Vortex flow meters measure fluid velocity using a principle of operation referred to as the von Kármán effect, which states that when flow passes by a bluff body, a repeating pattern of swirling vortices is generated. In a Vortex flow meter, an obstruction in the flow path, often referred to as a shedder bar, serves as the bluff body. The shedder bar causes process fluid to separate and form areas of alternating differential pressure known as vortices around the back side of the shedder bar.
The vortices cause a small sensing element either behind or within the shedder bar to oscillate back and forth at a specific frequency. The velocity of the working fluid is directly proportional to this frequency of the vortices generated by the shedder bar’s unique geometry. With the known cross sectional area of the pipe, volumetric flow can be calculated. Often Vortex flow meters will also utilize a pressure and/or temperature sensor to achieve a compensated mass flow measurement.
Vortex flow meters are well suited for a variety of applications across a wide range of industries including oil and gas, refining, chemical and petrochemical, and food and beverage. Vortex flow meters also excel in steam-related applications including steam injection and steam measurement for district energy systems and industrial plants.