Types of Ultrasonic Flow Meters


The ultrasonic flow meter technology can be used in a variety of industries. In the oil and gas industry, ultrasonic flow meter is used for measuring the flow rate of liquids in pipes, tanks and other industrial equipment. The ultrasonic flow meter technology is also suitable for measuring the fuel flow through fuel lines and measurement of liquid levels in various industrial processes.

Ultrasonic flow meters measure the velocity of liquids flowing in open channels such as pipes, tubes, or conduits. The device consists of a source of ultrasonic wave travelling along the channel with a receiver that picks up the echo signals from the same wave source reflected off solid objects present in the channel due to their presence on its path.

The echo waves are processed by microprocessor and the velocity is converted into a volume per unit time (flow rate) using an appropriate mathematical formula. The ultrasonic devices are suitable for applications where no air gap exists between fluid and pipe wall. Ultrasonic devices are also known as ultrasonic flow meter, acoustic flow meter, flowmeter based on ultrasound, etc.

There are various types of ultrasonic flow meters, such as general-purpose ultrasonic flow meters, ultrasonic flow meters for liquid petroleum and natural gas, and ultrasonic flow meters for liquids with suspended solids. In this article, we will discuss the types of ultrasonic flow meters used most often in the chemical industry.

Density-based flowmeters use the density of a flowing liquid or gas to measure flow. For a particular liquid, density is directly related to the amount of mass per unit volume. Density-based ultrasonic flowmeters can be used to measure mass flow by correlating density to mass flow.

Ultrasonic meters use pulse-echo technology in which an ultrasonic signal is transmitted down a tube containing fluid. The sound wave bounces off the fluid’s surface and returns through the same path back to a receiver located at the opposite end of the tube. The time it takes for the sound pulse to travel from one end of the tube to the other is recorded by a transducer. The average fluid velocity is calculated by dividing distance traveled (length of tube) by time taken (time between pulses). The velocity is then converted into mass flow using density and specific gravity values for each process stream. To understand more information you can click here.

There are different types of ultrasonic flow meters available in the market today:

1) Acoustic Doppler Flow Meter (ADF): This is a very common type of ultrasonic flow meter. It works on the principle of acoustic doppler effect.

2) Resonance Flow Meter: This meter is based on the principle of resonant frequency.

3) Laser Doppler Flow Meter (LDF): This meter works on the principle of laser doppler effect.

4) Optical Gas Chromatograph (OGC): This meter is based on gas chromatography and uses optical sensors to measure gas concentration.

5) Thermal Mass Flow Meter (TMFM): This meter uses thermal mass flow technique to measure gas flow rate.

6) Hot Wire Anemometer: This meter measures the velocity of airflow by using heated wires placed in the air stream.