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. 286-260
Mfr. Part No.EF.7731111290
BrandParker
$496.50
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. 407-546
Mfr. Part No.AWM2100V
BrandHoneywell
$152.84
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. 447-4449
BrandRS PRO
$701.19
Each
units
Liquid Oval Gear 0.01 L/min 4 L/min 5 → 24 V dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 50bar Stainless Steel - - - - -
RS Stock No. 395-7038
Mfr. Part No.166704-A
$87.95
Each
units
Gas Piston - 340 L/min 120 → 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 901-0239
Mfr. Part No.198807008
$359.84
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 50 L/h 500 L/h - - DN25 Socket - Plastic - - - - -
RS Stock No. 901-0078
Mfr. Part No.159001110
$2,453.83
Each
units
Liquid Magmeter 0.05 m/s 10 m/s 24 V dc 1/2 → 4 in DN15 to DN 100 Socket 10.3bar Polypropylene, Stainless Steel 0 °C +85°C -10°C +70°C 4 → 20 mA
RS Stock No. 313-2469
Mfr. Part No.FCS-G1/4A4-NA-H1141
BrandTurck
$824.33
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Remote Sensor 1 (Water) ccm/s, 2 (Air) ccm/s, 3 (Oil) ccm/s 30 (Air) cm³/s, 150 (Water) cm³/s, 300 (Oil) cm³/s - 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 100bar Stainless Steel -25 °C +80°C -25°C +80°C -
RS Stock No. 395-6934
Mfr. Part No.156268BSPP
$491.87
Each
units
Liquid RotorFlow Electronic 15 L/min 75 L/min 24 V dc 1/2 in 1/4 BSP Female 13.8bar Brass -29 °C +100°C -29°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 198-0806
Mfr. Part No.FS.643 322 229
BrandParker UCC
$1,333.05
Each
units
Liquid Boxed Two-Switch 10 L/min 110 L/min 250 V ac 3/4 in - 350bar Stainless Steel - - -20°C +90°C -
RS Stock No. 125-0660
Mfr. Part No.SPI-N118-1421-1-3-001
BrandSimex
$477.92
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Flow Counter - - 24 V dc - M12 - ABS, Fibreglass - - 0°C +50°C 100 mA
RS Stock No. 616-3494
Mfr. Part No.197093
$81.59
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 1 gal/min 200 V 1/4 in 1/4 Quick Disconnect Male 8.6bar Glass Reinforced PP -18 °C +100°C -18°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 361-0177
Mfr. Part No.2530A4A70BVBN
$469.12
Each
units
Gas Variable Area 30 L/min 280 L/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 6.89bar Acrylic - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 613-4238
BrandRS PRO
$347.72
Each
units
Gas, Liquid Paddle 5.5 L/min 7 L/min 250 V ac 15 mm 1/2 BSP Female 25bar Nickel Plated Brass - +110°C - +110°C 5 A
RS Stock No. 446-8292
Mfr. Part No.173037-C
$177.08
Each
units
Liquid Turbine 1 L/min 10 L/min 5 → 24 V dc 3/8 in 3/8 BSP 200psi Nylon 12 - - -20°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 511-3909
BrandRS PRO
$537.66
Each
units
- - - 2.5 → 30.0 L/min 4.5 → 24 V dc 1/2 in - - - - - -25°C +125°C 10 mA
RS Stock No. 123-7149
Mfr. Part No.SFM3000-200C
BrandSensirion
$234.67
Each
units
Gas Low Pressure Drop -200 slm 200 slm 5 V 22 mm 2-Wire I2C 1.3bar Epoxy, Gold, Polyurethane, PPE+PS Blend, Si, Si3n4, Siox, Stainless Steel (Annealed) -20 °C +80°C -20°C +80°C -
RS Stock No. 123-7151
Mfr. Part No.SFM4100 Air
BrandSensirion
$340.86
Each
units
Gas Digital Mass 0 slm 20 slm 3.5 → 9 V 15.35 mm 2-Wire I2C 6 bar, 10 (Over Pressure) bar Aluminium (Coated), Epoxy, Gold, Nickel Plated Brass, Nitrile, Nylon, Oxygenoex, Pa-12, Si, Si3n4, Siox, Stainless Steel, Viton® 0 °C +50°C -20°C +80°C <12.5 mA
RS Stock No. 361-0262
Mfr. Part No.2540A5A54PI
$593.33
Each
units
Gas Variable Area 100 L/min 1400 L/min - 1 in 1 NPT Female 6.89bar Acrylic - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 198-2981
Mfr. Part No.25102A13BVBN
$201.06
Each
units
Gas Variable Area 0.1 L/min 1 L/min - 1/8 in 1/8 NPT Female 6.89bar Acrylic - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 448-7445
Mfr. Part No.MR3A16BVBN
$188.87
Each
units
Gas Variable Area 2 L/min 30 L/min - 1/8 in 1/8 NPT Female 6.9bar Polycarbonate - +65°C - +65°C -