Because of the wide range of technologies available in flow meters these days, the job of selecting one for your specific need can be a bit confusing. This likewise is aggravated by the fact that so many different factors are needed to be considered before coming up with the decision. You never should believe when self-proclaimed experts tell you that in selecting a flow meter, it’s really just about the price.
The very first thing you need to figure out if is you’re really in need of a flow meter. There are several applications in which the equipment is required, but it also does not mean you need them all the time. For instance, you probably might just be looking to know the rate in which gas or liquid is moving inside a pipeline. If it’s the kind of application you intend to do, all you need is a simple flow indicator that likewise can be purchased from your flow meter supplier. The difference of a flow indicator is that it is obviously more affordable than the most basic flow meter.
Next tip is to not buy the cheapest flow meter out there, because more likely than not, you will be regretting that decision later on. It’s not that all of them cheap ones are crude or defective; it’s just that you can’t expect them to be of high and premium quality, especially if you’re using it for a big project. 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. One thing for sure is that one particular gas or fluid is expected to have a different behavior when they flow 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 a crucial factor to consider since there is no way to figure out in advance the exact range of flows intended to be measured. If you pick a flow meter with the widest turndown you can find, it only means one thing – you have some sort of security that all expected flow variations will be covered.
In the end, it’s just smart and practical to choose the flow meter offering the best accuracy for the application. If you happen to have the lowest uncertainty when it comes to measurement, it only means that the best option for you is a positive displacement meter. Electromagnetic varieties are best for the widest flow range while turbine meters are used primarily for the highest short-term repeatability.