How to

Vortex Flow Meter Calibration Procedure

What is a vortex flow meter?

Vortex flow meters determine the speed of a fluid by employing a method known as the von Kármán effect, which asserts that a reoccurring pattern of whirling vortices will be produced whenever the flow is directed through a bluff body. This method is used to calculate the velocity of the fluid.

How do you calibrate a vortex flow meter?

Step by Step Calibration Procedure for Vortex Flow Meter

The detailed description provided below outlines the step-by-step procedure for calibrating a Vortex flow meter (transmitter) using a standard reference flow meter either in the process area or a flow calibration lab.

Step 1: Tools Required for Vortex Flow Meter Calibration

How to do Vortex flow meter calibration? 1
  1. Necessary hand tools.
  2. Standard reference flow meter
  3. Flow control panel
  4. Test leads and probes.
  5. Multimeter
  6. Soft Cloth for cleaning.

Step 2: Safety Precautions

  1. To learn more about fundamental safety, general recommendations, and calibrating operations in process industries, please click on the following link. Process Industry Calibration Process: Basic Safety and General Concerns
  2. Request that the panel operator configure the controller in manual mode for the vortex  flow meter’s control loop and MOS for the ESD loop.
  3. Examine for the vortex flow transmitter that needs calibration. Verify that the vortex flow transmitter you are using is the right one, and make note of and double-check any relevant details, such as the Tag number (which may include the manufacturer, model number, flow range, etc.).
  4. Follow all of your organization’s safety regulations, including the usage of personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves, safety glasses, and proper clothing.
  5. Before removing the flow meter, make sure the process is appropriately isolated to avoid any potential hazards including leaks, spills, or exposure to dangerous materials.
  6. Remove the vortex flow meter’s power supply. Using an instrument loop diagram for the vortex flow meter, check any nearby junction boxes or marshalling panels near the control room to see if the power supply is present at the source.
  7. De-energize and isolate the flow meter from any power sources or process fluids using lockout/tagout procedures. This procedure is critical for safeguarding personnel against sudden energization or release of stored energy.
  8. Before disconnecting the flow meter and any associated pipelines or equipment, safely release any pressure. To avoid potential injury or equipment damage, follow proper depressurization techniques.
  9. To reduce the danger of exposure to harmful gases, vapors, or fumes during the removal process, ensure sufficient ventilation in the process area.
  10. Before removing the flow meter and accompanying equipment, check its stability and condition. To avoid injuries or damage to the equipment, employ proper lifting and handling practices.
  11. Disconnect and remove the flow meter using the proper tools and equipment. To avoid incidents such as falling objects or trips and falls, ensure that all equipment is securely secured and handled.
  12. Inspect the vortex flow meter for evident damage or wear before transferring it to the flow lab. To ensure accurate and dependable findings, resolve any difficulties before continuing with calibration.
  13. Carry the flow meter to the flow lab safely. Store it safely to avoid loss or harm.
  14. Make sure flow meter removal, transfer, and calibration follow local, national, and industry regulations.
  15. When removing a flow meter from the process area and calibrating in a flow lab, follow your company’s safety guidelines. Consult the manufacturer’s literature for flow meter model-specific safety precautions.

Step 3: Prepare Calibration Setup for Vortex Flow Meter

How to do Vortex flow meter calibration?2
  1. Ensure that you have the necessary equipment and tools for the calibration process, including the vortex flow meter under test, a standard flow meter, a flow control panel, appropriate connectors, piping and any required adapters. Set up the flow control panel in the flow lab, following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines. Ensure that the panel is properly connected to a stable power source and all electrical connections are secure.
  2. Install the standard flow meter in the designated location within the flow lab.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation, including any necessary alignment and mounting procedures.
  4. Connect the standard flow meter to the flow control panel using appropriate connections.
  5. Install the vortex flow meter that requires calibration in the designated location within the flow lab.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation, including any necessary alignment and mounting procedures.
  7. Connect the vortex flow meter to the flow control panel using appropriate connections as shown in the figure.
  8. Configure the flow control panel to establish the desired flow rates and operating parameters for the calibration.
  9. Set the flow control panel to the required units of measurement (e.g., flow rate in liters per minute or cubic meters per hour).
  10. Adjust the control panel settings to control the flow rates accurately and within the desired range for the calibration process.
  11. Based on requirements and resources, choose a calibration method.
  12. Prepare the calibration equipment and multimeter in series with a panel to measure the mA current.
  13. Determine that there are no obstructions or constraints in the flow paths for both the vortex flow meter that is being tested and the standard flow meter.
  14. Check the pipes, connectors and valves to ensure they are securely fastened and operating as intended.
  15. Prepare the necessary calibration documentation, such as calibration sheets, data logging forms, and any specific forms or templates required by your organization.
  16. Ensure that you have the necessary information and details to accurately document the calibration process, including flow rates, readings, and any adjustments made.
  17. Pre-calibration tests should be carried out as needed, including confirming the flow control panel’s operation and the stability and accuracy of the standard flow meter.
  18. The connections have been established and are currently being prepared for the calibration of the vortex flow meter, as shown in the diagram.

