Steam Flow Meters

For reliable steam flow measurement, sensors within vortex meter bodies measure detached vortices (both negative and positive pressures) as they pass over a ‘bluff body’.

This frequency of vortex shedding is proportionate to mean flow velocity and therefore volume flow, with the generated signals converted to present live flow rates and total flow rates on the vortex meter display.

Valveforce vortex steam flow meters are simple and rugged, general-purpose flowmeters offering high performance and accurate flow measurement with wide rangeability and excellent long-term stability. They operate across a wide temperature range of up to +400ºC and between 10:1 and 30:1 turndown and are suitable for a wide steam flow range, and each vortex meter should be individually calibrated to a defined flow velocity and supplied with a calibration certificate.


Fluid flowing through the flowmeter body passes a specially shaped vortex shedder which causes vortices to form and shed alternately from the sides of the shedder at a rate proportional to the rate of flow of the fluid. These shedding vortices create an alternating differential pressure which is sensed by a detector located above the shedder.

A pulsed voltage is generated by the detector with a frequency which is synchronous with the vortex shedding frequency. This voltage is then conditioned by the amplifier to produce either a pulsed rate signal or an analogue 4-20mA d.c. signal. The output from the amplifier is fed to the flow computer which has a special digital filter that enables the flow rate to be displayed and read with extremely high precision.

In addition, the variable formatting feature allows both rate and total to be displayed in virtually any format that may be required.

Case Study - Vortex meters from Valveforce helped a food factory on a new boiler install project

Whenever accurate data on steam consumption in a plant is needed, vortex meters are one of the obvious choices. The high turn down ratio of these meters means they can measure changing demand over the day, making them ideal for applications including the measuring of boiler efficiency and heat exchanger steam consumption.

Understanding how your plant is using steam can also have a big impact when it comes to planning plant upgrades. For example, we advised a food factory to install vortex meters on their existing boilers before considering installing a new boiler to increase capacity.

The benefits in this example are obvious. Purchasing and installing a new boiler is a considerable expenditure. By accurately measuring steam consumption beforehand, a more accurate picture of how the plant is operating can be built up, which in this case helped to better specify the new boiler the plant eventually purchase.

Steam Flow Meters

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