Vortex Flow Meter Measurement

The principle on which the vortex flow meter is based was observed by Theodor van Karman, a Hungarian scientist, while he was hiking. He was watching a river and saw that when a rock was in the way of the flow the water creates vortices on both side of the body as it passed the rock, he observed the same effect in the relationship between the wind a flag or rather the rippling of the flag, but you can see the same effect nearly everywhere, for example bridges, pliers, platform supports in water. This phenomenon is taken in account when designing such buildings, although a vortex flow meter installed I a pipe can’t cause any harm. In 1912 he developed a mathematical expression of this observed phenomenon. The trail of these passing vortices was named after him as Von Karman vortex street.

This observation developed into the idea of vortex flow meter measurement method. This product is installed in the pipe in which a liquid, gas or steam of flowing. Inside the vortex meter there is a bluff body placed, since we already know that an obstruction in the flow creates vortices there is a sensor downstream which will count the number of these vortices. This mechanical sensor is able to withstand to pipe born vibrations up to 1G, temperature shocks and pressure changes thus making the reading highly accurate and reliable. The reading, or rather the keeping of count of these vortices is the most important feature since the distance between two consecutive vortices corresponds to a defined volume of fluid. So counting the vortices that pass gives you the total flow. A high velocity corresponds to a high frequency of measured vortices. The situation of low velocity of the liquids can be countered by installing a vortex flow meter with a reduced cross section. Don’t worry this doesn’t change the accuracy of the measurements.

You can always upgrade your flow meter with adding a built in computer leads to the ability of calculating temperature dependant mass or energy flow. This feature is usually added I case of handling saturated steam and gasses. In case of water a simple vortex flow meter will do the trick.

Flow vortex meters have a wide range of utility in several industries: food& beverages, oil refineries, chemical industry, water and waste water, paper& pulp, fuels, industrial liquids, solvents, agriculture, irrigation, steams, heating systems and so on since the list would take up more room than the article itself.