A low flow meter is a measuring device used mainly in small-diameter piping systems to monitor the amount of flow a liquid is producing. A low flow meter can also monitor the rate of flow for a liquid that is being passed through the piping unit. These meters generally come in a variety of models, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. They can give digital readings straight from the meter’s head or transmit a signal to a reader unit located in an operator’s workstation.
A low flow meter is usually designed to control the amount of pressure the fluid in the piping system is creating. It may also work to let the operator know when a desired pressure has been either reached or is being underprovided. These warnings allow the operator to maintain consistency throughout the system.
Depending on the material being monitored, low flow meters can serve different functions. A non-invasive low flow meter is able to allow a fluid to flow freely. Other types of low flow meters create a change in the flow rate as the material passes through it. Some flow meters are even designed to detect tiny air bubbles that may be present within a material to help the meter determine the speed of the fluid being passed through it.
The reason that low flow meters are labeled "low flow” is because they are typically used in small systems. A low flow meter generally has anywhere from a nanoliter to 80 ml per minute being passed through it. These meters are not typically used in larger fluid transfer systems because of their design.
There are many different designs used in the flow meter industry. The right choice depends on the application in which the meter will be used. Considerations include the material that will be passing through, whether it’s liquid or gas material, and what the intention of the flow meter is.
If the flow meter is simply an implementation of measurement, then in most cases the model used will be referred to as an inline meter. Inline meters are placed directly in the path of the piping system. They pose no obstruction other than the spring-loaded mechanism that is used as an indicator of the speed or volume of the material passing through it.
Indirect models are also placed at junctions within the piping system. These, however, have incorporated housings that hold and protect the different measurement devices that tell the user the volume, pressure, temperature, and speed of the material being passed through. Some have alarms on them which warn the operator of a possible leak if the pressure inside the piping system suddenly drops or if a blockage causes the pressure to quickly increase.