Flow Sensors

Flow sensors or flow indicators are flow meter devices used to measure the amount of liquid, gas or vapour that passes through them. They can also be known as flow gauges or liquid meters. Flow sensors are available as time measuring units (these measure flow rates over a set time period) or they can be totalising flow meters that continually measure the medium passed through.

Flow sensors consist of a primary medium connection device, transducer and transmitter. The transducer senses the fluid that passes through the primary device. The transmitter produces an output signal from the raw transducer signal.

Types of Flow Sensor

Paddlewheel Flow Sensors or Turbine: One of the most common types of flow sensor. The sensors are connected to a pipe with liquid passing through and turning a paddle wheel, the primary device calculates the speed as the paddle is turned. This simple structure is compact and can perform a large-capacity measurement. Disadvantages are clogging and maintenance is required to cope with the axial wear otherwise the paddle needs replacing.

Variable Area Flow Sensors also known as Rotaflow meters: identified by their tapered tube and float designs. Widely used for gases and liquids flow measurement because of its low cost, simplicity, low-pressure drop and linear output.

Magnetic-Inductive Sensors: This type of sensor detects three process categories, volumetric flow quantity, consumed quantity and medium temperature.

Applications for Flow Sensors

Each type of flow sensor has its own specific applications and installation constraints. There is no one size fits all flow meter. The way to select the right flow meter is to think about the application as a guide, not the technology. Many of the technologies work well on many applications. Starting with the application will help to select the technology based on accuracy, cost, durability and reliability, rather than trying to make the technology fit the application you have. Can include the following applications:

  • Water treatment
  • Cooling systems
  • Industrial Washing Systems
  • Irrigation

Things to consider:

  • What is the fluid being measured, if not water what is its viscosity?
  • Rate measurement or summation?
  • Display or signal output?
  • What is the minimum and maximum flow rate, process pressure and process temperature?

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Description Price Media Monitored Device Type Minimum Flow Rate Maximum Flow Rate Supply Voltage Pipe Diameter Range Connection Type Maximum Pressure Material Minimum Media Temperature Maximum Media Temperature Minimum Operating Temperature Maximum Operating Temperature Current Rating
RS Stock No. 361-0206
Mfr. Part No.2530A4L71BVBN
$438.61
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 1.5 L/min 20 L/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 6.89bar Acrylic - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 508-2704
BrandRS PRO
$313.69
Each
units
- - - 0.05 → 10 L/min 4.5 → 24 V dc 8 mm - - - - - -25°C +125°C 8 mA
RS Stock No. 395-184
Mfr. Part No.AWM5101VN
BrandHoneywell
$489.65
Each
units
Dry Gas Amplified 0 sLpm 5 SLPM 15 V dc - 1/4 NPT 50psi Plastic - - 0°C +50°C -
RS Stock No. 744-0705
Mfr. Part No.PFM725S-C6-A-W
BrandSMC
$478.23
Each
units
Dry Air, Gas Integrated Display 0.5 L/min 25 L/min 24 V dc 6 mm One-Touch Fitting 750kPa PBT 0 °C +50°C 0°C +50°C -
RS Stock No. 510-0622
BrandRS PRO
$476.38
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Piston Inline 1 L/min 5 L/min 200 V ac 8 mm 1/4 BSP Female 16bar Aluminium - +100°C - +120°C 1 A
RS Stock No. 780-0282
Mfr. Part No.FSVPLC30
BrandCynergy3
$137.97
Each
units
Liquid In-line - 80 L/min 5 V ac G1 1 BSP Female 8bar Brass - +85°C - +85°C -
RS Stock No. 395-6883
Mfr. Part No.156262BSPP
$325.63
Each
units
Liquid RotorFlow Electronic 15 L/min 75 L/min 4.5 → 24 V dc 1/2 in 1/2 BSP Female 13.8bar Brass -29 °C +100°C -29°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 446-8309
Mfr. Part No.173939-C
$151.29
Each
units
Liquid Turbine 1 L/min 15 L/min 5 → 24 V dc 3/8 in 3/8 BSP 200psi Nylon 12 - - -20°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 914-8495
Mfr. Part No.SPP-N118-1421-1-4-001
BrandSimex
$359.76
Each
units
Fluid, Gas Flow Counter - - 85 → 260 V ac - Screw 25kPa ABS, Fibreglass - - 0°C +50°C 4 → 20 mA
RS Stock No. 395-6833
Mfr. Part No.155480BSPP
$149.08
Each
units
Liquid RotorFlow 15 L/min 75 L/min - 1/2 in 1/2 BSP Female 6.9bar Polypropylene -29 °C +82°C -29°C +82°C -
RS Stock No. 831-185
Mfr. Part No.FM.26.322 219
BrandParker
$950.48
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 395-6978
Mfr. Part No.166703
$85.38
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 2 L/min 120 → 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 173-2224
Mfr. Part No.LG01-2000A005
BrandSensirion
$223.826
Each (In a Tray of 25)
units
Liquid Liquid Flow Switch 250 (Isopropyl Alcohol) 220 (Water) ml/min, 250 (Isopropyl Alcohol) ml/min 5 → 12 V 9.2 mm 5 Pin PCB Header 3bar Borosilicate Glass (Tube Material), FEP (Sealing), PEEk (Fitting) - - +10°C +50°C 6.8 mA
RS Stock No. 407-546
Mfr. Part No.AWM2100V
BrandHoneywell
$185.67
Each
units
Dry Gas Unamplified -200 sccm 200 cm³/min 15 V dc 0.2 in - 25psi Plastic - - -25°C +85°C -
RS Stock No. 780-0273
Mfr. Part No.FSP10A30
BrandCynergy3
$205.22
Each
units
Liquid In-line - 80 L/min 250 V ac G1 1 BSP 8bar Brass/Polyamide - +85°C - +85°C 10 A
RS Stock No. 286-260
Mfr. Part No.EF.7731111290
BrandParker
$496.80
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 2 L/min 30 L/min - 1 in 1 BSP Female 10bar PET - - +5°C +60°C -
RS Stock No. 901-0258
Mfr. Part No.198807005
$319.98
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 20 L/h 200 L/h - - DN15, DN15 Socket - Plastic - - - - -
RS Stock No. 361-0199
Mfr. Part No.2530A4L69BVBN
$438.12
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 0.8 L/min 9 L/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 6.89bar Acrylic - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 395-9337
Mfr. Part No.142542BSPP
$230.39
Each
units
Liquid RotorFlow 15 L/min 75 L/min - 1/2 in 1/2 BSP Female 13.8bar Brass -29 °C +100°C -29°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 898-6738
Mfr. Part No.LG01-2000A005
BrandSensirion
$322.07
Each
units
Liquid Liquid Flow Switch 250 (Isopropyl Alcohol) 220 (Water) ml/min, 250 (Isopropyl Alcohol) ml/min 5 → 12 V 9.2 mm 5 Pin PCB Header 3bar Borosilicate Glass (Tube Material), FEP (Sealing), PEEk (Fitting) - - +10°C +50°C 6.8 mA