In addition, the straight-through (obstruction-less) nature of some designs reduces the loss of hydraulic energy across the flowmeter (pressure drop). Reducing the pressure drop across the flowmeter can conserve hydraulic energy in some applications, such as when a pump or fan is controlled with a variable speed drive. Note that installing a flowmeter with a lower pressure drop in place of a flowmeter with a higher pressure drop can cause the pressure drop to be transferred from the flowmeter to the control valve, and result in no energy savings.
Suppliers generally state that Coriolis mass flowmeters do not require straight run upstream or downstream of the flowmeter. However, examination of their mounting requirements reveals that some designs require supports located in straight piping upstream and downstream of the flowmeter. While these designs may not require straight run to improve the hydraulic velocity profile entering the flowmeter, their piping support requirements effectively resemble a straight run. Piping support and straight run requirements can reduce the usability of some Coriolis mass flowmeters in some applications. The supplier's detailed mounting recommendations should be examined to evaluate suitability for a particular application.
Coriolis mass flowmeter technology has no Reynolds number constraints, so it can be applied where the liquid exhibits high or varying viscosity. However, it should be noted that as fluid viscosity increases, the pressure drop across the flowmeter can become excessive and may limit the applicability of the flowmeter. This can usually remedied by increasing the size of the flowmeter, however performance can be significantly degraded when the flowmeter operates in the lower portion of its range.
Coriolis mass flowmeters with fast response times can measure liquids that flow for relatively short periods of time, such as in batch and fill operations. Response time and reproducibility become important parameters to quantify in these applications.
Coriolis mass flowmeters can be used to measure the mass flow of gases and vapors. The advantage of this technology is that this technology measures mass flow directly, and does not infer mass flow from other measurements, such as pressure, temperature and compressibility. The caveat is the Coriolis mass flowmeter should be operated within a range of mass flow rates where its accuracy is acceptable. Because the density of gases is generally significantly lower than that of liquids, the hydraulic ability to flow a sufficient mass of gas through the flowmeter can be limited. Therefore, Coriolis mass flowmeters in gas applications are usually sized larger than would be required for an equivalent liquid mass flow rate. As a result, they tend to operate in the lower portion of their range where accuracy may be degraded.
Coriolis mass flowmeters measure mass flow rate of the fluid. The measurement is linear with mass flow and exhibits a relatively large turndown. In addition, the range of flow measurement is relatively large and easy to change after installation. The measurement is virtually independent of density and the same flowmeter can be used for multiple products. This allows potential cost savings through the installation of one flowmeter to measure multiple flow streams when the flow streams are not required to operate at the same time.
Coriolis mass flowmeters can be used to measure fluid density in addition to flow rate. In some applications, density measurement can be used to determine fluid composition or potential process problems. Coriolis mass flowmeters that measure flow and density can offer potential cost savings over the purchase and installation of a flowmeter and density transmitter.
Excerpted from The Consumer Guide to Coriolis Mass Flowmeters