Liquid Flow Measurement in the Oil Industry: An Overview of Different Types of Liquid Flow Meters

Types of Liquid Flow Meters commonly used in the Oil Industry

Accurate liquid flow measurement in the Oil industry is critical for efficiency, profitability, and environmental responsibility. Many different types of liquid flow meter technologies exist, and each technology has it benefits and downsides to be considered for it’s application and use. Here is an overview of different types of flow meters used in the oil sector.

  1. Turbine Flowmeter:
    • A type of flowmeter that utilizes a rotating turbine to measure the velocity of the liquid, providing an indication of the flow rate. Widely used in the oil industry for its accuracy and reliability.
  2. Ultrasonic Flowmeter:
    • A flow measurement device that uses ultrasonic waves to determine the velocity of the liquid. Ultrasonic flowmeters can both be intrusive as non-intrusive (clamp-on type) and suitable for a variety of liquid types, making them valuable in the oil industry. XSENS provides non-intrusive clamp-on type flow meters for permanent installation. Read more in our Product section.
  3. Coriolis Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter based on the Coriolis effect, where the rotation of the fluid induces a Coriolis force. Coriolis flowmeters are known for their ability to directly measure mass flow, providing accurate readings in the oil and gas sector.
  4. Positive Displacement Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter that measures flow by capturing and counting discrete volumes of fluid. Positive displacement flowmeters are suitable for measuring viscous liquids and are commonly used in the oil industry.
  5. Magnetic Flowmeter (Magmeter):
    • A flowmeter that measures the velocity of a conductive liquid by detecting the induced voltage generated by the fluid as it moves through a magnetic field. Magmeters are corrosion-resistant and find application in various oil industry processes.
  6. Differential Pressure Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter that measures the pressure drop across a constriction in the flow path. This type includes Orifice Plate, Venturi Tube, and Flow Nozzle meters, commonly used for liquid flow measurement in the oil industry.
  7. Vortex Shedding Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter that detects the vortices formed by a fluid passing by an obstruction in the flow path. Vortex shedding flowmeters are suitable for measuring the flow of liquids with suspended solids.
  8. Rotameter or Variable Area Flowmeter:
    • A variable-area flowmeter consisting of a tapered tube and a float. The position of the float indicates the flow rate. Rotameters are simple and cost-effective and are used for various liquids in the oil industry.
  9. Gear Flowmeter:
    • A positive displacement flowmeter that uses rotating gears to measure the volume of liquid. Gear flowmeters are suitable for measuring viscous fluids in the oil and petrochemical industries.
  10. Mass Flow Controller:
    • A device that measures and controls the mass flow rate of a liquid. Mass flow controllers are used for precise measurement in applications where mass flow is critical.
  11. Insertion Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter that is inserted into an existing pipeline, typically using probes or sensors to measure the flow. Insertion flowmeters are cost-effective for retrofitting into pipelines.
  12. Thermal Mass Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter that measures the mass flow rate by using the cooling effect of a fluid on a heated sensor. Thermal mass flowmeters are suitable for a wide range of liquid flow applications.
  13. Swirl Flowmeter:
    • A flowmeter that utilizes swirling flow patterns to measure the flow rate. Swirl flowmeters are suitable for applications where a compact design is essential.
  14. V-Cone Flowmeter:
    • A differential pressure flowmeter with a cone-shaped restriction. V-Cone flowmeters provide accurate and stable flow measurements for various liquid applications in the oil industry.

Click on the image to learn about the XSENS non-intrusive type flow meters.