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Flowmeter Selection (Ref: Fluid Flow Measurement - A Practical Guide to Accurate Flow Measurement by E.L.

Upp)
Flow meter type
Orifice Plate
(CONCENTRIC)
Orifice Plate
(ECCENTRIC)
Orifice Plate
(SEGMENTAL)
Orifice Plate
(QUADRANT EDGE)

Type of
measurement

Typical Rangeability
(Turndown Ratio)

Accuracy
(of Full Scale)

Straight Pipe
Requirements

3:1 to 4:1

0.25% to 1%

UP: 10D to 40D


DOWN: 2D to 6D

> 10,000

60% to 65%

2" to 40"

2" to 40"

Performance affected by edge and tap wear 3/1


to 4/1 range, high pressure loss, subject to Well-established, same readout on all sizes
upstream conditions

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 2%

UP: 10D to 40D


DOWN: 2D to 6D

> 10,000

60% to 65%

2" to 40"

2" to 40"

Performance affected by edge and tap wear 3/1


users confidence, wide capacity with plate
to 4/1 range, high pressure loss, subject to
changes, no calibration, easy to install, low
upstream conditions

Sq Root
Volumetric
Sq Root
Volumetric
Sq Root
Volumetric
Sq Root

Permanent
Pressure Loss

Pipe Sizes

Pipe Sizes

Inches (Liq)

Inches (Gas)

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 2 %

> 10,000

60% to 65%

2" to 40"

2" to 40"

Performance affected by edge and tap wear 3/1


to 4/1 range, high pressure loss, subject to
upstream conditions

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 2%

UP: 10D to 40D


DOWN: 2D to 6D

> 10,000

60% to 65%

2" to 40"

2" to 40"

Performance affected by edge and tap wear 3/1


to 4/1 range, high pressure loss, subject to
upstream conditions

3:1 to 4:1

0.25% to 1%

Same as Orifice Plate

> 10,000

60% to 65%

< 2"

< 2"

Volumetric
Square Root
Volumetric

Venturi Tube

Sq Root
Volumetric

3:1 to 4:1

Flow Nozzle

Sq Root
Volumetric

3:1 to 4:1

Sq Root
Volumetric

3:1 to 4:1

Elbow meter

Sq Root
Volumetric

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 4%

Dall Tube

Sq Root
Volumetric

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 1.5%

UP: 5D to 30D
DOWN: 2D to 5D

Target Meter

Square Root
Volumetric

1% to 3%

UP: 10D to 40D


DOWN: 2D to 6D

3:1 to 20:1

0.5% to 1.5%

UP: 10D to 20D


DOWN: 2D to 5D

> 100,000

30% to 35 %

0.5% to 1.5%

UP: 10D to 40D


DOWN: 2D to 6D

> 10,000

Low

1% to 5%

UP: 20D to 30D


DOWN: 5D
UP : 10 D
DOWN: 5D

> 4000

Very low

Linear volumetric

10:1 to 20:1

Velocity Meter
Magnetic Flowmeter
Linear volumetric
Velocity Meter
Turbine Flowmeter Linear volumetric

20:1 to 100:1
10:1 (Liq)
50:1 (Gas)

Positive
Displacement Meter Volumetric Meter
Ultrasonic

Coriolis Type

Thermal Dispersion
Variable Area
(Rotameter)

Velocity Meter
Volumetric
Mass Meter
Linear
Logarithmic
Mass Meter
Linear Volumetric

Note:
1. Special materials required
2. The Guru says it should be from 2" to 30" for both liquid and gas.

20 :1 (Liq)
250 : 1 (Gas)

0.5% to 1.5%

UP: 25D
DOWN: 5D

2" to 30"
> 1"

2" to 60"
> 1"

More used for cases where high repeatibility is


required than high accuracy

> 10,000

Very low

2" to 30"

2" to 42"

Very low

2" to 60"
(note 2)

2" to 60"
(note 2)

> 100

Low

1/2" to 4"

Low

1/2" to 8"

No limit

0.1 to 2% o.r.
0.1 to 2% o.r.

UP: 3D
DOWN: 2D

>100 or
>1000

High

No limit

None

No limit

High

1/16" to 6"

5000

None

Up to 100"

0.1% to 3%

None

100:1

1% to 5%

UP: 10D to 20D


DOWN: 5D

0.5% to 5%

None

Temp

Pressure

Limit (C)

Limit (Bar)

(Note 1)

500

cost, no limits on materials, no power,


required

> 3000 (Liq)


>10000 (Gas)

None

Same as Orifice Plate

High

2" to 30"

Same as
Orifice
Plate
(Note 1)

High capacity, same readout for all sizes, no


sharp edges, self cleaning, low pressure
loss

(Note 1)

