Vortex Flow Meters – How They Prevent Mistakes

Vortex flow meter technology is an ideally suited technology for a number of applications, especially volumetric water applications, saturated and supersaturated steam, as well as flow energy management (steam water, compressed air, and natural gas) in large campuses and facilities. Vortex installations can be tricky in some of these applications, taking flow expertise for the most successful installations. This article discusses some useful tips for successful vortex installations and common vortex flow meter mistakes to avoid to get the most out of vortex flow meters in an application.

Vortex Flow Meter Mistakes to Avoid

Water Hammer

If pipes make a loud bang when the shower is turned on, then customers might have probably experienced the phenomenon known as water hammer. Rapid opening or closing of a valve is the most common cause of the “water hammer” phenomenon and it happens when a mass of water zooms through a pipe with enough momentum to pack a serious punch.

Often, commercial pipelines allow these “water hammers” to attain such high speeds that they can cause damage to the flow meter sensor. To alleviate water hammer, valves should be opened or closed gradually to equalize pressure in order to avoid condensation in steam systems.

Incorrect Range or Pipe Size

Vortex flow meters are highly specialized instruments, and each one of them is made-to-order according to customer application specifications, meaning an out-of-the-box meter will only work for the conditions of the original order. Generally, users cannot make any changes after installing the meter in the field. However, the software apps provided by Sierra’s InnovaMass iSeries enable customers to change variables in the field with dial-a-pipe, and adjust meter factors in-situ to fit their needs. They can also adjust their vortex meter through the local pushbutton display interface. Moreover, if they think their application may approach the maximum temperature or pressure of the meter, it is better to purchase a higher-rated meter than risk over pressurizing or overheating.

Now that users are aware of these preventable mistakes, they can think about their vortex meter installation process and specification process. If they need a refresher, they can watch the short video given below for a detailed explanation on how to avoid some of the common mistakes associated with vortex installation.

Avoid Costly Mistakes with Vortex Flow Meters


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sierra Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Sierra Instruments.


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