Flow Sensors

Flow Sensors

A flow sensor is a small and reliable electronic device used to measure the flow rate of liquids and gases in tubes and pipes. It monitors the amount of fluid or gas supplied. The flow sensors are mainly used in water and wastewater treatment and various industries to monitor the flow of liquids through the equipment. Nowadays, digital flow sensors with digital display units are used for flow measurement. At Cannon Water Technology, we offer the best quality flow sensors for various water and wastewater treatment applications. We source these liquid flow sensors from multiple trusted and reputed manufacturers such as Blue-White, Seametrics, Vector Industries, Pyxis, and so on, to name a few.

Importance of Monitoring or Measuring Liquid Flow in Various Applications

Monitoring and measuring liquid flow in various applications is of utmost importance for several reasons. 

  • An accurate measurement of liquid flow is critical for maintaining the efficiency and performance of industrial processes. Whether it's in manufacturing, chemical processing, or power generation, understanding and controlling fluid flow is highly imperative for guaranteeing optimal operation and avoiding costly errors or breakdowns.
  • Accurate measurement of liquid flow is critical for maintaining regulatory compliance. Various industries now have strict guidelines and standards in place to ensure environmental safety, making precise measurement of liquid flow even more relevant.
  • Yest another important aspect of monitoring and measuring liquid flow is the ability to detect and prevent potential safety hazards. For instance, in industries handling hazardous materials or in fire protection systems, monitoring the flow of liquids is of utmost necessity for ensuring proper functioning and readiness in case of emergencies. 
  • Furthermore, monitoring liquid flow provides valuable data for process optimization and troubleshooting. By continuously monitoring the flow rate and other related parameters, sectors can detect bottlenecks, leaks, or any other inefficiencies in their systems. This information enables them to make informed decisions and implement improvements that can lead to increased productivity, reduced energy consumption, and enhanced overall performance.
  • Accurate flow measurement is of utmost importance in applications that involve the transportation or distribution of liquids, such as water supply systems or oil pipelines.

How does a Flow Sensor Work?

A flow sensor features a plastic valve and a fluid rotor with a hall effect. The hall effect sensor plays a major role in the overall working of a flow sensor. For example, when the fluid flows through a plastic valve, the rotor starts rotating and changes the speed of the motor. The changing speed of the motor generates a pulse signal which is measured by the Hall Effect sensor. This is how a flow sensor measures the flow of water or any other liquid.

Types/Technologies of Fluid Flow Sensors

Liquid flow measurement sensors are categorized as following technologies. 

  • Turbine Liquid Flow Sensors: These sensors employ a rotating turbine mechanism to accurately determine the flow rate of liquids. When the liquid traverses through the sensor, it triggers the turbine blades into motion. The velocity of rotation directly corresponds to the flow rate. These sensors are commonly used in applications where high flow rates or large pipe sizes are involved, such as in the oil and gas industry.
  • Electromagnetic Liquid Flow Sensors: These sensors employ Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction to function. They utilize magnetic field and electrodes to measure the voltage generated when a liquid passes through the sensor. Renowned for their exceptional precision and dependability, these sensors are an ideal choice for industries that demand accuracy, such as pharmaceuticals and food and beverage.
  • Ultrasonic Flow Sensors: These sensors utilize ultrasonic waves to accurately gauge the velocity of liquids. They emit ultrasonic waves into the flowing liquid to analyze the travel time between two designated points and determine the flow rate. This calculation is achieved by comparing the travel times in various directions. The popularity of ultrasonic flow sensors lies in their non-intrusive nature and versatility, as they can be applied to a diverse array of liquids such as water, oil, and chemicals.
  • Thermal Liquid Flow Sensors: Heat transfer is the fundamental principle on which these sensors operate. They are composed of a heated element and a temperature sensor. The liquid, as it passes by the heated element, either absorbs or dissipates heat, which is then detected by the temperature sensor. By analyzing the temperature difference, these sensors have the capability to accurately determine the flow rate.

Features of Fluid Flow Rate Sensors

At Cannon Water Technology, we offer a comprehensive selection of high-quality liquid flow sensors that are designed to provide accurate and reliable measurements, owing to their unique features as listed below: 

  • Our liquid flow sensors are capable of measuring flow rates ranging from very low to high flow rates. 
  • We offer liquid flow sensors that work on various operating principles, such as turbine, magnetic, and ultrasonic. 
  • Our liquid flow sensors are designed to provide precise and repeatable measurements, ensuring that you can rely on their accuracy for critical applications.
  • They are designed for easy installation and integration into existing systems. They come with mounting options that facilitate quick and hassle-free installation.
  • Our fluid flow rate sensors can be used with a wide range of liquids, including water, chemicals, oils, fuels, and more. They are compatible with different liquid viscosities and can handle various flow conditions.
  • Depending on your requirements, our liquid flow sensors offer various output options, such as analog, and digital. 
  • Our liquid flow rate sensors are built to withstand challenging operating conditions. They are made from durable materials and designed to resist corrosion, pressure, temperature variations, and other environmental factors.
  • Our liquid flow sensors meet stringent industry standards and certifications, ensuring their reliability and performance. 