Low cost for installation and operation


Low DP, same readout for all sizes

2" to 30"

1/8" to 24"

Good

1/2" to 8"

Pressure tap orientation


depends on pipe orientation
and Fluid

Use for fluid containing solid material or


foreign particles(dirty fluid and two phase
flows

Pressure and/or temperature

ISO 5167, ANSI/ASME

Useful for fluids containing solid materials

compensation may be required

MCF 3M, ANSI/API 2530

AGA3

Same as Orifice Plate

Same as Orifice Plate

600

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, dirty liquid


viscous liquid, slurry

Same as orifice plate

AGA3, ANSI/API 2530,


ISO 5167

Pressure tap orientation


depends on pipe orientation
and Fluid

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, steam viscous


liquid, dirty liquid

Same as orifice plate

AGA3, ANSI/API 2530,


ISO 5167

AGA3, ANSI/API 2530,


ISO 5167

(Note 1)

Bidirectional; no effect from density or


viscosity

(Note 1)

Clean liquids, dirty liquids, slurries

(Note 1)

Pressure tap orientation


depends on pipe orientation
and Fluid

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, dirty liquid,


viscous liquid, slurry

Same as orifice plate

(Note 1)

Zero may need adjustment in


vertical position

Clean liquid, dirty liquids, viscous liquid


clean gas, dirty gas

Viscosity affects performance


below critical reynolds number

Clean liquids, clean Gas, steam

Indicates zero flow below cut-off

ANSI/ASME MFC 6M

Water or any conductive liquids

AC design may give better


performance on some slurries

ISO 6817

400

250

250

150

500

3000

2" to 12"

High rangeability, Able to measure very


For large sizes (above 10"), meters are heavy
small flows with good accuracy; Does not
and relatively expensive and high mainenance
need straighteners.

250

50

No pressure drop, installation simple and


inexpensive, high rangeability, no moving
parts

200

200

1/16" to 6" Available up to 6" only; If volume measurement Can be used on liquids, slurries, gases and

400

400

Up to 100" Useful for research applications.Not practical yet. Performance can be affected by build-up on
sensors; requires frequent cleaning

300

Ambient

No special upstream piping required

Same as Orifice Plate

Clean liquid, gas

2" to 30"

desired, conversion via analysis or density at 2-phase liquids and gas flows. Can handle
base condition required; Pressure loss high
highly varying density or phase mixtures

Same as Orifice Plate

Used for control with stable


flow rates

High maintenance cost; on gas, sensitve to Wide temperature and pressure operating
density and friction effects; on liquid, sensitive to
range; high frequency readout; linear
viscous effects
calibration

1/8" to 24"

Standards or
Recommended Practice

Pressure tap orientation


depends on pipe orientation
and Fluid

Electrodes must be in
horizontal. Flow should be
upward in vertical installation

Gas

Heavy or viscous fluids


Clean fluid required, upstream
piping required to condition flow

Clean liquid, HC liquid

Specific Orientation vary with


meter designs

Clean liquid, dirty liquid, viscous liquid

100

Some types require same


orientation as in calibration

Clean liquid, dirty liquid, viscous liquid


slurry, corrosive/erosive liquid, steam

Low

Can only be installed in vertical


pipe with flow up

Clean liquid, clean gas

Only small sizes available

Low

Other Considerations

Service

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, hi temperature


and cryogenic service, steam, viscous
liquid

Same as
Orifice
Plate

Low DP for normal flow; high repeatibility

Requires straightening vane / long, straightpipe, Installation is simple and costs moderate,
Not available in sizes above 8". Pulsetrain is Able to perform at low or high Reynolds
irregular, proving requires a long test time to number (effects of viscosity, pressure, temp
obtain average pulse rate
are minimal)

0.04" to 120" Up to 120" Power required for operation; high initial cost

Recommended

Orientation

No limitation on remote seal


elements

High capacity, same readout for all sizes, no


sharp edges, self cleaning, low pressure
loss

Performance affected by wear of target

0.1" to 100" 0.1" to 100"

Preferred Meter

Pressure tap orientation


depends on pipe orientation
and Fluid

Use for heavy crudes, syrups and slurries


and viscous flows

1/2" to 4"

Does not operate on hydrocarbons.

