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Importance of Flow Meter Turndown Ratio

Flow Meter Turndown Ratio

When specifying a flowmeter, accuracy is a necessary requirement, but it is also essential to select a flowmeter with sufficient range for the application.

‘Turndown’ or ‘turndown ratio’, ‘effective range’ or ‘rangeability’ are all terms used to describe the range of flowrates over which the flowmeter will work within the accuracy and repeatability of the tolerances.

Also Read : Importance of Flow Meter Accuracy

Flow meter Turndown Ratio

Example :

A particular steam system has a demand pattern as shown in below Figure. The flowmeter has been sized to meet the maximum expected flowrate of 1 000 kg/h.​

Flow Meter Turndown Problems

The turndown of the flowmeter selected is given as 4:1. i.e. The claimed accuracy of the flowmeter can be met at a minimum flowrate of 1000 ÷ 4 = 250 kg/h.

When the steam flowrate is lower than this, the flowmeter cannot meet its specification, so large flow errors occur. At best, the recorded flows below 250 kg/h are inaccurate – at worst they are not recorded at all, and are ‘lost’.

In the example shown in Figure, ‘lost flow’ is shown to amount to more than 700 kg of steam over an 8 hour period. The total amount of steam used during this time is approximately 2700 kg, so the ‘lost’ amount represents an additional 30% of total steam use. Had the steam flowmeter been specified with an appropriate turndown capability, the steam flow to the process could have been more accurately measured and costed.

If steam flow is to be accurately metered, the user must make every effort to build up a true and complete assessment of demand, and then specify a flowmeter with:

  • The capacity to meet maximum demand.
  • A turndown sufficiently large to encompass all anticipated flow variations.

Source : spiraxsarco

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Er Krishnanunni Menon K U January 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Turn down is related to accuracy of measurement, but rangeability correspond to the capability of the instrument to measure the minimum value however accuracy will not come in picture.

Jim Weinstein January 19, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Accuracy at turndown must be stated in % of rate. If stated at % Full Scale it is totally misleading. For example accuracy of 1% full scale, at full scale is 1%. Accuracy of the same device at 10% of full scale is 10%!!


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