Step 4: Calibration Procedure of Vortex Flowmeter

  1. Ensure that the flow lab is set up correctly with the vortex flow meter, standard reference flow meter, and flow control panel properly installed and connected.
  2. Verify that the standard reference flow meter calibrated with valid certificate and flow control panel is functioning correctly.
  3. Open the inlet and outlet valve in the flow lines,
  4. Set the desired flow range for the calibration process on the flow control panel.
  5. Ensure that the flow control panel is adjusted to provide a stable and consistent flow rate.
  6. Monitor the flow rates displayed on the control panel to ensure they align with the desired values.
  7. Take initial measurements from both the vortex flow meter and the standard reference flow meter at a specific flow rate within the desired range.
  8. Record the readings from both meters, along with any associated parameters such as temperature or pressure.
  9. Compare the readings of the vortex flow meter and the standard reference flow meter.
  10. If there are significant deviations, make adjustments to the calibration settings of the vortex flow meter.
  11. Consult the manufacturer’s documentation or guidelines for specific instructions on adjusting the calibration settings.
  12. Repeat the adjustments and measurements as necessary until the readings align closely.
  13. Increase or decrease the flow rate to different levels within the desired range.
  14. Take measurements simultaneously from the vortex flow meter and the standard reference flow meter at each flow rate.
  15. Additionally, compare the vortex flow meter’s corresponding mA output with a multimeter while it is being calibrated.
  16. Record the readings from both meters and compare them to assess the accuracy and consistency of the vortex flow meter.

Step 5: Recording Calibration with Linearity Check

  1. Repeat the measurements and comparisons at different flow rates within the desired range in upscale and downscale.
  2. Verify that the readings of the vortex flow meter closely match those of the standard reference flow meter, indicating successful calibration.
  3. Confirm the accuracy and repeatability of the vortex flow meter across the calibrated range.
  4. If the output value of the vortex flow meter does not fall within an acceptable range, calibration is required. The vortex flow meter needs to be repaired or replaced if the output readings have once again fallen outside of the permissible range.
  5. If all output values (+/-%) fall within acceptable bounds, then the vortex flow meter does not require any further calibration.
  6. The output data should be entered in the as found/as left column of the blank vortex flow meter calibration report.

Step 6: Completion of Calibration

  1. Once the calibration has been successfully conducted, attach the calibration label to the vortex flow meter.
  2. Remove the calibration setup, flow control panel, vortex flow meter, and reference flow meters.
  3. Clean and store the vortex flow meter calibration test equipment after calibration. Record the calibration data for future use.
  4. In the processing area, the vortex flow meter connections must be restored. 
  5. Check the workspace of the vortex flow meter for cleanliness.
  6. De-isolate the apparatus. After the vortex flow meter has been installed and de-isolated, it is important to inspect the pipe for any signs of a leak.
  7. Restore the bypassed or suppressed signal of the vortex flow meter to its original level.
  8. Make sure the vortex flow meter is functioning properly before using it.

Step 7: Calibration Report Preparation and Validation

The image that follows shows how the vortex flow meter sample report was calibrated in a process area or flow lab utilizing a reference standard flow meter and multimeter as the reference.

How to do Vortex flow meter calibration? 3

Follow our Vortex Flowmeter calibration procedure, meticulously designed to meet NIST industry standards and ensure precise measurement in various industrial applications.

When calibrating Vortex Flowmeters, adhere to recognized standards such as ISO 5167 and ASME MFC-14M for performance criteria, testing methodologies, and calibration processes. Additionally, refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for model-specific guidelines and recommendations to achieve accurate and reliable flow measurements.

Click here for more Calibration Procedure

Sundareswaran Iyalunaidu

With over 24 years of dedicated experience, I am a seasoned professional specializing in the commissioning, maintenance, and installation of Electrical, Instrumentation and Control systems. My expertise extends across a spectrum of industries, including Power stations, Oil and Gas, Aluminium, Utilities, Steel and Continuous process industries. Tweet me @sundareshinfohe

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