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Swirl Flowmeter vs Vortex Flowmeter | Difference between Swirl Flowmeter and Vortex Flowmeter

This page compares Swirl Flowmeter vs Vortex Flowmeter and mentions difference between Swirl Flowmeter and Vortex Flowmeter.

Swirl Flowmeter

Swirl Flowmeter

• It is used to measure flow of wide variety of liquids, gases and steam.
• Swirl flowmeters are similar to vortex flowmeters but its construction is slightly different.
• Like vortex, Swirl flowmeter is used for direct mass flow measurement of dry saturated steam.
• Swirl flowmeter is based on pressure variations resulting due to interruption of flow by obstruction. This is similar to vortex principle.
• In swirl flowmeter, flow is passed through fixed spiral vanes which causes spiral flow pattern. This happens across the entire pipe.
• Frequency of fluid rotation depends on flow rate.
• A sensor is used to detect the speed of the rotation and pass it to electronic circuits of the flowmeter.
• The Swirl flowmeter can be used in harsh process and environmental conditions requiring accuracy on the order of about +/- 0.2%. Vortex flowmeters are used for accuracy requirements of about +/- 0.75% in liquids, gases and steam.

Vortex Flowmeter

Vortex Flow Meter

It works based on natural phenomenon which occurs when liquid flows around bluff object. In this meter, vortices are shed alternately down-stream of object, similar to flag flapping in breeze. More flag flaps when the wind blows faster. The "flapping" in liquid flows is known as "Shedding". The frequency of the shedding is directly proportional to velocity of liquid flowing through the Vortex flow meter. The more frequent "shedding" refers to high rate of flow of water.

It consists of two major components viz. flow tube and transmitter. The flow tube composed of three parts which include body, shedder and sensors.

Following are the features of Vortex flow meter:
• Pipe sizes: 2" to 20"
• Water to be used: clean to dirty
• Pressure loss: low to medium
• accuracy: +/-1% of full scale
• Length of straight pipe upstream of meter: 10 times of diameter
• Length of straight pipe downstream of meter: 5 times of diameter
• Cost: Low to medium

Following table summarizes core difference between Swirl Flowmeter and Vortex Flowmeter.

Features Swirl Flowmeter Vortex Flowmeter
Accuracy +/- 0.2 % liquids, gases, steam (0.5% better than vortex) +/- 0.75 % liquids, gases, steam
Obstruction used to create pressure variations Fixed spiral vanes Wedge shaped (called bluff body)
Turndown ratio 30:1 20:1
Operates upto viscosity level (of) 30 cp 8 to 10 cp
Applicability for tight piping requirements Best Can be used


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