Fuel Flow Meters
Fuel flow meters are an essential part of any engine used in transportation, although they are often essential in stationary pumps as well. Capable of metering diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, stoddard solvent and heptane, fuel flow meters measure the rate of fuel flow into an engine, consequently calculating the engine's current rate of fuel consumption and the remaining amount of fuel left in the tank.
Quick Links to Fuel Flow Meter Information
Application of Fuel Flow Meters
Modern fuel flow meters are computerized, sending data on fuel rate, rotations per minute (RPM) and the amount of fuel left in a tank to a display screen. Some more complicated transportation devices, such as cars, airplanes and spaceships, use the information collected by the fuel flow meter to communicate information to other parts of the machine; for example, the RPM is communicated to a car's automatic transmission to trigger shifting into a higher or lower gear. Marine vessels and boats often display fuel flow meter screens on the dashboard so the captain can keep track of how much fuel is being used and is remaining.
Fuel flow meters are also used in stationary pumping fuel dispensers, passenger cars, heavy trucks, ship engines and aerospace applications. Up until recently fuel flow meters used mechanical measurement tools such as turbine or positive displacement; today, most fuel flow meters use ultrasonic sensors to communicate flow rate data to computerized receptors.
Design of Fuel Flow Meters
Like most other flow meters, fuel flow meters are made of three parts: the primary device, transducer and transmitter. These three parts are usually combined so that the flow meter is one complete instrument. Manufacturers offer fuel flow meters that use various techniques to take a reading.
- Highly Accurate Fuel Flow Meters
- There have been some incredible innovations in the fuel flow meter technologies, particularly in the industry that deals with common fuels such as diesel, gasoline and kerosene. Most people have experienced the fluctuation of fuel prices in the past decade. The rise in gas prices has made way for research into alternative fuels, hybrid cars and other innovations. Some companies have upgraded their fuel flow meters with integrated digital displays that accurately provide fuel rates. These devices do not directly relieve the stress of fuel consumption but rather assist with logistical information such as lifetime fuel usage and automatic individual vehicle fuel economy.
- Another innovation in fuel flow meter technology is the use of ultrasonic properties. These new ultrasonic fuel flow meters are not only extremely accurate but they also increase application performance. This increase is possible because there is no need for traditional mechanical parts that obscure the flow path to gather readings. By removing those parts from the flow path this allows for a more true flow rating but also lowers the pressure in the line. This type of innovation is great for the racecar industry. This device allows for higher levels of temporal resolution which is a measurement in reference to time. This is related to race cars because proper timing for refueling is essential in this activity. Cars will drive faster when there is less fuel in the tank. Drivers will run the risk of running out of fuel to gain speed and get a few extra laps in before refueling. With more precise fuel flow meters the drivers will know with greater accuracy how many laps they can attempt before refueling. These innovations are great for the racing world but also for various industries that require exact measurements.
Variations of Fuel Flow Meters
Thermal mass flow meters take measurements with two sensors that work together. A temperature sensor reference and an active heated sensor take measurements by calculating how much heat loss occurs in the flowing liquid, and thus these flowmeters can determine the flow rate based on this amount.
Another type of flow meter is the Coriolis mass flow meter, which operates on the basis of the Coriolis Effect in which a force is applied to the tube of the fuel flow meter, causing the fluid to rotate because of the direction of the acceleration. Other kinds of fuel flow meters operate using sound. These are called ultrasonic flow meters and include several types, like Doppler Effect flow meters and time-of-flight flow meters.
Each type of flow meter has specific guidelines that must be followed for proper use. In order for liquid flow meters such as water flow meters to work properly, they must remain full of liquid. Gas or contaminants of any kind can affect the accuracy of flow meters' readings.