What Applications are Orifice Plate Flow Meters Used for

An orifice plate flowmeter is a standard flow measurement instrument. It is widely used in industrial production, environmental protection testing, scientific research experiments, and other fields. Its primary role is to calculate the flow size by measuring the pressure difference generated by the fluid on the orifice plate to achieve accurate control and monitoring of the fluid. The following will be detailed from different perspectives on using an orifice plate flowmeter.

What's an Orifice plate flow meter?

1. Working Principle

When a fluid passes through an orifice plate, the fluid flow rate increases, and the pressure decreases. This is because, in the narrow channels of the orifice plate, the fluid is restricted, resulting in an increase in flow rate and a decrease in static pressure. This relationship between increased flow rate and decreased pressure can be described by Bernoulli’s equation, where the kinetic energy of the fluid rises while the static pressure decreases.

Orifice Plate Flow Meters

2. Advantages

① The standard throttling member of the orifice plate flowmeter is typical worldwide. The International Standards Organisation has approved it, and it can be used without actual flow calibration, which is also unique among flowmeters.

② The orifice plate flowmeter structure is easy to copy, simple, solid, stable, reliable, and cheaply priced.

③ Orifice plate flowmeter has a wide range of applications. It includes all single-phase fluids (liquid, gas, steam), part of the mixed-phase flow, the general production process of the pipe diameter, and working conditions (temperature, pressure) available.

3. Disadvantages

① Orifice plate flowmeter measurement repeatability and accuracy in the flow meter belong to the medium level. Due to the complexity and influence of many factors, accuracy is difficult to improve.

② Orifice plate flowmeter range is narrow. Due to the flow coefficient and Reynolds number, the general range is only 3:1 ~ 4:1.

③ The orifice plate flowmeter has long, straight pipe length requirements, which are generally complex. Especially for larger pipe diameters, the problem is more prominent.

④ Orifice plate flowmeter pressure loss. Usually, to maintain the normal operation of the orifice plate flowmeter, the pump needs additional power to overcome the pressure loss of the orifice plate. The pressure loss and flow calculation can directly determine the additional power consumption. About tens of thousands of degrees of extra power consumption a year, equivalent to tens of thousands of yuan.

⑤ Orifice plate within the hole acute angle line to ensure accuracy, so the corrosion, wear and tear, scaling, dirt sensitive, long-term use of precision is complex to ensure that need to be removed every year to check a strong.

⑥ Orifice plate flowmeter using flange connection. Easy to produce run, risk, drip, and leakage problems, significantly increasing the maintenance workload.

Types of Orifice Plate Flow Meters and their Differences

4. Orifice Plate Flow Meter Structure

The core component of an orifice plate flowmeter is the orifice plate itself, which is usually a metal plate with a circular or rectangular cross-section. The orifice plate has a precisely machined hole in the center through which the fluid flows. The shape of the orifice plate and the size of the hole affect the difference in pressure as the fluid passes through, affecting the accuracy of the flow measurement.

We need to be aware that the accuracy of an orifice plate flowmeter can be affected by several factors, such as the geometry of the orifice plate, the nature of the fluid, and the installation position. Therefore, in practical applications, it is necessary to select the appropriate size and type of orifice plate according to the specific circumstances to ensure the accuracy of the measurement results.

5. Applications in Industrial Production

5.1 Control of Fluid Conveying Pipes

In industrial production, liquids or gases must often be transported through the pipeline and control. Orifice plate flowmeter can be installed in the pipeline by measuring the pressure difference of the fluid inside the pipeline to determine the liquid or gas flow rate inside the pipeline and according to the required process requirements for the corresponding adjustment and control. Therefore, orifice plate flowmeters are widely used in various industrial fields, such as the chemical industry, steel, petroleum, electric power, and other fields.

5.2 Process Monitoring

An orifice plate flowmeter can also be used to monitor the flow rate and quality changes in liquid or gas in various processes. For example, in the chemical reaction process, you can install an orifice plate flowmeter for real-time monitoring of the liquid flow rate and quality of the reaction vessel to grasp the progress of the reaction and real-time adjustment of the reaction conditions, to improve the efficiency of the reaction and product quality.

5.2 Industrial Environmental Protection Detection

An orifice plate flowmeter can also be used to detect industrial environmental protection. For example, the flue gas emission control can be installed through the orifice plate flowmeter for real-time monitoring of the flue gas flow rate and quality so as to grasp the flue gas emissions and take timely and appropriate control measures to protect environmental safety.

Digital Orifice Plate Steam Flowmeter

6. Application in Scientific Research

6.1 Fluid Mechanics Research

Orifice plate flowmeter is widely used in experimental research in fluid mechanics. For example, in wind tunnel experiments, you can install an orifice plate flowmeter to measure the flow rate and pressure distribution of the gas in the wind tunnel, and according to the required data analysis and processing, to better understand the aerodynamic properties.

6.2 Fluid Transport Simulation

Orifice plate flowmeters can also be used to simulate the transport of liquids or gases inside a pipeline. Installing an orifice plate flowmeter on the simulator to measure the pressure difference and flow rate changes of the liquid or gas inside the pipeline, and according to the required simulation data to be analyzed and processed to understand better the characteristics of the fluid transmission and the flow state inside the pipeline.

7 Applications in Other Fields

7.1 Water Resource Management

Orifice plate flowmeter can also be used in water resource management. For example, in reservoirs, rivers, and other water sources, install orifice flow meters to measure the water flow rate and flow to grasp the use of water resources, rational planning, and use of water resources.

7.2 Sewage Treatment

Orifice plate flowmeter can also be used in sewage treatment. For example, the sewage treatment plant can be installed through the orifice plate flowmeter for real-time monitoring of the flow rate and quality of sewage, according to the required data for the corresponding adjustment and control, to protect the effect of sewage treatment.

8. Conclusion

An orifice plate flowmeter is a powerful measuring instrument widely used in industrial production, scientific research, environmental protection, and other fields. By measuring the pressure difference of liquid or gas inside the pipeline, the flow rate and mass change of liquid or gas can be accurately determined, adjusted, and controlled according to the required data.

With the continuous development of technology, orifice plate flowmeters will be widely used in more fields and bring more convenience and benefits for people’s production and life.

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