How to Choose the Right Flow Meter & Avoid Constant Flow Meter Calibration

There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” flow meter, and it’s important to understand that you should not be choosing a meter based on the technology or price alone, you must take the time to do your research and choose a flow meter based on your application. It is much easier to first analyze your application’s requirements and then choose the technology that fits rather than buying the meter first and forcing it to work in your application. If you do not consider your application first, you will be require flow meter calibration and repair services far more often to ensure solid performance and accuracy.There are a number of things to consider as you evaluate your application and technology options including:

  • Size and measuring range
  • Chemical compatibility
  • Processes and accuracy requirements
  • Acceptable pressure drop
  • Cleaning requirements
  • Desired measurement units (velocity, mass, volume, etc)
  • Uni-direction vs. bi-directional measurement
  • Fluid viscosity limitations
  • Necessary approvals for applications such as sanitary or hazardous areas.
  • Custody-transfer approvals
  • Data output requirements (relay, digital, simple, etc.)
  • Calibration and recalibration requirements
  • Maintenance issues
  • Operating costs
  • Connection styles (flanged, wafer, threaded, welded, etc.)

Things to keep in mind during flow meter selection:

  • Every fluid or gas behaves differently due to viscosity.
  • You must figure out how the material will behave in the pipeline to help narrow your selection.
  • Flow profiles change depending on whether or not your material is Newtonian or non-Newtonian
  • Calculate the Reynolds number of your application to help with selection. Match the Reynolds number of your application to that of a flow meter for the best match.
  • For the lowest uncertainty of measurement, positive displacement meters are generally the best option.
  • Electromagnetic meters give you the widest flow range
  • Turbine meters do well with highest short-term repeatability
  • Orifice plate meters are the most common metering device.
  • Coriolis mass flow meters lend themselves well to measuring particularly viscous substances and for the measurement of mass.

Have questions about flow meter selection or flow meter calibration services? Contact us today and our technicians would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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