3000 (Liq)
10,000 (Gas)

20:1 to 60:1

10:1

> 10,000

UP: 10D to 20D


DOWN: 5D

UP: 10D to 20D


DOWN: 5D to 10D

Same as Venturi

Advantages

Low DP for normal flow

UP: 5 D to 10 D
DOWN: 3 D

1% to 5%

Hard to inspect, sizing must be right, expensirve


Average accuracy Needs full flow profile, limited
sampling,

> 100,000

0.2% to 2%

Over 2000 (Gas)


Over 500 (Liquid)

Same as Orifice Plate

2" up to 60" 2" up to 60"


(Note 2)
(Note 2) Hard to inspect, sizing must be right, expensirve

Velocity Meter
Vortex

Limitations

UP: 10D to 40D


DOWN: 2D to 6D

Integral

Pitot Tube
(Impact Meter)

Reynolds #

AGA 7, API 2534, ISO 2715


Subject to mechanical wear
installation requires special
consideration

Refer to API-RP-551 for Installation

Entrained Air may cause problem

ANSI/ASME MFC 11M, California


Weight and Standards Bureau

Flowmeter Selection (Ref: Fluid Flow Measurement - A Practical Guide to Accurate Flow Measurement by E.L. Upp (a.k.a. "guru" of flow)
Flow meter type

Type of

Typical

Accuracy

Straight

Reynolds

Permanent

Pipe Sizes

Pipe Sizes

measurement

Rangeability

(of Full Scale)

Pipe

Number

Pressure

Inches

Inches

Loss

(Liq)

(Gas)

(Turndown Ratio)
Orifice Plate

Requirements

Limitations

Advantages

Temp

Pressure

Preferred Meter

Recommended

Limit (F)

Limit (psig)

Orientation

Service

0.25% to 1%

Pressure tap orientation depends

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, hi temperature and

Well-established, same readout on all sizes

on pipe orientation and Fluid

cryogenic service, steam, viscous liquid

Performance affected by edge and tap wear

users confidence, wide capacity with plate

Pressure tap orientation depends

Use for fluid containing solid material or

3/1 to 4/1 range, high pressure loss, subject

changes, no calibration, easy to install, low

on pipe orientation and Fluid

foreign particles(dirty fluid and two phase flows Pressure and/or temperature

to upstream conditions

cost, no limits on materials, no power

(CONCENTRIC)
Orifice Plate

0.5% to 2%

(ECCENTRIC)

Sq Root

Orifice Plate

3 : 1 to 4 : 1

Volumetric

UP: 10D to 40D


0.5% to 2 %

> 10,000

60% to 65%

2" to 40"

2" to 40"

DOWN: 2D to 6D

(SEGMENTAL)

(Note 1)

Sq Root

No limitation on remote seal elements Useful for fluids containing solid materials

compensation may be required

required

Orifice Plate

0.5% to 2%

Use for heavy crudes, syrups and slurries

(QUADRANT EDGE)

and viscous flows

Venturi tube

Sq Root
Volumetric

Flow nozzle

UP: 5D to 30D
3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 1.5%

DOWN: ???

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 1.5%

DOWN: 2D to 6D

Sq Root
Volumetric

Pitot tube

1% to 5%

Sq Root

Dall tube

Vortex

0.5% to 4%

3:1 to 4:1

0.5% to 1.5%

DOWN: ???

3:1 to 20:1

1% to 3%

DOWN: 2D to 6D

Displacement (PD)

> 10,000

Low

2" to 30"

2" to 60"

> 4000

Very low

> 1"

> 1"

DOWN: 5D

> 10,000

Very low

> 100,000

Very low

> 100

Low

2" to 30"

2" to 42"

2" to 60"

2" to 60"

(note 2)

(note 2)

1/2" to 4"

1/2" to 4"

0.5% to 1.5%

orifice plate

> 10,000

???

1/2" to 8"

1/2" to 8"

with beta =0.7

Velocity Meter

15 :1 (Liq)

Volumetric

150 : 1 (Gas)

Upsteam
0.5% to 1%

Meter

High capacity, same readout for all sizes, no

expensirve

sharp edges, self cleaning, low pressure loss

Hard to inspect, sizing must be right,

High capacity, same readout for all sizes, no

expensirve

sharp edges, self cleaning, low pressure loss

Average accuracy

Low cost for installation and operation

Needs full flow profile, limited sampling,

Low DP, same readout for all sizes

required than high accuracy

???

Velocity Meter

flowmeter

Linear

>100 or >1000

High

straight pipe not

2" to 30"

2" to 12"

0.2% to 2%

DOWN: 3 D

Sq Root

(Note 1)

Sq Root

Installation is simple and costs moderate

pipe, Not available in sizes above 8". Pulse

Able to perform at low or high Reynolds

train is irregular, proving requires a long test

number (effects of viscosity, pressure, temp

time to obtain average pulse rate

are minimal)

For large sizes (above 10"), meters are heavy

High rangeability, Able to measure very small

and relatively expensive and high mainenance

flows with good accuracy; Does not need

flowmeter

Does not operate on hydrocarbons.


No limit

None

0.1" to 100"

???

