What Are the Differences Between Turbine Flow Meter and Vortex Flow Meter

In the world of flow measurement, accuracy is paramount. Whether you’re monitoring the flow of liquids or gases in industrial processes or seeking to optimize energy consumption, the choice of the right flow meter is critical. Two popular options that often come into play are Turbine Flow Meters and Vortex Flow Meters. While they both serve the essential function of measuring flow rates, they do so using fundamentally different principles. In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between Turbine Flow Meters and Vortex Flow Meters. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which type of flow meter suits your specific needs and applications, ensuring precise and reliable measurements in your processes. Let’s dive in!

Turbine Flow Meters VS Vortex Flow Meters

Turbine Flow Meter

turbine flow meters

Turbine flow meters are constructed using axially placed bladed turbine rotors. When fluid flows through the meter, the rotor spins at a speed proportional to the velocity of the fluid. The spin is detected with a magnetic pickup, typically a pulse output.

  • Suitable for clean viscous liquids and gases, turbulent flow
  • Corrosive fluids and liquids containing solids are not appropriate.
  • Accuracy: ± 0.25 % of rate
  • Rangeabliity: typical 20:1
  • Pressure drop: Higher back pressure is required to avoid cavitation. Bubbles in the liquid will affect the accuracy
  • Upstream pipe (diameters) required: 5 – 10
  • Relative cost: medium
  • Effect of viscosity: sensible
  • Moving parts: rotor
  • Pipe size: wide range
  • Corrosion: moveable components not suited for corrosive fluids

Turbine flow meters use the energy of the fluid passing through it to move a rotor within the water or other fluid passing through. There are blades on this rotor, which are angled to use the fluid to create a rotation and move the rotor around in a clockwise or anti-clockwise motion.

The rotor blades are attached to a rod, which can spin through bearings. The faster the fluid goes through the turbine flow meter, the faster the rotor blades revolve, and therefore the rod spins.

By attaching a sensor or magnet, you can monitor how fast or slow the blades turn. In the magnetic method, the magnets are attached to the blades and as they rotate, they pass a small piece of metal embedded at a specific point in the flow meter itself. The speed of the fluid can be properly estimated using the time it takes between each time the magnet contacts with the piece of metal. The genius of this system is that these sensors can operate in either direction the fluid flows through the turbine flow meter.

Vortex Flow Meter

vortex flow meters

Vortex flow meters are constructed using an obstacle item suspended in the flow. When fluid flows through the meter, an alternating vortex is created downstream of the object. The vortex frequency is proportional to the flow and is detected with a pressure sensor, thermistor, or ultrasonic sensor.

  • Clean and unclean liquids and gases, including steam; turbulent flow
  • Not suitable for high viscosity fluids
  • Accuracy: ± 1 % of rate
  • Rangeablity: typical 10:1
  • Pressure drop: medium
  • Required upstream pipe (diameters): 10 – 20
  • Relative cost: medium
  • Sensible for fluids with a high viscosity.
  • Moving parts: none
  • Pipe size: wide range
  • Corrosion: no moving parts- can be adapted to corrosive fluids

Vortex flow meters function by strategically placing an impediment in the path of the flowing media. This type of obstacle is known as a bluff body. Vortices are formed as the gas or liquid flows through. They form on either side and disperse in an alternating pattern.

A good example of this behavior in everyday life is a flag attached to a flagpole. As the flowing wind contacts the flagpole, the flagpole creates an obstruction that causes the flag to billow in the wind in an alternating wave. Another example is a rock in the middle of a river. The rock is clearly creating vortices as evidenced by the eddy behind it and the ensuing flow.

Pressure lowers when a vortex forms and increases when it is shed in the produced vortices. This is true on both sides of the bluff body and will cause pressure pulsations. The frequency of the pressure pulsations is in direct proportion to the flow rate. Behind the bluff body, a detecting device detects shifts from side to side, amplifies the signal, and transforms it to a 4-20 mA signal.

Turbine Flow Meter vs. Vortex Flow Meter


  • Vortex flow meter: It is mainly used for flow measurement of medium and fluid in gas, liquid, steam, and other media pipelines are examples of industrial pipelines. It is characterized by small pressure loss, large measuring range, and high precision and is almost unaffected by parameters such as fluid density, pressure, temperature, viscosity, etc. when measuring the flow rate of the working condition. No moving mechanical components, so high reliability, and low maintenance. For a long time, instrument parameters can be steady.
  • Turbine flow meters are commonly employed in the measurement of the following objects: petroleum, organic liquids, inorganic liquids, liquefied gas, natural gas, coal gas, and cryogenic liquids are all examples of liquids. Fluids, among other things. It has the advantages of a simple structure, few processing parts, lightweight, convenient maintenance, large flow capacity (large flow through the same caliber) and adaptable to high parameters (high temperature, high pressure and low temperature).

Production and Manufacturing

  • A turbine flow meter is an instrument that uses a multi-blade rotor (turbine) to measure the average flow of a fluid and calculate the flow or total flow from it.
  • The vortex flow meter is conceived and built on the basis of The Karman vortex. The flow rate is calculated using the fluid oscillation principle. When the fluid in the pipe flows through the vortex transmitter, the triangular. The column vortex generator generates two rows of vortices alternately in proportion to the current. The vortex generator’s release frequency is proportional to the average. The velocity of the fluid flowing through the vortex generator, as well as the properties of the vortex generator.

Data Transmission

  • The rotation of the turbine flow meter disconnects the magnetic induction wire. signal processing is used to measure the output flow of the impeller.
  • A vortex flow meter is a flow measurement method that processes the output signal by detecting the Karman vortex.
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