Flow measurement, also known as gauge flow rate, is the measurement of overall fluid flow during a process. The process is usually one that does not require the use of a machine, such as in a manufacturing process. In this case, the flow is simply measured with an external device. Generally speaking, the flow is typically measured in various ways, with different types of equipment used for each type of measurement.
Generally, there are two types of flow measurement: dynamic and static. In a dynamic flow measurement, kinetic data is used to determine how fast liquid flows. The data is extracted by watching a turbine or other type of engine work, which measures the velocity and acceleration of the particles. A fixed flow meter, on the other hand, uses measurements that are not affected by motion, such as displacement. While both types are very important for determining the flow condition of certain materials, they differ in some ways.
With a fixed flow meter, it is already included in the method of measurement, which means that the accuracy is constant. However, kinetic readings will always fluctuate, which makes interpreting the data more difficult. This means that the efficiency of the device will decrease as time passes, as some of the moving parts become misaligned or lose their consistency. Also, because some of the moving parts are often sensitive to small changes, an inaccurate reading may also mean that there are problems with the device.
On the other hand, flowmeters are used when materials such as oil, gas, and other liquids flow. These materials are often sensitive to change, so accuracy is essential. Typically, flowmeters are mounted in the upstream direction of the pipeline or storage tank, which then send readings to a computer or other device. These computers allow the operator to determine the average distance and direction of the flow.
The majority of flowmeters work based on thermodynamics. Thermodynamic measurements are based on the relationship between temperature and pressure. Because temperature variation will cause a reduction in pressure, the expansion or contraction of a material will also vary according to pressure changes. The readings on a thermodynamic meter are updated as a part of the performance of the pipe or other liquid being measured.
Some flow meters are designed to operate at different temperatures. In order to measure the pressures of hot and cold pipe, or other geo technical fluids, a separate type of temperature unit is required. A volumetric flow meter is the most commonly used for this application, as its precision and accuracy rivals many types of thermometers. The flowmeter has a mass dimension, which represents the weight of the mass, while the volume dimension gives information about the amount of material in the pipe or other fluid. This means that the mass and volume measurements are not only precise, but they are consistent, as well.