Function of vortex flow meters

Before we can talk about the function of vortex flow meters we need to know at least what one is. So as a definition I would say that the vortex flow meter measures the vibrations of the vortexes created by a bluff body that is placed in a moving steam. The vortexes are created on the side of the body and there the fluid velocity is higher while the pressure is low. But in a simpler way it measures the rate at which liquids, gasses flow.

Throughout the years several flow meters have been invented, these are the mechanical, vortex, magnetic and ultrasound meters. The mechanical is the most basic one, since it is the easier to use and install while the ultrasonic flow meter is the most recent one and it offers the most reliable, accurate and precision based measurements.

The flow meters can be categorized in five major types: Liquid Flow Meters, Vortex Flow Meters, Paddle Wheel Flow Meters and Piston Flow Meters. You may wonder how come something that measures the same thing and is mostly sir in other functions as well have this many categories. Each one of these categories, or rather the flow meters have slightly different purpose, usage and outcome. For example paddle wheel flow meters are usually found in irrigation systems, piston flow meters are used with corrosive liquids, liquid flow meters are installed on pipes and cooling systems and last but not least the vortex flow meters are commonly used for water (or other liquids) and gasses.

Let’s talk about the vortex flow meters a bit more in depth. As I said it is used for liquids and gasses by placing an object in the way of the flow. It is usually a shredder bar. Hence the alternative name of vortex shedding flow meter. As Theodore van Karman initially observed that when an object is in the way the liquid will create vortices on the side of the object, and it will flow either up or down the vortex flow meter. The vortices move speed is dependent on the flow rate of the liquid. Their main function is to measure volume flow, and it is usually calculated by using a computer or other machine. The volume flow is measured by pressure and temperature readings.

So the function of the vortex flow meter is the same for all meters in general, give an accurate reading of what it measures.