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 General Guidelines for Flow Meter Selection
 

Flow
Meter

Recommended
Service

Turndown

Typical
Pressure
Loss

Typical
Accuracy

FS = Full Scale

Required
Upstream
pipe,
diameters

Effects from changing viscosity?

Turbine

Clean, viscous liquids

20 to 1

High

+/- 0.25% of rate

5 to 10

High

Positive
Displacement

Clean, viscous liquids

10 to 1

High

+/- 0.5% of rate

None

High

Electromagnetic
(Mag-Meter)

Clean, dirty, viscous, conductive liquids and slurries

40 to 1

None

+/- 0.5% of rate

5

None

Variable Area
(VA, Rota-meter)

Clean, dirty, viscous liquids

10 to 1

Medium

+/- 1 to 10% FS

None

Medium

Thermal Mass Flow (TMF)

Clean dirty viscous liquids some slurries

10 to 1

Low

+/- 1% FS

None

None

Coriolis Mass Meter

Clean, dirty. viscous liquids, some slurries

10 to 1

Low

+/- 0.5% of rate

None

None

Orifice Plate

Clean, dirty, liquids some
slurries

4 to 1

Some

+/- 2 to 4% FS

10 to 20

High

Pitot tube

Clean liquids

3 to 1

Very low

+/- 3 to 5% FS

20 to 30

Low

Ultrasonic
(Doppler)

Dirty, viscous, liquids and
slurries

10 to 1

None

+/- 5% FS

5 to 30

None

Ultrasonic
(Transit Time)

Clean, viscous, liquids some dirty liquids (depending on brand)

40  to 1

None

+/- 1 to 3% FS

10

None

Venturi 

Some slurries but clean, dirty and liquids with high viscosity

4 to 1

A little

+/- 1% FS

5 to 18

High

Vortex

Clean, dirty liquids

10 to 1

Medium

+/- 1% of rate

10 to 20

Medium

The recommendations made above are for general use, under typical conditions only. 

For additional information and/or assistance selecting a flow meter for your specific application,
Call the Flow Experts at Cross Instrumentation...  (866) 905-9788

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