In many industrial processes, the flow of fluid through a pipeline requires consistent measurement and monitoring. One device that is capable of this function is a variable area flow meter. It measures the volume flow of gas and liquid. The working mechanism of a variable area flow meter consists of a float freely moving inside a tube. The tube has a scale outside, which is simple to read. Variable area flow meters have been around for at least two centuries and continue to be one of the most useful types of flow meters used in various fields today.
The benefits of using a variable area flow meter
There are many reasons why industrial customers prefer simple rotameters over other types of flow meters. Some of the advantages of using a variable area flow meter include:
- Variable area flow meters do not require a power source to work. It is a mechanical device that is suitable for hazardous applications or in areas where it is not feasible to add a power supply.
- Process control engineers can easily read the measurement while at the same time have a glimpse of the condition of the process. For example, you can check through the flow meter if the fluid is already cloudy or dirty and, hence, be able to take the necessary actions right away.
- A variable area flow meter is economical and guarantees a low-cost installation. It can work in combination with other kinds of flow meters to form part of a system, while at the same time keep the cost down.
- Variable area flow meters do not require complicated installation techniques. These are also easy to maintain.
- When subject to consistent conditions, a variable area flow meter provides accurate measurements and unlimited repeatability.
These features make variable area flow meters one of the most vital kinds of flow meter available in the market today.
Applications for variable area flow meters
Diverse applications ranging through different industries use variable area flow meters for process control and monitoring. Here are specific examples:
- Boiler control. Commercial and residential grade boilers use variable area flow meters to measure gas and fluid inside the tank.
- Offshore oil rigs. Oil rigs operating offshore are subject to adverse conditions. Variable area flow meters are typically used in injecting fluids for lubrication and preventing corrosion during oil extraction. Variable area flow meters also contribute to monitoring the yield and control other pertinent processes.
- Rotary equipment. Large machinery used in industrial applications requires lubrication and coolants to operate safely. In these instances, a variable area flow meter made of a metal tube monitors the flow of coolant and lubricant.
Aside from these examples, there are many other viable uses for variable area flow meters in industrial process monitoring and control. Although there have been many advancements since variable area flow meters first became available, there is no doubt that these simple devices remain one of the most effective and cost-effective types of flow measurement device trusted by engineers and experts across different sectors.