US flow meter company patents sensor technology for large pipes

Flow meter patent for large pipes
Flow Research has secured a patent for seven different flow technologies that it is looking to license to manufacturers

US flow meter research company Flow Research confirmed this week it has secured approval from the US Patent and Trademark Office for a design targeted at large pipes.

The Massachusetts-based company said founder Jesse Yoder had received a patent for a new dual tube flow meter that uses smaller, less expensive dual sensors that aim to measure flow more economically than larger sensors that have to cover the entire pipe.

The approved patent applies to seven different flow technologies, including Coriolis, magnetic, ultrasonic, vortex, thermal, differential pressure, and turbine.

Flow Meter said the design of the Yoder dual tube meter features two equally sized round tubes placed within a meter body.

A sensor within each tube computes the flow within the tube.

The total flow through the pipe is then computed from the results of the flow measurement within the two tubes, plus a calculation based on testing.

Flow technologies combined in single meter

Commenting on the development, Jesse Yoder, the inventor of the flowtube meter, said: “The flowtube meter opens up the possibility of mixing different flow technologies within a single meter.

This is not a completely new concept, but it is one that has not been adequately explored or implemented by flow meter suppliers.

It is easy to assume the idea that each flow meter has to use only one sensor type (e.g., Coriolis, ultrasonic, etc.), while much can potentially be gained from using multiple technologies within a single meter. This is the path already taken by inventors of multiphase meters.

He added: “Measuring flow through a pipe by measuring the flow through dual tubes inserted into the pipe is itself a revolutionary idea, and has the potential to change the flowmeter landscape across many flow technologies.”

Flow Research is seeking to license the technology to flow meter manufacturers interested in incorporating the flowtube meter into their product lines.