Bronkhorst High-Tech has developed a no-nonsense, digital alternative to the conventional VA meter (variable area meter) or rotameter, a design that dates back to the 19th century
Employing the latest OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology, as used in mobile phones and MP3 players, the new Mass-View flow meter series incorporates a digital bar graph of actual gas flow, which is clearly visible from all angles, as well as indicating flow units, fluid type and totalised figures.
Also available with an optional in-built needle valve for flow control duties, it is designed to mimic the straightforward features and vertical format of the VA meter, but with the considerable added benefits of an electronic output signal, measuring accuracy as high as +/-0.5%, virtual independence from gas temperature and pressure variations, freedom from parallax error and inherently safe construction, with no fragile glass components in the flow path.
For many industrial processes and chemical plants, Bronkhorst's new Mass-View will eliminate the relative inaccuracy of VA meters, the need to recalibrate for different gases and the safety risk of ruptured glass tubes, at a price directly comparable with the cost of a variable area meter and separate transmitter.
For OEMs, it offers the option of incorporating more modern, aesthetic gas flow measuring instruments into their equipment, presenting a more appropriate, high technology image.
Still commanding a high proportion of the industrial flowmeter market, with around a million installed annually, the variable area meter is one of the oldest technologies available.
It typically comprises a tapered vertical tube, usually made of glass or plastic, and a metering float, which is free to move within the tube; fluid flow causes the float to rise, with the height providing an indication of flow rate and the tube graduated in appropriate flow units.