A thermal mass flow meter measures the flow of mass but in a different way as compared to Coriolis flow meter
. It applies the properties of conducting fluids when around heat source to operate and is used to measure gas or air flow.
thermal dispersion flow meters functionality is different depending on the technology used during assembling. Some measure the dispersion speed of heat added to a flowing stream while others record difference in temperature surrounding the flow stream and heat sensor. For it to record any fluid temperature instantaneously, it requires at least one temperature sensors.
Just like how a hot wire anemometer operates, thermal mass gas flow meters for industrial use also apply the same concept. The only difference is that industrial thermal meters simultaneously function along with rugged gas flow sensors which are effectively utilized in industrial applications and measuring of the heat dissipation flow to efficiently determine the mass flow.
Merits and demerits
- Thermal flow meters are available at relatively low prices and are more competent in measuring mass flow of less dense low-pressure gases than Coriolis flow meters. Although their accuracy is from low to medium, it varies and depends on the type you use.
- The gas flow sensors can greatly support a number of gas flow applications both intensively and extensively like process gas. Their limitation in liquid applications downgrades their efficiency and they are also not a good option in measuring steam flow. Thermal flow meter also doesn’t have approved industrial jurisdictions to be used in pipelines in facilitating natural gas custody transfer. The pipeline market prefers turbine flow meter(TUF), differential (DP flow meter )or ultrasonic flow meters as alternatives which are more efficient than thermal flow meters and are also have approved custody-transfer as outlined by any gas association. For thermal flows meters to fit in this market they have to undergo a number of technological advancements.
Multipoint thermal gas meters development
Due to the demanding market requirements of flow meters in the growing economy, thermal mass flow meter companies have improvised their gas measuring instrumentation to come up with a good fit and competent quality (Multipoint thermal meters). Newly developed ones can measure gas flow to a maximum value of sixteen points, and then apply the recorded values to compute the entire pipe, stack or duct flow. This improved alternative was developed in response to the initiated programs by some environmental organizations for preventing further pollution to the environment and in the atmosphere. This paved a way for development of new industry around the scope.
Competitiveness in the market
Nowadays, thermal mass flow meters are competitively using the Pitot tubes which enhance averaging for flue gas monitoring with differential and ultrasonic flow meters. Thermal flow meters are able to measure gas flow through flues even for bigger pipes, ducts, stacks and also the gases from combustion chimneys. They are also in competition with other monitoring systems like the flare gas one in measuring the gas amount flared from single or networked pipes. Environmental regulations affect any company or product that causes pollution to the environment.
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