At the most basic level, flow measurement devices enhance industrial applications by improving safety and quality. Such equipment also provides additional benefits, including environmental conservation, streamlined process development, and minimization of risk of error.
Precise flow measurement provides a range of benefits, but different media, such as gas, liquid, or steam, call for different tools; therefore, choosing the right type of flowmeter for your project is essential to its success.
Steam, or vaporized liquid, is an essential part of many industrial processes such as power plants and district heating. It can be difficult to measure with precise accuracy because of its sensitivity to temperature and pressure, and is often broken up into three sub-categories: wet steam, saturated steam, and superheated steam.
Despite the sensitive properties of steam, certain tools and measurement resources can provide effective results. Steam flow measurement is commonly recorded through two tools:
- Differential Pressure (dP) Flowmeters — dP flowmeters are comprised of a differential pressure flow transmitter and a primary element, the latter of which forms a beneficial blockage in the flow stream. This flow stream constriction results in a reduction in the pressure that is downstream from the primary element. The dP flowmeter then computes flow rate by sensing the change in pressure downstream and upstream from the primary element.
- Vortex Meters — Vortex meters can operate among high pressures and temperatures characteristic of steam flow, and offer only slight pressure loss. Within the process of district heating, volumetric vortex meters work in conjunction with pressure transmitters and temperature sensors. In order to calculate mass flow, a flow computer will utilize the values created by the vortex meters.