The Function of an Ultrasonic Flow Meter

Running a water management operation requires taking a wide range of measurements. In addition to measuring the flow in your system, many systems must measure the water level of their channel, and one of the best tools for accomplishing this goal is an ultrasonic flow meter.

If you’re considering using an ultrasonic flow meter in your operation, it’s a good idea to learn how this tool works and some of the issues that can impact its performance. Here is information about how an ultrasonic flow meter works, and advice for installing this measurement tool in your system.

How Ultrasonic Flow Meters Work

An ultrasonic flow meter is one of the most versatile, accurate measurement tools on the market today because it uses sound to determine the water level in your system. When an ultrasonic flow meter takes a reading, it emits a high-frequency sound puce towards the surface of your flow, where it will hit the water and create an echo. The flow meter measures how long it takes the echo to return to the meter, and this is how it determines the flow level.

At the initial setup, the ultrasonic meter is usually installed with a predetermined flow level, which can either be with no water or a small amount of water. This is done to calibrate the meter so that its readings will be accurate.


Now that you know the basic functioning of an ultrasonic flow meter, it’s a good idea to learn about a few of the different types of interference that your flume may encounter. Understanding these interferences will make sure that you get the most utility possible from your flume.

Most of the risks to your flow meter are environmental in nature. For example, strong winds can interfere with an ultrasonic sensor, as can solar heating. Also, an uneven flow surface due to foam or turbulence can cause inaccurate readings. If there are obstructions in the water, it’s also possible for a false echo to occur.

Correcting Problems

If you want to make sure that your flow meter functions properly, it’s crucial that you take precautions to avoid the types of interference mentioned in the previous section. In systems where solar heating is a risk, you can install a sensor shade to protect your flow meter. Some operations choose to increase their echo strength to counteract turbulent surface flow.

It’s also important your system can accommodate an ultrasonic meter. Channels that are less than six-inches wide or experience constant turbulence should choose a different level measuring option.

Install Flow Meters

For most water management systems, the best way to measure water level is by using an ultrasonic flow meter. These tools are accurate, and extremely easy to use. If you want to install an ultrasonic flow meter in your system, you need to make sure you have a matching flow management device like a flume by shopping with Tracom, FRP.

Tracom is proud to offer our customers an impressive selection of water management products, including measuring devices like flumes and weir boxes. Our tools will improve the accuracy and success of your operation. Request a quote from Tracom today.

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