be required. Not to mention the regular maintenance might also be a norm. Expensive may not be effective as well. Not all expensive meters provide optimal performance.
Technology has improved the efficiency of most flow meters. However, in some cases, the pressure changes can very well affect the accuracy of measurement. For example, flow meters that depend on the differential pressure technology greatly depend on pressure difference.
To optimize, there is a lot that needs to be considered. However, at the end of the process, making the right decision will save users from headaches that can be avoided. Weigh the available options, and in cases where expertise is needed, do not hesitate to call an expert. It could be a matter of succeeding or failing in the end.