The budget is not the only thing to consider when you decide to buy ultrasonic flow meters for your project. Improper flowmeters will waste your expensive time/money,and then re-installing will cost much more. This also reduces your credit to your client. In order for suitable type flow devices, a right type selection is essential.
Let’s begin with 10 things to consider before making a decision. After reading, you will know which type is suitable for your need.
1.Liquid or Gas
Ultrasonic flow meter is not suitable for solid and multi-phase medium. So the first thing is to confirm what fluid it is,liquid or gas. Now ultrasonic gas flow meter is much more expensive,especially clamp on type. If the fluid is gas, you may consider other flowmeters,e.g.thermal mass or vortex type,etc.
If it is liquid, you should check whether it is clean. Or it has average particles or bubble. When anwer is yes, you may select time of flight ultrasonic flowmeter. Otherwise, doppler flow meter is your better choice.
2. Temperature and Working Pressure
Working pressure is not essential for clamp on ultrasonic flow meter. Clamp on flowmeter doesn’t have a direct contact to fluid. Only if pipe can bear the pressure, clamp on flowmeter can also work well. But if use inline&/insertion flowmeter, you should notice it.
Temperature is absolutely important. At first, flow transducers have Max/Min temperature limit. Flow converter also has a limit of Max/Min temperature. Especially you should notice the Max temperature,otherwise the flowmeter will be bad. This is also against the rule of free repairing or replacement from supplier.
Pipe have various of material,e.g.metal,plastic,cement,etc. For often seen pipe material, thing is easy. Clamp on flowmeter can work well. For cement pipe or concrete pipe, clamp on flowmeter usually doesn’t get stable signal. Thus,it is better to use inline type or insertion type. If pipe material is rarely used, you can consult it with manufacturer at first.
Metal pipe may have serious rusting fter long-term using. And some pipes have external coating that is not good for ultrasound wave penetrating. Under such conditions, clamp on meter is not suitable. You can try to find other proper installing point. Or consider using invasive type flowmeters as a replacement.
If pipe wall thickness is over 30-40mm, it is better to consult it with manufacturer. They are more professional and can confirm whether it can play.
4.Pipe Size and Transducer
Ultrasonic flow meter has 3 kinds of transducer type: clamp on,insertion and inline type. For DN20mm (1″)and below,it is better to select inline type with thread connection.
When pipe size is over DN25mm, clamp on flow meter can work well if pipe material is suitable.
When over DN50mm, three type can work. Since you select ultrasonic flow, clamp on type should be your first choice if condition can meet. When pipe size is over DN200mm or DN300mm, inline type is not recommended. Because its weight is heavy and shipping fee is higher with air shipping.
Comparing with inline magnetic flowmeter, our inline ultrasonic meter has a higher cost-effective solution. If your project requires inline type, our inline ultrasonic meter is your good solution,too.
Insertion transducer can be used for pipe over DN65mm. A hot-tap tool can help to install insertion transducer without flow stop. Of course,its working pressure should below 0.8MPa while installing. For steel pipe, insertion transducer is welded onto pipe surface. For other pipes, a special straps are used to fix it.
5.Output,Protocol and Data Storing
We provide versatile outputs and protocols to meet different requirements. They includes 4-20mA/0-20mA,OCT pulse, RS485/RS232,relay output, frequency output, Modbus protocol, M-bus,etc.
If you require wireless communication, GPRS/GSM are for far range,and zigbee or WIFI is for regional management.e.g. a building,etc .
We also provide data storing function for our flowmeters,and related data management software is available.
6.Portable Vs Permanent
If you want a mobile flow device to measure different pipe lines,or for different places, a portable flow meter should be a better choice. With built-in battery, it is easy to move for flow check and flow survey.
If you want to measure a pipeline for long term, permanent flow meter is a must. Fixed flow meter is usually AC or DC power and can be equipped with full ranges of flow transducers.
7.Power Supply Available
There are mainly four kinds of power supply available: AC,DC,battery and solar power.
Permanent flow meters are supplied with wide AC power or wide DC power. But our ultrasonic flowmeter is low power consumption design, so battery or solar power can be used with clamp on transducers.
Portable flow meters must be powered by built-in battery. Ours have two kinds:handheld type or portable type. They provide 12 hours or 20 hours working time after fully recharging. Of course, we can make 40 hours working time,but it doesn’t make sense and will improve size and weight. We try to get a perfect balance between actual using and size.
If you want longer working time with built-in battery, it is better to insertion or inline type flow meters. They can work over 4-6 years,eve longer with bigger battery. We usually call this type as ultrasonic water meters.
8.Distance Between Converter and Sensor
This problem decides the cable length between flow converter and sensor. In order to keep good signal, a special cable is used and it doesn’t allow to make connection. The max allowing distance is 200m-300m. If the distance is still not enough, you can use RS485 or wireless output. RS485 can ensure about 1000m if has no signal interruption. GPRS/GSM can provide wider communication range.
If you don’t purchase long cable, you may select our ultrasonic flow transmitter. It can be installed at spot and then use RS485 or other outputs to get related data. This can save cost of cable.
9.Heat Flow Meter Function
Heat flow meter has been a wide requirement for HVAC,etc. We have added proved heat measurement to our ultrasonic flow meters. Equipped with PT100 or PT1000 resistors, the flow meter can gather temperature signal of water inline and outlet. Then, you can get heat energy value that is consumed.
The PT100 or PT1000 can be clamp on type. Plus clamp on flowmeter, a real clamp on heat flow meter is available. Our ultrasonic heat meter is designed on the whole thought. Several suppliers don’t do this. They just use 4-20mA temperature sensor or external calculator to get heat energy. This has bigger error than ours.
10.Professional Technical Service
Flow meter belongs to industrial product. Comparing with common goods, it is also a kind of complicated product and mainly used for special case. This requires supplier have strong technical ability to provide professional and right after service. Otherwise, once you meet question, the supplier can’t answer,it will waste your time and even make your client lose confidence for you. As the real developer, we have dealt with flow devices for about 30 years and can ensure a professional service all the time.
In a word,selection type of flow meter is very important.Only right type can ensure stable working.Thus, when you decide to purchase ultrasonic flow meter,you should carefully consider the 10 things. This may help you reach a perfect buying.