Home Beyond The Flange Valve Performance and Efficiency | The Importance of Flowmeters

Valve Performance and Efficiency | The Importance of Flowmeters


Understanding how to include the the most efficient valves for overall system performance is a critical component of achieving effective pumping system operations to keep costs down and improve station reliability.

However, there are additional instruments working in association with valves which are important to consider when working to achieve optimum system performance; such as the flowmeter (aka flow sensor), which measures the flow rate of liquids and gasses in order to monitor and maintain the proper rate of flow working through valves and pumps.

Achieving optimum valve performance and efficiency is reliant on choosing the right flowmeter, which is in turn accomplished by identifying the requirements of each specific application. For instance, whether gas, liquid, or air is the process; whether the process is clean or not; the temperature of the process; and the pressure (minimum/maximum) necessary are all components of identifying which sensor (flowmeter) to choose.

Global Significance | Efficient Valve Design and Process Flow Rate

The performance of valves and pumps is heavily dependent on the head and flow rate of whichever process will be flowing through. In addition to the fact that maintaining systems with efficient valves and pumps plays a large role in the accumulative cost of plant operations and maintenance; the fact that nearly a quarter of the world’s energy usage comes from the operation of pumping systems that include the use of many, many valves throughout, makes it evident that ensuring the proper rate of flow through the system in an efficient manner is of utmost importance.

To clearly define how these system components are all so tightly interrelated it’s necessary to see how pumps, valves, and flowmeters work together. The basic breakdown is this:

  • Pumps transfer and circulate the process (process = material flowing through the system, e.g. gas/liquid/air)
  • Valves control the flow
  • Flowmeters measure the flow and identify critical issues, as well as sometimes play a role in the disbursement of flow process

For the pumps in the pumping systems to work effectively, the proper rate of flow is so important that if, for example, there is not enough process flowing through the pump, the pump can burn out, which means costly replacement requirements. Monitoring and affecting the proper flow rate is a key aspect of plant-wide system maintenance. Additionally, if the pump is not operating effectively, everything in the system and operations reliant on the efficient pump and valve performance suffers, potentially to catastrophic degrees.

Flowmeters and Process Speed Regulation

Although using control valves is an important aspect of flow control to maintain pumping systems, it is still very important to identify the correct flow speed with monitoring and adjustments. This is done through instruments such as flowmeters, in order ensure the valves are able to perform in the most sustainable and efficient manner. You simply cannot achieve and maintain an optimum level of efficiency without the inclusion of all of these tools in the system.

There are many different types of flowmeters and numerous features in each. High viscosity processes may require the use of positive displacement flowmeters. There are flowmeters more effective lower rate flow, magnetic flowmeters, variable area flowmeters, turbine flowmeters, and many additional types of flowmeters to be considered in the evaluation process when setting up the most efficient system.

As you continue to participate in the online valve industry community in either your search for key facts to aid you in your professional life, your quest to quench your thirst for industrial knowledge, and/or your desire to help educate the community on the worldwide importance of valves and pumping systems operations, please join the LinkedIn Valve Industry group to participate in discussions and let us know what additional topics you want to see covered regarding the valve industry.

There is a great deal to learn about the many types of flowmeters and the critical nature of their use in connection with valve efficiency and performance. Let us know which details you want to see covered more thoroughly and what associated questions you have regarding valves and flowmeters today!



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