A Substance That Liquid Can Flow Through Is Called A Closer Look at the Types of Turbine Flow Meters

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A Closer Look at the Types of Turbine Flow Meters

The first turbine flow meter was invented by Reinhard Woltmann in 1790. He came up with this idea based on the need to study the reduction of velocity of water flow in open canals. Since then, turbine flow meters have seen many innovations in terms of technology. However, the original design more or less survives and is still the flow meter of choice for measuring bulk water flow. This is known as a Voltman flow meter.

Later developments in technology led to eight different types of turbine flow meters. Some flowmeters are named after the type of water wheel they are based on, while others are named after the technology. Broadly speaking, the various types of turbine flow meters currently in use are as follows:

  • Pelton wheel

Based on the original Pelton wheel used to turn turbines using flowing water, Pelton wheels have buckets attached to the outside of the wheel. When the water or liquid hits these buckets, the wheel starts to rotate. A Pelton wheel turbine flowmeter has a similar setup in a more compact frame and is used to measure the flow of low viscosity liquids that flow at low velocities.

  • Paddle wheel

Paddle wheel flow meters are again based on the water wheel design. These types of flowmeters have shafts that are positioned at right angles to the flow of the stream. The shafts are attached to a lightweight paddle wheel that rotates as the current moves the shaft. The speed of rotation of the paddle wheel is proportional to the speed of the fluid flow. Paddle wheel flow meters are more effective for low-speed flow.

  • Propeller

Propeller flowmeters are based on the principle of propeller turbines, which are used in hydroelectric power generation. Invented by Forrest Nagler in 1916, the propeller turbine has three to six blades and resembles the wooden propellers found on boats. The blades are fixed and rotate around a central axis. A major advantage of propeller flowmeters is their shorter blades, making them more resistant to debris damage. They are very low cost and do not require any power supply to measure the flow rate.

  • Woltman

Woltmann meters are the first turbine flow meters to be invented and are widely used in municipal and industrial water applications for the measurement of bulk water flow rates. These meters give highly accurate readings as their axis is aligned with the direction of flow.

  • Single jet

Single jet flowmeters have a set of blades that are directly in the flow path or in the water jet in the pipe. A stream or jet is created using an orifice. These types of meters are mainly used for billing in residential and commercial water supply operations.

  • Multi-jet

Based on the same principle as single jet flowmeters, multi-jet flowmeters direct water through multiple holes onto blades so that they rotate around a central axis. Multi-jet water meters are also used for residential and commercial water supply billing purposes.

  • compound

A compound flow meter is a cross between a regular turbine flowmeter and a positive displacement meter. It has both turbine and positive displacement elements. When the flow rate is high, it is measured by the rotation speed of the turbine. On the other hand low flow rate is calculated using displacement factor. This type of hybrid meter is widely used to measure water flow rates in apartment buildings that have varying day and night flows.

  • Axial

An axial flowmeter has a turbine or rotor that rotates around the axis of the flow, hence the name. These meters are mainly used to measure the flow of petroleum products, industrial liquids and gases. Depending on the substance for which they are used, axial flow meters have different designs for liquids and gases.

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