Turbine Flowmeter – Introduction, Parts, Working, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Applications


What is a Turbine Flowmeter?
Construction of the Turbine Flowmeter
Working of the Turbine Flowmeter
Turbine Flowmeter Accuracy
Accessories for the Turbine Flowmeter
What are the Advantages of the Turbine Flowmeter?
What are the Disadvantages of the Turbine Flowmeter?
Applications of the Turbine Flowmeter


Reinhard Woltman invented the turbine flowmeter. The turbine flowmeter consists of the flowing tune attached to it at the end of the connections.

At the same time, the magnetic multi-bladed spinning is also attached inside the turbine flowmeter, in line with the flow, by fastening the securing rings on each end of the turbine flowmeter.

The turbine flowmeter is attached to the measured medium, allowing oil to penetrate the brushes and extend the Flowmeter life.

The primary function of a turbine flowmeter is to align the flow, stabilize it and minimize the effects of turbulence.

What is a Turbine Flowmeter?

A turbine flowmeter is a device that helps measure volume. As the liquid or gas passes through the turbine, the blades attached to the turbine flowmeter rotate. The velocity of the turbine rotor is directly proportional to the velocity of the fluid passing through the flow meter.

Turbine flowmeters are high-accuracy measurement instruments. The turbine flowmeter works well for both liquids and gases. The blades used in the turbine flowmeter are made of material attached to magnets.

As long as the blade passes through the void, a voltage is generated by the coil. The meter’s K- factor is the number of voltages generated per unit volume.

Turbine Flowmeter
Turbine Flowmeter

Construction Of The Turbine Flowmeter

Turbine flowmeters can comprise many different types of materials, like stainless steel. The important parts of the turbine flowmeter are the rotor and the bearing, which are selected based on the measurements measured.

The main parts of the turbine flowmeter are:-
1) Turbine (Rotor, impeller, blades):-
The rotor or the turbine is supported by a shaft that rests on internally mounted support.
2) Housing:-
It is the outer cover of the turbine flowmeter.
3) Shaft:- The rotor is supported by a shaft that is internally mounted.
4) Bearing:-
The shaft rotates on bearings.
5) Pickup Sensor:-
It pickup the electric pulses generated due to the rotation of the rotor or turbine.
6) Transmitter:-
The transmitter analyzes the data sent by the pickup sensor and converts it into a digital or analog signal.
7) Straightening Vanes:-
These are used to evenly distribute stream jets across all blades.

The turbine flowmeter’s rotor is made of stainless steel. It can then be made up of materials, such as bearings and graphite; choosing the material that promotes smoothness is important. At the same time, some of the flow meters are made of materials like plastic and PVC, which could help with rust resistance.

A different part in the turbine flowmeter, referred to as an “insertion turbine meter.”, is then inserted into a pipe. This then helps to gauge the liquid or gas flow.

There is a tiny rotating component, which can be determined by how quickly the fluid moves. It must be monitored at several points in the turbine flowmeter along the pipe since it is sensitive to fluid flow.

An insertion turbine flowmeter benefits large pipes for liquid and gas because installing a regular-sized meter would be prohibitively expensive. They may be inserted into pipelines without halting the operation. They require some movement of the fluid to function and are often accurate to within 1%.

Working Of Turbine Flowmeter:-

The main function of the turbine flowmeter is to measure the volumetric flow using velocity analysyis. This is mainly done by tracking multi-bladed rotor rotational speed.
Let’s now see how the turbine flowmeter works. When liquid or gas flows through a pipeline and reaches the turbine flowmeter.
Firstly, the straightening vanes separate the main flow into jets and direct it into the blades of the turbine or rotor.
The flow of liquid or gas puts mechanical pressure on the blades of the rotor and hence the rotor starts rotating.
The larger the volume of the fluid passing through the pipe, the more mechanical pressure created and the higher the angular velocity of the rotor.
A pickup sensor is mounted near the rotor. As the magnetic blades pass the pickup sensor, a signal is generated for each passing blade.
An electric pulse is induced in the induction coil when the blade passes the pickup sensor. The value of the frequency of signals is monitored and sent to the transmitter. The frequency of such a signal is directly proportional to the flow velocity.
Then the received data is analyzed by the transmitter and then it is converted into an analog or digital signal.
The equation of turbine flow in which there is a relation between the volume flow and pulse frequency is given below:-

F = k * Q
F – It represents the number of pulses the pickup sensor detects per minute or second.
Q – Volumetric flow ( m3, gallons, liters per second )
k – Special coefficient, also known as k-factor ( for example, the number of pulses per m3 ).

