Flow Meter Basics: Everything You Need to Know

Which Type of Flow Meter is Right For Your Needs?

A flow meter is used to measure gas flow and should demonstrate high accuracy, low-pressure drop, and direct mass flow readings. High-quality natural gas measurement increases efficiency in boiler/burner control, fuel-to-air ratio, and custody transfer applications. The bottom line is the more accurate your natural gas measurements, the more money you will save in natural gas costs.


The Importance of Flow Meters


By improving the efficiency of combustion processes, manufacturers have the opportunity to achieve significant energy savings, improve productivity, and enhance competitiveness. Flow meters for natural gas consumption are great tools used to measure natural gas flow.

 User Manual

The first step toward energy savings is to identify the optimal air-to-fuel ratio by monitoring air and fuel flow rates to burners. By measuring natural gas with natural gas flow meters, an accurate figure of consumption can be found. Tuning burners to reduce excess fuel usage brings direct savings, but avoiding excess airflow also reduces the amount of heat lost in the exhaust. Additional savings from reduced electricity costs will also be achieved through efficient operation.


Types of Flow Meters


There are quite a few flow meters. Some of them are more popular than others depending on application and requirements. The most important types are:


Coriolis mass flow meters

Coriolis mass flow meters are a type of meter in which the gas flow is measured in terms of mass by utilizing the velocity and density of the gas stream to calculate the mass of gas flowing in unit time.

Coriolis User Manual


Orifice flow meters

Orifice flow meters are used for measuring the flow of fluid through a pipe or duct by measurement of the pressure differential across a plate having a precision-machined hole in its center. Ratings up to very high throughput and pressure are available.


Rotary displacement flow meters

The positive-pressure blower principle in reverse is used in these meters in which gas pressure turns twin matching impellers and the quantity of gas passing through is proportional to the number of revolutions. These meters are made in the range of 3,000 to 1,000,000 cubic feet per hour and for pressures up to 1,200 Ibf/in2.


Turbine flow meters

Turbine flow meters are types of meters in which there is a turbine wheel or rotor made to rotate by the flowing gas. The rate or speed at which the turbine wheel revolves is a measure of the velocity of the gas.