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. 123-7147
Mfr. Part No.ASF1400
BrandSensirion
$509.80
Each
units
Air, Gas Flow Meter -400 sccm 400 sccm 7 → 18 V dc 5 mm RS-232, SPI 2bar PBT 0 °C +70°C 0°C +70°C 20 mA
RS Stock No. 198-0806
Mfr. Part No.FS.643 322 229
BrandParker UCC
$1,357.82
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. 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
$483.89
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. 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. 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. 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. 407-574
Mfr. Part No.AWM3100V
BrandHoneywell
$349.62
Each
units
Dry Gas Amplified -200 sccm 200 cm³/min 15 V dc 0.2 in - 25psi Plastic - - -25°C +85°C -
RS Stock No. 395-6934
Mfr. Part No.156268BSPP
$492.13
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. 198-3041
Mfr. Part No.1250A6092ALAVB
$593.57
Each
units
Gas Variable Area 2 L/min 10 L/min - 1/8 in 1/8 NPT Female 13.7bar Borosilicate Glass - - - +93°C -
RS Stock No. 123-7151
Mfr. Part No.SFM4100 Air
BrandSensirion
$343.12
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. 901-0239
Mfr. Part No.198807008
$360.05
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 50 L/h 500 L/h - - DN25 Socket - Plastic - - - - -
RS Stock No. 198-0705
Mfr. Part No.FM.26 322 129
BrandParker UCC
$637.86
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 5 L/min 55 L/min - 3/4 in 3/4 BSP - Brass - - - +90°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. 901-0236
Mfr. Part No.199335425
$634.57
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 300 L/h 3000 L/h - - DN40 Socket - Plastic - - - - -
RS Stock No. 361-0212
Mfr. Part No.2540A5L59PI
$560.57
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 1 L/min 19 L/min - 1 in 1 NPT Female 6.89bar Acrylic - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 510-0559
BrandRS PRO
$418.55
Each
units
Liquid Piston Inline 0.04 L/min 0.13 L/min 200 V ac 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 300bar Brass - +100°C - +120°C 1 A
RS Stock No. 395-7202
Mfr. Part No.020-3491
$485.75
Each
units
Liquid Shuttle 7.5 L/min 30 L/min 250 V 1 in 1 BSP 27bar Bronze - - -20°C +80°C -
RS Stock No. 196-4460
Mfr. Part No.PF3W720-F04-ETN-M
BrandSMC
$1,199.20
Each
units
- Flow Switch 2 L/min 16 L/min 12 → 24 V dc - G 1MPa PPS, Stainless Steel 0 °C +90°C 0°C +50°C 50 mA
RS Stock No. 122-8440
Mfr. Part No.26602
$409.01
Each
units
Liquid Adjustable Shuttle 7 gal/min 14 gal/min - 3/4 in 3/4 NPT Female 27.6bar Bronze - - -29°C +82.2°C -