Turbine flow meter advantages and disadvantages

A turbine flow meter is a widely used tool for measuring the rate of flow of a given fluid. It works on the principle that a turbine or a device similar to it rotates in a constant rate when a fluid is passing through it. Any kind of measurement device affixed to it can measure the given rate of flow to provide the required reading. There are various kinds of flow meters, but each has its given set of advantages and disadvantages. The turbine flow meter advantages and disadvantages will be outlined presently in this article.

The principle of operation of a turbine flow meter is very simple, albeit highly effective. It works on the premises that any fluid passing through an orifice is bound to have a force with which it works. This force is made use of in order to carry out the necessary measurements. It is a very simple operative. As long as the fluid has enough force to rotate a turbine affixed inside the flowing tube, it can plot as well. The turbine is of course made so that its diameter is slightly lower than the diameter of the pipe in which it is operating. This makes the resistance it might have encountered by way of friction with the walls negligible. The only force that remains is that of the flowing fluid.

The good points while lining out the turbine flow meter advantages and disadvantages are as follows-

  • The plot of the volumetric flow is continuous since the turbine is constantly rotating with a speed. Of course, it would be zero if the flow stops as well. Repeatability is a highly desirable factor in any flow meter
  • The rate of response for a turbine flow meter is quite fast (down to about a quarter of a second)
  • Accuracy is very good (about ±0.25%)
  • Rugged nature of the flow meter, allowing for daily usage
  • Modifiable to take into consideration various extra features like temperature compensation, viscosity and effects of density

Of course, not withstanding all these advantages, it still has some disadvantages as well. The bad points while lining out the turbine flow meter advantages and disadvantages are-

  • Expensive to set up with all options
  • The lower end can accumulate viscosity, resulting in loss of accuracy although that can be compensated for by use of jewelled pivot and low drag fluidbearings
  • The solids mixed in the fluid must be of negligible size to allow for the turbine to work seamlessly over a large period of time
  • Application of flow straighteners are highly desirable in case of uneven flow of fluid

Of course, the efficiency of whole setup is, at the end dependant on the expertise of those operating.