A water flow meter is an instrument designed to measure the water flow rate. It also comes in different varieties, each operating in a unique principle. But most pipes require a regulated water flow rate to ensure the system is running well.
Water flow meters are popular because they can work in a wide range of applications. But it’s critical to know that the fluid is in the required spot at the right time because this can be highly beneficial. It reduces operation costs and maintains efficiency.
But before you settle for a water flow rate meter, there are many things to consider. Some of these include your application, the type of meter technology, maintenance requirements for the device, budget, and many more.
Types of Water Flow Meters
So, these come in four primary categories. Let’s expound more on each of these to help you understand what you need to achieve from these devices.
- Mechanical water flow meters
- Vortex volumetric flowmeters
- Ultrasonic flowmeters
- Magnetic flow meters.
Mechanical Flow Meters
These meters work by measuring the speed of the flowing water streaming in a pipe. And they use the turbine rotations with a paddle wheel design. The mechanical device is a popular water flow meter for being pretty economical. The volumetric flow rate of the water is usually proportional to the rotational speed of the blades.
One of the flaws of a mechanical flow meter is that it doesn’t work with dirty water because it can clog up and increase maintenance costs. They also don’t work well when the water flow is low.
Vortex Flow Meter
These use a sensor tab that flexes side to side, producing a frequency output proportional to the volumetric flow rate. The insertion meters work perfectly on large pipes, allowing hot tapping via a retractor. And the multivariable types can use only one process connection to measure up to five variables. These include:
- Mass flow
- Volumetric flow rate
Magnetic Flow Meter
Magnetic flowmeters measure the velocity of a fluid using a magnetic field. They operate under Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction, which states that; liquid flowing through a magnetic field generates voltage. And the more quickly it moves, the more voltage it generates. So, the induced voltage will be proportional to the movement of the water.
Since magnetic flowmeters have no ions to measure and an intermediate accuracy, they are not appropriate for custody transfer applications, nor can they work on pure water.
Ultrasonic Water Flow Meters
And by using ultrasound, an ultrasonic water flow meter measures the speed of a fluid flowing in the pipe. And this is how it measures volumetric flow. So, how does this work? First, an ultrasonic signal gets transmitted towards the fluid flowing downstream, while another one gets transmitted against the flowing liquid upstream.
And in its basic form, there is a comparison of time for the sonic pulse traveling downstream with the pulse to travel upstream. The differential time calculates the speed of the flowing liquid as the meter uses this fluid velocity to evaluate the volumetric flow rate in the valve.
Clamp-on ultrasonic meters are excellent for measuring water flow in large pipes. They also measure the fluid from outside the line. And it does this by shooting pulses of sound through the pipe walls.
Best Way To Select An Ideal Water Flow Meter
When you need a water flow meter, you don’t just buy it like an essential commodity. There are critical factors to consider:
- Know the accuracy of the water flow meter
- Longevity of the meter
- Application’s requirement
- Maintenance cost
- The flow rate ranges the flow water meter accommodates
It would be a breeze to select a suitable flow meter for your application by considering these factors. If your application needs high accuracy, you may need to purchase a more expensive water flow meter. Identifying the flow rate of your water will prevent possible issues from happening with the piping in your facility.
If a meter has a lengthy lifespan, this may result in a higher price for the device. However, a machine without longevity will not last long and may make you use more cash to purchase another one.
You can select the best type of water flow rate meter depending on the specific application. Since they work in various applications, some operate better than others and have their benefits. But remember to use the correct application. While this guide can help you in your buying selection, you can always enquire about the device you need from the seller. Otherwise, you can also read the instruction labels.