Ultrasonic flow meters mainly have 2 types: doppler type and transit-time type. Both of them can measure flow by transmitting and receiving ultrasound wave in pipe. Doppler flow meters can measure ‘dirty liquid’ and transit-time ultrasonic flow meter main measure ‘clean liquid’.
Both of them mainly utilizes clamp on flow transducers to detect flow in closed pipe. Clamp on type flow meter is an unique measurement way and at present, ultrasonic flow meter is the main type with such way at present. Thus, it is very essential to know its advantages/disadvantages.
1.No Pipe Cutting
Clamp on installing way doesn’t need to cut pipe. This is very different from traditional flow devices. Users just need to clamp the flow sensor to pipe surface. Then ultrasonic flowmeter can detect flow by ultrasound wave and then automatically calculate the value of flow velocity, flow totalizers, etc.
2.No Direct Contact to Fluid
Clamp on flow sensors don’t need to contact fluid directly. It avoids pollution to the fluid. This can meet special requirement of food, medical, chemistry, biology, etc.
3.No Risk of Leakage
No pipe cutting means no need to damage pipe. So only pipe condition is good, clamp on flow meters won’t provide a leakage possibility. This advantage is more suitable for strong acid, alkali, poisoning, corrosive liquid, etc.
4.No Moving parts
Traditional mechanical flow meters must use moving parts to ‘sense’ flow. This will destroy the flow status. Meanwhile, the flow accuracy will degrade as using of moving parts.As its using, the moving parts will become bad and users have to replace a new flow measurement device.
5.No Pressure Loss
Ultrasonic flowmeter has no moving parts and doesn’t need to contact fluid, so there is no pressure loss. No pressure loss means you don’t require to do pressure compensation and it can save cost of pressure transmitter.
6.Wide Turndown Ratio
Turndown ratio is a very important technical specification in flow measurement. It is used to refer to flow range and usually decided by flow technology/principle.
Traditional flow meter has a small turndown ratio, e.g. turbine flow meter is 10:1,orifice plate flowmeter is 3:1,PD flowmeter is 10:1,etc. But ultrasonic flow meter is usually 100:1 and part of models can reach R500.
If you are interested in more details of turndown ratio, please visit Wikipedia to learn more.
7.Low Flow Startup
Low flow measurement has been a hard problem since flow measurement available. For small size pipe, people can develop special flow devices to test. But because of special, its price is always very high and is not easy to promote for common application. Ultrasonic flow meters can provide a very low flow measurement for process control. Various type of ultrasonic flow meters have been developed for low flow measurement.
8.No Future Maintenance
As there is no moving parts and no pipe cutting, clamp on ultrasonic flow meters won’t almost require bigger maintenance. This can save end users with huge money and time. Meanwhile, even though it requires maintenance, the flow won’t be stopped and production can continue
Its long-term accuracy is proven to be better than traditional mechanical flow meters. Of course, if clamp-on flowmeters can’t meet your extreme requirement of accuracy, inline and insertion ultrasonic flow meters are better choice.
10.Versatile Outputs and Data Storing
Ultrasonic flow meters can be equipped with versatile outputs:4-20mA,pulse,relay, RS485,Modbus,M-bus,Hart, batch controller, etc. Especially Modbus, it is easy to make network and provide convenient data reading and system monitor for District Metering Area(DMA).
Meanwhile, we also develop big memory storing data logger for our ultrasonic flow meters and related data management software is available.
11.Low Power Consumption
Ultrasound technology provides possibility to develop low power consumption ultrasonic flow meters. This features plays an important role in ultrasonic water meter and ultrasonic heat meter. With a built-in 3.6V battery, they can work for 6-10 years.
12. Easy Portable Flow Measurement
Thanks to low power consumption and clamp on measurement way, portable ultrasonic flow meter is developed accordingly. The portable flow meters provide much convenience for flow test and flow survey. It is a powerful tool.
13. 3 Types Flow Sensors Optional
Nearly all of flow meters only have 1 or 2 type flow sensors optional: inline flow meter or insertion flow meters. But ultrasonic flow meters can support 3 types of flow sensors.Complete facilities can ensure enough your reselling business and make you gain more orders.
14.HVAC Energy Management, Reduce Your Cost
Our ultrasonic flow meters provide advanced and precision energy measurement and widely used for water energy monitor in HVAC management. The combination of clamp on flow and RTD products a clamp on energy measurement and doesn’t need to damage pipe. High accuracy and stable performance can help to reduce your energy cost.
15. Low Cost Ownership
Many users may have a first impression that advanced flow meter always has a high price. The first investigation may be higher than mechanical flow meters. But plus installing fee, life span and maintenance, its total cost is not higher, even lower.
As a key player, we have been working hard to lower price of ultrasonic flowmeters. After tens of years, we are proud to announce that we have done it. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.
Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Flow Meters
Clamp on ultrasonic flow meters are not completely perfect and also have several disadvantages. The main one is it has a higher requirement of pipe condition. The following are listed for reference:
- a. Can’t measure cement/concrete pipe or pipe with such material lining.
- b. If pipe is seriously rusted, especially inner wall rusting, clamp on meter may not work well.
- c. If pipe contains bubbles or holes in it, clamp on meter may not work well.
But users don’t need to worried about it. If clamp on meter can’t do it, our insertion and inline ultrasonic flowmeters can be a better solution.
There isn’t a flow meter which can meet all of applications and ultrasonic flow meter is no exceptional. Users should do a right selection as the actual situation. But if possible, it is better to select digital flow meter without moving parts, e.g. ultrasonic flowmeter.