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Dual-path flowmeters for less-than-ideal flow conditions

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Flowmeters are not always installed in locations where there is a stable and undisturbed flow. In fact, accessing such ideal measurement conditions is often difficult, or impossible.

Disturbances in the flow profile could be caused by numerous factors but generally happen due to any change to the pipe through which the liquid is flowing. This could be a change of angle or plane through bends, a change of diameter through a reducer or diffuser or some other process equipment such as a valve or pump. These changes in the fluid condition cause the flow profile to shift, with the point of maximum fluid velocity no longer being located in the centre of the pipe.

Localised flow profile changes resulting from these pipe modifications will cause problems for most flowmeters installed in the same area. Regardless of the measurement technique used, there is an assumption that the observed flow condition is happening at the point of fastest flow and that no other outside influences are in play.

It’s important, therefore, to identify when disturbances to the flow might be happening, and then, offer an appropriate solution.

However, certain measurement technologies are more immune to this effect than others. Coriolis flowmeters, for example, calculate flow and density based on the vibrations of the internal tubing within the meter body and are, therefore, not constrained in the same way as other instruments. Users of clamp-on flowmeters, along with many other devices, need to take the flow condition into account when looking at potential locations for meter installation.

Katronic has published a document on their website highlighting how dual-path ultrasonic flowmeters can be used to improve measurement results under non-ideal installation conditions.

For further information, please visit the AMS Instrumentation and Calibration website or contact 03-9017 8225 or Freecall (NZ) 0800 442 743.

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