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. 395-7016
Mfr. Part No.166703-A
SGD77.24
Each
units
Gas Piston - 158 L/min 120 → 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 395-6861
Mfr. Part No.155481BSPP
SGD207.20
Each
units
Liquid RotorFlow Electronic 15 L/min 75 L/min 4.5 → 24 V dc 1/2 in 1/2 BSP Female 6.9bar Polypropylene -29 °C +82°C -29°C +82°C -
RS Stock No. 898-6738
Mfr. Part No.LG01-2000A005
BrandSensirion
SGD253.62
Each
units
Liquid Liquid Flow Switch 250 (Isopropyl Alcohol) 220 (Water) ml/min, 250 (Isopropyl Alcohol) ml/min 5 → 12 V 9.2 mm 5 Pin PCB Header 3bar Borosilicate Glass (Tube Material), FEP (Sealing), PEEk (Fitting) - - +10°C +50°C 6.8 mA
RS Stock No. 395-7224
Mfr. Part No.020-3499
SGD611.76
Each
units
Liquid Paddle 15 L/min 125 L/min 250 V 1 in 1 BSP 55bar Stainless Steel - - -18°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 446-8315
Mfr. Part No.173940-C
SGD151.26
Each
units
Liquid Turbine 2 L/min 30 L/min 5 → 24 V dc 3/8 in 3/8 BSP 200psi Nylon 12 - - -20°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 616-3472
Mfr. Part No.197091
SGD73.06
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 0.25 gal/min 200 V 1/4 in 1/4 Quick Disconnect Male 8.6bar Glass Reinforced PP -18 °C +100°C -18°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 257-149
BrandRS PRO
SGD70.28
Each
units
Liquid Radial Flow Turbine 0.25 L/min 6.5 L/min 4.5 → 16 V dc 15 mm - 20bar Acetal Copolymer - - -40°C +70°C 10 mA
RS Stock No. 395-6855
Mfr. Part No.155421BSPP
SGD207.20
Each
units
Liquid RotorFlow Electronic 2 L/min 20 L/min 4.5 → 24 V dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP Female 6.9bar Polypropylene -29 °C +82°C -29°C +82°C -
RS Stock No. 395-6978
Mfr. Part No.166703
SGD77.24
Each
units
Liquid Piston - 2 L/min 120 → 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 395-213
Mfr. Part No.AWM5104VN
BrandHoneywell
SGD339.13
Each
units
Dry Gas Amplified 0 sLpm 20 SLPM 15 V dc - 1/4 NPT 50psi Plastic - - 0°C +50°C -
RS Stock No. 907-3959
Mfr. Part No.155420
SGD111.51
Each
units
Fluid, Liquid RotorFlow 0.1 gal/min 5 gal/min - 1/4 in 1/4 NPT Female 6.9bar Polypropylene - +21°C -29°C +82°C -
RS Stock No. 198-0660
Mfr. Part No.FM.26 122 129
BrandParker
SGD624.46
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 0.2 L/min 2 L/min - 1/4 in 1/4 BSP - Brass - - - +90°C -
RS Stock No. 804-4036
Mfr. Part No.7ME6520-4HC13-2AA1
BrandSiemens
SGD3,561.64
Each
units
Liquid Electromagnetic 0 m/s 10 m/s - 6 in 1/2 NPT 16bar Carbon Steel - - -40°C +70°C -
RS Stock No. 198-2981
Mfr. Part No.25102A13BVBN
SGD156.24
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. 901-0251
Mfr. Part No.198335426
SGD546.91
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 60 L/h 6000 L/h - - DN40 Socket - Plastic - - - - -
RS Stock No. 395-7038
Mfr. Part No.166704-A
SGD76.46
Each
units
Gas Piston - 340 L/min 120 → 240 V ac/dc 1/4 in 1/4 BSP 10bar Noryl - +100°C - +100°C -
RS Stock No. 198-2896
Mfr. Part No.MR3A12BVBN
SGD178.43
Each
units
Gas Variable Area 0.05 L/min 0.5 L/min - 1/8 in 1/8 NPT Female 6.9bar Polycarbonate - +65°C - +65°C -
RS Stock No. 446-8309
Mfr. Part No.173939-C
SGD151.37
Each
units
Liquid Turbine 1 L/min 15 L/min 5 → 24 V dc 3/8 in 3/8 BSP 200psi Nylon 12 - - -20°C +100°C -
RS Stock No. 831-179
Mfr. Part No.FM.26 322 119
BrandParker
SGD918.77
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 286-298
Mfr. Part No.EF.7731114291
BrandParker
SGD607.61
Each
units
Liquid Variable Area 10 L/min 150 L/min 240 V ac 1 in 1 BSP Female 10bar PET - - +5°C +60°C -