When it comes to selecting a portable handheld ultrasonic flow meter, it can be quite overwhelming going through different options. With technology coming a long way, there are many things that need to be considered in order to make the right decision. If you are on the lookout for a handheld ultrasonic flow meter, you have come to the right place. This post aims to help you make the right decision. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that need to be considered when making the decision.
One of the most important things that need to be taken into account is budget. It influences the type of ultrasonic flow meter that you can buy. However, it is important that you do not base your decision solely on budget as there are more important factors that need to be considered. But, it does not mean that you should get the most expensive flow meter either as it would simply be a drain in your cash flow. Besides, you also have to pay for installation.
- Gas or Liquid
Another important factor which you will need to consider is whether you should get a liquid or gas flow meter. Keep in mind that ultrasonic flow meters are not suitable for multi-phase and solid medium. Thus, you are only left with liquid or gas options. Ultrasonic gas flow meters are more expensive as compared to ultrasonic liquid flow meters. Now, if the fluid is gas, you can look at other flow meters like vortex type or thermal mass. On the other hand if the fluid is liquid, you have to check to see if it is clean or contains bubbles or particles. If it is the case, you can either opt for an ultrasonic water flow meter or an ultrasonic Doppler flow meter.
- Temperature & Working Pressure
Next, you need to determine the temperature and working pressure that the ultrasonic flow meter would need to work with. Generally, working pressure is not vital for clamp on the ultrasonic flow meter as it does not make direct contact with the fluid. If the pipe is able to bear the pressure, the clamp on the flow meter should also do the trick. However, if you use an inline or insertion flow meter, you will notice it. Temperature is something that you cannot afford to overlook. Initially, flow transducers tend to have a maximum and minimum temperature limit. The flow converter will also have such a limit, especially if you notice the maximum temperature.
- Pipe Conditions
In addition to the above, you also have to consider the pipe conditions. Pipes are made of various materials such as cement, plastic, metal, and so on. It is easy to determine the pipe material. Although clamp on flow meter should work well, for concrete or cement pipes, clamp on flow meter would not get a stable signal. Therefore, it would be best to use an insertion or inline type. But, if the pipe material is barely used, it might be better to consult with the manufacturer. As for metal pipes, serious rusting a common problem that one must face. It is important to also note that some pipes even have an external coating which makes them unsuitable for ultrasound wave penetration. Clamp on meter would not be suitable under such conditions. Hence, you will need to look for any other proper installing point or can use an invasive type flow meter instead.
- Pipe Size & Transducer
Ultrasonic flow meters are available in 3 transducer types. They include incline type, insertion, and clamp on. Inline types with thread connection are better for DN20 mm or under. If the pipe size is more than DN25 mm, clamp on flow meter would work best.
As for over DN50 mm, all three types can be used. In such a case, clamp on type would be the best fit. Moreover, if the pipe size is more than DN200 mm or DN300 mm, it is not possible to use an inline type since its weight is very heavy and the shipping fee would be a lot more. Pipes of over DN65 mm can make use of insertion transducers. To install the insertion transducer without any flow stop, a hot tap tool would prove useful.
- Output, Protocol, & Data Storing
The output and protocol also need to be considered. You have to choose the M-Bus, Mod Bus protocol, frequency output, relay output, RS485/ RS232, OCT pulse, and so on. Anyone that requires wireless communication also has to look for GPRS/ GSM capabilities as well as wifi capabilities.
- Portable or Permanent
Portable and permanent handheld ultrasonic flow meters are available. Hence, you have to choose between the two. If you require a mobile flow device for measuring different pipes lines, a portable flow meter is the right choice. It comes with a built-in battery that allows you to easily move around for flow surveys and flow checks. A permanent flow meter would be best in case you need to measure a pipeline long-term.
- Power Supply
The power supply of the handheld ultrasonic flow meter is another important factor which you need to think about. There are for types of power supply options. They include solar power, battery, DC, and AC. Permanent flow meters tend to have a wide DC power or wide AC power. For low power consumption, it might be better to go with a solar power or battery power supply option. It will allow you to use it with clamp on transducers. Portable flow meters are powered by a built-in battery. The battery should last anywhere from 12 to 20 hours after which it would need to be recharged. You can even opt for more built-in battery power by getting an inline or insertion type flow meter as it would have a much bigger battery.
Once you have gone over this post, you should have no trouble selecting the right handheld ultrasonic flow meter. Make sure to consider all the factors mentioned above for the best decision.