Applications of Flow Sensors in Water and Wastewater Treatment Industries

Many of our flow sensor models are used in various drinking water production and distribution systems and collection and recovery systems. The following are a few common applications of flow sensors in water treatment applications.

  • Water acquisition: Flow sensors are used for managing the surface and ground level water intake for proper pump operation. 
  • Water filtration and clarification: Water flow is monitored using flow sensors to adjust the delivery of coagulants for water filtration. Consistent flow measurement also helps set effective backwash filtration cycles. 
  • Water treatment and disinfection: Water treatment and disinfection are performed in both the water and wastewater treatment industries. Disinfectants, fluoride, corrosion inhibitors, and pH adjustment chemicals are added to improve water quality. In addition, the flow sensors are used to measure the flow of liquids to ensure the correct dosage disbursement. 
  • Water Delivery: Water delivery is measured by city water resources or water authorities for various reasons. This is achieved using various types of flow sensors.

The following are a few common applications of flow sensors in wastewater treatment applications - 

Collection: This is the first step in the water recovery process, where the water flow from lift stations and sewage flow is measured using flow meters. This flow measurement is performed to determine the quality of water being pumped. 

Aeration: Aeration basins are commonly used in wastewater treatment plants to grow microorganisms that treat wastewater. Flow sensors are used to measure the flow of air that helps maintain a proper aeration stage. 

Dosage: Wastewater is treated using various chemicals before being released into the water sources. This treatment is usually done using chemicals like pH adjusters, dechlorinating agents, chlorine, and so on. Flow sensors are used to measure corrosive chemicals and compensate for the change in pressure due to fluctuating levels of chemicals in the tank.

Discharge: Monitoring the flow of water discharge is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory laws.

Guidelines on The Installation and Calibration of Liquid Flow Sensors

Installing and calibrating a liquid flow sensor requires careful attention to detail and adherence to specific guidelines. A few steps to be followed include: 

  1. Begin by selecting the appropriate location for installing the flow sensor. Consider factors such as accessibility, suitability for the liquid, and proximity to the flow source. 
  2. Prepare the installation area by cleaning it thoroughly and removing any debris or obstructions that could interfere with the flow sensor's performance. Ensure that the pipe or tubing is properly prepared and free from damage or irregularities.
  3. Carefully mount the flow sensor using the provided brackets or compatible mounting options. Ensure that it is securely fastened and aligned properly with the flow direction. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding mounting orientation and any necessary supports.
  4. Ensure that the flow sensor is properly connected to the fluid circuit using suitable fittings, adapters, or connectors. Use the correct size and type of connections to minimize any potential leakage or pressure losses.
  5. Once the flow sensor is installed, calibrate the sensor to ensure accurate measurements. Refer the manufacturer's instructions to see the specific calibration procedure.
  6. Set up the necessary equipment for calibration, such as a reference flow meter. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding the calibration fluid, flow rate, and duration of the calibration process.
  7. Compare the measurements from the flow sensor to the calibrated reference during the calibration process. Make necessary adjustments to the flow sensor as per the manufacturer's instructions.
  8. Ensure that the calibration process is completed successfully and that the flow sensor readings are within the acceptable range of accuracy. Repeat the calibration process periodically or as recommended by the manufacturer. 
  9. Finally, document the installation and calibration details for future reference. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Liquid Flow Sensors

  • Are your liquid flow rate sensors compatible with different types of fluids?

Yes, many sensors available with us are versatile and compatible with different types of liquids, including chemicals, water, oils, and fluids. Ensure to choose the sensor that is compatible with the liquid used in the process. 

  • How accurate are liquid flow sensors in your collection?

The accuracy of sensors would depend on the model and type. Many sensors offer accuracy within a few percentage points; however, many precision models assure high accuracy. 

  • Can liquid flow sensors be used with different pipe sizes?

Yes, we provide liquid flow sensors to accommodate various flow rates and pipe sizes. Hence, proper sizing, as well as installation are needed for accurate measurements. 

  • Are fluid flow sensors compatible with corrosive liquids?

Some flow sensors in our collection are compatible with corrosive liquids. However, we recommend you to check the sensor’s construction and material. If you are unsure about either of these, feel free to contact our team today. 

  • Can liquid flow sensors be installed in any orientation?

No, because the orientation can affect the reading. Hence, we recommend you to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for orientation and proper installation. 

  • Can I use these liquid flow sensors for outdoor applications?

If you plan to use these sensors for outdoor applications then focus on the appropriate Ingress Protection (IP) rating. This rating helps determine the reliability of sensors in outdoor settings.