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Flowmeter Selection Guide


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Flowmeter element Recommended Service Rangeability Pressure Loss Typical Accuracy, percent Required Upstream pipe, diameters Viscosity effect Relative Cost
Orifice Clean, dirty liquids; some slurries 4 to 1 Medium ±2 to ±4 of full scale2 10 to 30 High Low
Wedge Slurries and Viscous liquids 3 to 1 Low to medium ±0.5 to ±2 of full scale 10 to 30 Low High
Venturi tube Clean, dirty and viscous liquids; some slurries 4 to 1 Low ±1 of full scale 5 to 20 High Medium
Flow nozzle Clean and dirty liquids 4 to 1 Medium ±1 to ±2 of full scale 10 to 30 High Medium
Pitot tube Clean liquids 3 to 1 Very low ±3 to ±5 of full scale 20 to 30 Low Low
Elbow meter Clean, dirty liquids; some slurries 3 to 1 Very low ±5 to ±10 of full scale 30 Low Low
Target meter Clean, dirty viscous liquids; some slurries 10 to 1 Medium ±1 to ±5 of full scale 10 to 30 Medium Medium
Variable area Clean, dirty viscous liquids 10 to 1 Medium ±1 to ±10 of full scale None Medium Low
Positive Displacement Clean, viscous liquids 10 to 1 High ±0.5 of rate3 None High Medium
Turbine Clean, viscous liquids 20 to 1 High ±0.25 of rate 5 to 10 High High
Vortex Clean, dirty liquids 10 to 1 Medium ±1 of rate 10 to 20 Medium High
Electromagnetic Clean, dirty viscous conductive liquids and slurries 40 to 1 None ±0.5 of rate 5 None High
Ultrasonic (Doppler) Dirty, viscous liquids and slurries 10 to 1 None ±5 of full scale 5 to 30 None High
Ultrasonic(Time-of-travel) Clean, viscous liquids 20 to 1 None ±1 to ±5 of full scale 5 to 30 None High
Mass(Coriolis) Clean, dirty viscous liquids; some slurries 10 to 1 Low ±0.4 of rate None None High
Mass (Thermal) Clean, dirty viscous liquids; some slurries 10 to 1 Low ±1 of full scale None None High
Weir (V-notch) Clean, dirty liquids 100 to 1 Very low ±2 to ±5 of full scale None Very Low Medium
Flume (Parshall) Clean, dirty liquids 50 to 1 Very low ±2 to ±5 of full scale None Very low Medium

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