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FlowMeter

TurbineFlowmeter

GasTurbineRotor

SteamFlow

Turbine Flow Meter Working Principle


FlowMeasurement December30,2015

Brief Summary: The flowmeter is a volumetric measuring turbine type. The flowing fluid
engagesthevanedrotorcausingittorotateatanangularvelocityproportionaltothefluidflow
rate.Theangularvelocityoftherotorresultsinthegenerationofanelectricalsignal(ACsine
wave type) in the pickup. The summation of the pulsing electrical signal is related directly to
totalflow.Thefrequencyofthesignalrelatesdirectlytoflowrate.Thevanedrotoristheonly
movingpartoftheflowmeter.

TurbineFlowMeter
TheTurbineflowmeter(axialturbine)wasinventedbyReinhardWoltmanandisanaccurate
and reliable flow meter for liquids and gases. It consists of a flow tube with end connections
andamagneticmultibladedfreespinningrotor(impeller)mountedinsideinlinewiththeflow.
Therotorissupportedbyashaftthatrestsoninternallymountedsupports.
The Supports in Process Automatics Turbine Flow Meters are designed to also act as flow
straightners, stabilizing the flow and minimizing negative effects of turbulence. The Supports
alsohousetheuniqueopenbearingsallowingforthemeasuredmediatolubricatethebushes
prolongingtheflowmeterslifespan.TheSupportsarefastenedbylockingrings(circlips)on
eachend.

The rotor sits on a shaft ,which in turn is suspended in the flow by the two supports. As the
mediaflows,aforceisappliedontherotorwings.Theangleandshapeofthewingstransform
the horizontal force to a perpendicular force, creating rotation. Therefore, the rotation of the
rotorisproportionaltotheappliedforceoftheflow.Becauseofthis,therotorwillimmediately
rotateassoonasthemediainducesaforwardforce.Astherotorcannotturnthruthemediaon
itsown,itwillstopassoonasthemediastops.Thisensuresanextremelyfastresponsetime,
makingtheTurbineFlowMeteridealforbatchingapplications.
A pickup sensor is mounted above the rotor. When the magnetic
blades pass by the pickup sensor, a signal is generated for each
passingblade.Thisprovidesapulsedsignalproportionaltothespeed
oftherotorandrepresentspulsespervolumetricunit.andassuchthe
flowratetoo.
Advantages&Disadvantages
Thecostismoderate.Verygoodatclean,lowviscosityfluidsofmoderatevelocityandasteady
rate.Turndownisverygoodasitcanreadverylowcomparedtothemaximumflow.Theyare
reliable if put in a clean fluid especially if it has some lubricity. AGA and API approved for
custody transfers. They do cause some pressure drop where that may be a factor such as
gravityflows.Notreliableforsteam.Bearingswearout.
Applications
In order of magnitude from largest to smallest, these are used in oil and gas, water and
wastewater, gas utility, chemical, power, food and beverage, aerospace, pharmaceutical,
metalsandmining,andpulpandpaper.
CautionsforTurbineFlowmeters
Turbineflowmetersarelessaccurateatlowflowratesduetorotor/bearingdragthatslowsthe
rotor.Makesuretooperatetheseflowmetersaboveapproximately5percentofmaximumflow.
Turbine flowmeters should not be operated at high velocity because premature bearing wear
and/ordamagecanoccur.Becarefulwhenmeasuringfluidsthatarenonlubricatingbecause

bearing wear can cause the flowmeter become inaccurate and fail. In some applications,
bearing replacement may need to be performed routinely and increase maintenance costs.
Application in dirty fluids should generally be avoided so as to reduce the possibility of
flowmeterwearandbearingdamage.Insummary,turbineflowmetershavemovingpartsthat
aresubjecttodegradationwithtimeanduse.
Abrupt transitions from gas flow to liquid flow should be avoided because they can
mechanically stress the flowmeter, degrade accuracy, and/or damage the flowmeter. These
conditionsgenerallyoccurwhenfillingthepipeandunderslugflowconditions.Twophaseflow
conditionscanalsocauseturbineflowmeterstomeasureinaccurately.
AlsoRead:FlowSwitchWorkingAnimation

POSTED BY S BHARADWAJ REDDY