The Importance of Flow Rate Meters


The need to quantify stuff and say for sure what amount of something there is has always fascinated people. This enthusiasm is not listed when it comes to liquids and gases (fluids). The whole dynamic of fluids is different from solids as they can flow and telling the rate of flow is another interesting measure.

Since the works of Bernoulli came out and his use of the venture tube to determine fluid flow, much advancement had been made in his work. In his life’s work, Bernoulli was able to determine mass flow rate to velocity even with changes in the diameter of the piping.

The development of the vortex flow meter to avoid Bernoulli’s assumption of streamlined flow has gone a long way to advance science. When the turbulences of vortices in flow and eddy currents were overcome, it was a new yardstick in the measurement of the rate of flow. The rate of flow of fluids is determined inferentially by making use of several parameters such as velocity, change in kinetic energy, temperature, the distance of flow, friction, viscosity and density of the liquid or gas.

Ascertaining the degree of flow of fluids is a crucial aspect of many major operations. It is important to know whether the right amount of fluid is at a particular place at the right time. Delicate procedures need very high accuracy and a small margin for error in their practice. Quality assurance can also come in check once the right amounts of fluids are used. Safety is also guaranteed once the proper equipment is used to determine flow.

The most common uses of flow rate meters are as follows:

Controlling consumption

The domestic or commercial water meter is a typical example of a flow rate meter. Whether it is a displacement-based or a volume-based meter, it can be used to determine the amount of water used in cubic feet /liters/gallons. After the amount has been determined, billing can be done based on it.

Mass of flow measurement

Different fluids have different densities and their volumes change with temperature. Mass flow measurement is a better way to measure fluids since mass remains constant under the action of heat. By making use of Coriolis force on a magnetic/electromagnetic flow meter, we can measure fluid flow. This does not, however, mean that volume-based methods are incorrect. They remain valid as long as the temperature and volume are unchanged.

Resource management

In periods of scarcity of resources, flow rate monitors provide a simplistic way to ration resources. A given quota is dispensed and it is expected to be utilized properly. It might seem like a mundane task until you consider the ramifications of this application. Modern motorsport like Formula 1 uses this application to give their drivers a one-time fuel load for the whole race without refueling. A hospital drip works on a similar principle to control the drip.

In summation, it is important to understand that advanced technology and science goes behind making an effective flow meter and that most meters are job-specific. Choose the right meter for the job you want to do, otherwise you will not enjoy these benefits and you might expose yourself to danger.


Violet Lozenge is career researcher and a specialist on matters meters. She has an understanding of the mass flow rate to velocity and spends her time sharing ideas and insights. You can get more of her articles here.


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