Turbine Flowmeter Accuracy

The accuracy of the turbine flowmeter is generally defined as the percentage of the true volume, which measures how close the instrument is to the actual flow. 

The turbine flowmeter has a linearity tolerance band of ±0.25% over a 10:1 flow range and a ±0.15% linearity in a 6:1 range. The repeatability is from ±0.2% to ±0.02% over the linear range. The turbine flowmeter must be sized so that it can expect the average flow between 60% to 75% of the maximum capacity of the meter.

The density changes in the turbine flowmeter generally do not affect the turbine meters; however, If the density fluids are low T (SG < 0.7), the flow rate increases due to the reduced torque, but the accuracy is not affected.

Accessories For The Turbine Flowmeter

Turbine flowmeters are sensitive to turbulent upstream plumbing and swirling flow. Guidelines advise having 5 diameters of pipe after the meter and 10-15 diameters of straight pipe before it to assure reliable measurements.

Additional straight run is required if certain upstream impediments, such as elbows, filters, or valves, are present:

  • 20 diameters for elbows, tees, and more
  • 25 diameters for partially open valves
  • 50 diameters or more if flow spirals

These requirements are lowered by straightening vanes that are positioned at least five diameters before the meter.

Pressure drop across the turbine can cause cavitation or flashing, impairing precision or harming the rotor. To avoid this, the upstream pressure should be 1.25 times the vapor pressure plus twice the drop. Depending on the amount, air entrainment can have a minor effect on readings or significantly harm the rotor.

Solid particles in the fluid could damage the meter. A flushing y-strainer or motorized cartridge filter, positioned 20 diameters upstream, is required for solids greater than 100 mg/l and smaller than 75 microns. These can enhance the efficiency of the turbine flowmeter. It can also increase the durability of turbine meters.

What Are The Advantages Of The Turbine Flowmeter?

The turbine flowmeter can be used widely in many different places and industries. Thus some of the advantages are as follows:

  1. Turbine flowmeter shows the true and the most accurate measure of the flow rates. The designs accurately measure the liquid or gas clean, regular flow conditions. 
  2. A turbine flowmeter can then be typically used for the low-pressure drop across the meter, which means it does not impact the fluid’s flow; it makes it suitable for the area where the pressure of the fluid is more.
  3. A turbine flowmeter can help you to have a linear output signal which could help you a lot in the interpretation of the flow of the fluids or the gases. 
  4. When the turbine flowmeter is maintained properly, it could help you have accurate results in future, which means they are more reliable.
  5. The turbine flowmeter is easy to install and can be mounted in line with the existing piping systems. The easy process of maintaining and installing makes it more popular.

What Are The Disadvantages Of The Turbine Flowmeter?

The disadvantages of the turbine flowmeter are:

  • A turbine flowmeter might not be suitable for fluids with high viscosity or corrosive properties; this could cause damage to the system.
  • These can be less prone to the accuracy of the flow of the liquids or the gases being very high or very low.
  • The turbine flowmeter could be difficult to maintain as it is important to have great accuracy from the system. The rotating blade components in the turbine flowmeter might be damaged in the long term.
  • The turbine flowmeter records the same levels of obstacles in the flow paths, which could lead to minimizing the flow in the turbine flowmeter.
  • A bit of disturbance in the turbine flowmeter could affect the result generated from it, and it may cause irregularities along with the system failure.

Applications Of The Turbine Flowmeter

  1. Oil and gas: These can be used to inject water into the disposal wells. This also works for the testing and production of the separators.
  2. Aerospace: A turbine flowmeter can be used to measure the testing of the engine along with the fuel flow measurement. You can monitor the fuel supply to the shop engines and have a shipboard reverse osmosis system.
  3. Pharmaceutical: This can be used for sanitary measurement and as the pill coating in many different pharmaceutical places.
  4. Industry and municipal: It could be helpful in the industry, and the municipal sector, where the water can be measured, and the utility of the gas can also be recorded.
  5. Others: Turbine flowmeter can be used for food and beverage packaging.

Wrapping It Up

As you have concluded the article, I hope you have liked all the information about the turbine flowmeter.

In a nutshell, the turbine flowmeter provides more accurate results. These turbine flowmeters are used at a large scale to measure the volumes and thus benefit in testing various aircraft.

The turbine flowmeter is used to provide more precise results. A turbine flowmeter and the flow meter help utilizes the rotational motion of a turbine within the stream of the flow rate.

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