Difference between Different Types of Flow Meters

Here we discuss about Comparison of Different Types of Flow Meter like Magnetic flow meter, Orifice Flow Meter, Ultrasonic flow meter, Turbine Flow meter, Vortex flow meter, Coriolis flow meter, Variable area flow meter.

Comparison of Different Flow Meters

tributeTurbine Flow MeterUltrasonic Flow MeterMagnetic Flow MeterDifferential Pressure Flow MeterCoriolis Flow Meter
Working PrincipleMechanical, turbine spins with flowUltrasonic pulsesElectromagnetic inductionPressure differenceCoriolis effect
ProsHigh accuracy, wide flow range, low pressure drop, easy installationWide flow range, low maintenance, works with dirty and clean fluidsHigh accuracy, no moving parts, low maintenanceLow cost, wide range of applications, wide flow rangeVery high accuracy, handles a wide range of fluids, low maintenance
ConsNot suitable for dirty fluids, mechanical wear and tearCostly, may require regular calibrationLimited to conductive fluids, moderate to high costComplex installation, sensitive to temperature and pressure changesVery high cost, generally limited to specific flow ranges

Different Types of Flow Meters
Image Credits: toshiba

Flow Meters Specifications

Flow meterPipe/sizeGas/LiquidAccuracyIdeal for measuringPrinciple
Orifice1” – 48”Liquid/Gas1%Mass flow / velocityDiff. Pressure
Venturi6” – upLiquid/Gas0.50%Mass flow / velocityDiff. Pressure
Turbine0.5” – 2”Liquid/Gas0.30%Mass flow / velocityRotating blades produce pulses
Positive Displacement1” – 24”Liquid0.50%Mass flowTraps a specific volume
Magnetic1” – 120”Liquid0.2 – 1 %Mass flowFaraday’s Law
Ultrasonic0.5” – 48”Liquid/Gas1%Mass flowSpeed of sound
Vortex0.5” – 16”Liquid/Gas1%VelocityEddies produce pulses
Variable area0.5” – 3”Liquid/Gas1%VelocityDiff. Pressure
Coriolis2” – 150”Liquid0.50%Mass flowCoriolis principle
Pitot3” – upLiquid/Gas2%Mass flow / velocityDiff. Pressure

Note :

  1. Pipe/Size may vary from make to make, Above shared details are for reference only.
  2. For measuring Mass Flow, appropriate Temperature/Pressure compensation, Density Factors etc… to be considered in calculations of the Mass Flow, if the instrument primarily a volumetric flow measuring device.

Comparison between Turbine and Positive Displacement Flow Meters

Turbine Flow meterPositive Displacement Flow meter
Indirect measurementDirect measurement
Requires upstream/downstream straight lengthsNo straight lengths required
Affected by fluid viscosityFree from viscosity effect
For a given small range, a smaller size compared to PD meterLarger size required to achieve a given flowrate range
 Lower operating/maintenance/investment costs Higher operating/maintenance/investment costs

Credits: N Asyiddin

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3 thoughts on “Difference between Different Types of Flow Meters”

  1. we have observed in the table above ”Comparison of Flow Meters” that maximum pipe /size of coriolis flow meter is between 2” and 150” , please verify this information


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