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How to Select the Right Flow Meter

The job of selecting the right flow meter for a highly specific operation can be an overwhelming one considering the wide range of options you have right now. This likewise is aggravated by the fact that so many different factors are needed to be considered before coming up with the decision. Contrary to what most so-called experts say, it never is just about the cost.

The first thing you need to know is if you’re actually in need of a flow meter. Keep in mind that while there are various applications over which the device is needed, there also are those that don’t need it. A notable example of this is when you actually just need to figure out the rate at which a liquid or gas property is moving through a pipeline. If this indeed is what you intend to do, then you just have to purchase a basic flow indicator instead, which you can ask for at the same flow meter vendor or supplier. Buying the flow indicator is more sensible because it’ll cost a lot less than the basic flow meter.

Next, we strongly discourage you in purchasing the cheapest flow meter you can find out there. We’re not saying that the most affordable ones are defective or broken for that matter; it’s just that you never can expect them to last long and that’s really not a good thing considering the application you will be using it for. Usually, those low-priced varieties don’t come with technical support or backup from the supplier.
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Meanwhile, before you start looking at your options, you first must particularly know your flow. In this regard, you need to be completely aware that each kind of liquid or gas will have a different behavior when flowing through a pipeline. The difference in behavior is literally caused by a process called viscosity, which is generally defined as the measurement as to how much fluid will resist the flow. The resistance thereby affects the velocity of the flow in the pipeline.
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Industry experts recommend that you go for a flow meter with the widest turndown. This is very important because there’s really no telling in advance as to the specific range of flows that need to be measured. By picking a flow meter with the widest turndown, you will be able to get the assurance that all the anticipated flow variations will be covered.

Lastly, it makes the most sense to pick the flow meter that can give you the best application accuracy. In the event that you have the lowest uncertainty of measurement, a positive displacement meter is the best option. Turbine meters meanwhile are the most ideal option for those applications with the highest short-term repeatability, while electromagnetic types offer best suitability for the widest flow range.