Water/Wastewater

Measuring Changing Flow Rates – the Challenges of Pulsating Flow

Nov 27 2022

Author: Neil Hannay on behalf of Titan Enterprises Ltd

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Pulsating flow systems can be seen in process applications where the velocity profile of the flow undergoes dramatic cycling changes as compared to normal steady flow conditions. Such conditions are common in blood flow monitoring, medical, and chemical dosing systems where peristaltic or diaphragm pumps are used.
Following Titan Enterprises’ published technical paper that discussed how to mitigate the effects of variation in flow velocity, here we look at the types of flow meter systems that give the best results with pulsing flow rates.
Neil Hannay, Titan’s Senior R&D Engineer, says: “Pulsations in a flow line are commonly caused by the pumping element: diaphragm, peristaltic, solenoid or piston pumps can all induce significant pressure and flow pulses.” Neil continues: “If this pulsation rate is not taken into account, errors in flow measurement will be seen. This can be most erroneous with electronic flowmeters as aliasing can occur.”

 

Compensating for Pulsating Flow

Few flow meters can measure these fluctuations accurately so removing the pulsations as near to the pump as possible is recommended to achieve the best results. Using advanced electronics, Titan’s Atrato® and Metraflow® ultrasonic flowmeters are able to accurately measure pulsating liquid flow that is less than 10Hz. To accurately measure pulsating flows above this frequency, inline pulse dampening is required to improve the effectiveness of the flow system. If it is not practical to install a damper, a length of flexible hose may reduce the undesirable effects of pulsations.

 

How Different Types of Flow Meters Compare when Faced with Pulsating Flow Conditions
Conclusions:

Pulsating flow is always challenging to measure accurately. However, with consideration of the system design and flowmeter performance characteristics, successful flow measurement is possible.
Read the Pulsating Flow article in full by visiting www.flowmeters.co.uk. Visit Titan Enterprises’ website for further information on the Atrato® and Metraflow® range of ultrasonic flowmeters or contact Titan Enterprises on +44 (0)1935 812790 or sales@flowmeters.co.uk.
 
Drawing upon over 40-years of flowmeter innovation - Titan Enterprises Ltd is a leading manufacturer of high-performance flow measurement solutions, including the Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter, Oval Gear flowmeters, low flow Turbine flow meters and a flow instrument range. Titan’s company philosophy of “pushing the envelope by trying to do things a little different and better” has resulted in sales of over 2 million flowmeters and components into 50 countries worldwide and a repeat purchase percentage of 95%. All flow meters produced by Titan Enterprises are designed and manufactured to ISO9001 and calibrated to an uncertainty of ±0.25%.

 

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