Trying to measure flow rate of engine oil under operating conditions in the automotive engineers is considered to be among the tough of flow measurements. The engine is to be mounted upon a test bench with a dynamometer to make the job slightly easier resulting from enhanced space availability. However, there is required careful installation and selection of flow measurement system. The vehicle’s engine bay measurements get restricted resulting from instrument power needs, harsh bonnet conditions and installation space necessities.
Available device options
Besides gas flow meter, you need to check out the other available options.
- Positive displacement meter can be found in different forms, namely, helical screw, piston meter, gear meter, etc. Such meters usually are expensive and may cause issues at the time of installation resulting from high pressure drop. These devices are however good when operating across diverse viscosities and tend to suffer from low viscosity-based meter slippage. Flow Meter does vary in size. However, it is possible to install them without requiring any flow conditioning. A few engine test houses can be found to use them. But it is not considered to be an ideal solution.
- Coriolis meters: They are considered to be high accuracy meters meant mostly for fixed installations. They are quite expensive and also large sized, when compared to positive displacement meters, turbines and Paperless Recorder. The last decade has witnessed their significant progress. However, they are still prone to zero drift measurement issues, vibration and poor installation. They are found quite ideal especially for test bench usage the place where they get installed permanently. Straight tube models have currently become the norm. Also is offered excellent viscosity range and low pressure drop. Going through well-established portals like https://www.silverinstruments.com can give you a better idea of the different devices available and the purposes they are designed to serve.
- Turbine meters: It is considered to be among the most used natural gas flow meter due to its small size and low costs. Many global manufacturers offer this device. It boasts of having manageable pressure drop that is not considered to be excessively detrimental to the performance of the oil system. Such devices are also found to be sensitive towards oil as well as have fluid-flow profile effects. Hence, it becomes necessary to calibrate the natural gas flow measurement across diverse oil viscosity range. It also has installed downstream/upstream flow conditioning tubes. When used, it becomes vital to match perfectly the installed conditions to derive accurate results. The specialist flow calibration labs are likely to calibrate this device on similar engine oil at similar operating temperature. Also will be used similar outlet/inlet connections according to the installed engine. It could perhaps be a portion of the assembly engine like the oil filter assembly or oil cooler. It is generally the engine’s easiest part where there can be noticed interruption of oil flow. Majority of the inline natural gas flow meter manufacturers offer water-based calibration certificate that may result in causing large errors in case engine oils are used in it.
Oil flow measurement is quite complex and hence, it is better to consult the experts to make the right choice.