Velocity Meter

10:1 (Liq)

Linear

50:1 (Gas)

0.25% to 3%

UP: 5 D to 10 D

3000 (Liq)

DOWN: 3 D

10,000 (Gas)

(Note 1)

Sq Root

(Note 1)

Sq Root

Thermal

2" to 30"

2" to 30"

Ultrasonic

(Note 1)

Sq Root

(Note 1)

Sq Root

750

3600

N/A

N/A

Linear Volumetric

area

viscous liquid, dirty liquid

360

750

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, dirty liquid

on pipe orientation and fluid

viscous liquid, slurry

Zero may need adjustment in

Clean liquid, dirty liquids, viscous liquid

Viscosity affects performance

vertical position

clean gas, dirty gas

below critical reynolds number

Clean liquids, clean gas, steam

Indicates zero flow below cut-

Same as orifice plate

off

Subject to mechanical wear


installation requires special

Electrodes must be in horizontal; flow Water or any conductive liquids

AC design may give better

should be upward in vertical

performance on some slurries

Wide temperature and pressure operating


-450 to + 500

3000

20:1 to 60:1

0.1% to 3%

None

No limit

High

1/16" to 6"

1/16" to 6"

UP: 10D to 20D


100:1

1% to 5%

DOWN: ???

None

20,000:1

1% to 5%

DOWN: 5D to 10D

No limit

None

Up to 120"

Up to 120"

??? (Gas)

0.5% to 5%

???

> 10000 (Gas)

???

1/8" to 24"

1/8" to 24"

???

???

???

???

???

< 2"

< 2"

UP: 10D to 20D

10:1 (Liq)

> 3000 (Liq)

Gas

calibration

desired, conversion via analysis or density at

2-phase liquids and gas flows. Can handle

base condition required; Pressure loss high

highly varying density or phase mixtures

Useful for research applications.Not practical

Performance can be affected by build-up on

yet.

sensors; requires frequent cleaning

Power required for operation; high initial cost

No pressure drop, installation simple and

Specific Orientation vary with meter


-300 to -400

inexpensive, high rangeability, no moving parts -300 to +200

Only small sizes available

3000

(Note 1)

No special upstream piping required


?

Clean liquid, dirty liquid, viscous liquid

as in calibration

slurry, corrosive/erosive liquid, steam

Clean fluid required, upstream

Clean liquid, HC liquid

piping required to condition flow

Clean liquid, clean gas

with flow up

Integral

Note:
1. Special materials required
2. The Guru says it should be from 2" to 30" for both liquid and gas.

???

???

Entrained air may cause


problem

Some types require same orientation

Can only be installed in vertical pipe


?

Clean liquid, dirty liquid, viscous liquid

designs

(Rotameter)

???

Same as orifice plate

Pressure tap orientation depends

Heavy or viscous fluids

Available up to 6" only; If volume measurement Can be used on liquids, slurries, gases and

Velocity Meter
Volumetric

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, steam

on pipe orientation and Fluid

consideration

density and friction effects; on liquid, sensitive range; high frequency readout; linear
to viscous effects

Logarithmic
Mass Meter

Pressure tap orientation depends

Same as orifice plate

Used for control with stable flow rates Clean liquids, dirty liquids, slurries

Bidirectional; no effect from density or


viscosity

High maintenance cost; on gas, sensitve to


High

Mass Meter
Linear

viscous liquid, slurry

installation

volumetric
Coriolis

Clean liquid, vapor or gas, dirty liquid

on pipe orientation and Fluid

Clean liquid, gas

volumetric
Turbine

Pressure tap orientation depends

straighteners.

UP: 5 D to 10 D
20:1 to 100:1

(Note 1)

Low DP for normal flow

Requires straightening vane/long,straight

required

Magnetic

Good

Performance affected by wear of target

Same as
10:1 to 20:1

Hard to inspect, sizing must be right,

More used for cases where high repeatibility is Low DP for normal flow; high repeatibility

UP: 10D to 40D

volumetric

Positive

(Note 2)

UP: 5D to 30D

Velocity Meter
Linear

DOWN: ???

3:1 to 4:1

Square Root
Volumetric

(Note 2)

UP : 10 D

Sq Root

Target meter

2" up to 60"

30% to 35 %

UP: 20D to 30D


3:1 to 4:1

Elbow meter

2" up to 60"
> 100,000

UP: 10D to 40D

Sq Root

(Impact Meter)

Variable

Other Considerations

???

???

Standards or
Recommended Practice

AGA3
ISO 5167
ANSI/ASME
MCF 3M
ANSI/API 2530

AGA3, ANSI/API 2530,


ISO 5167

AGA3, ANSI/API 2530,


ISO 5167

AGA3, ANSI/API 2530,


ISO 5167

ANSI/ASME MFC 6M

Refer to API-RP-551 for


installation

ISO 6817

AGA 7, API 2534, ISO 2715

ANSI/ASME MFC 11M, California


Weight and Standards Bureau