Welcome to the Autumn 2018 issue of fLowdown - a quarterly Newsletter from Titan Enterprises Ltd. written to keep you informed about the latest technological developments, applications advances and breaking news in the field of flow measurement.

If a particular feature interests you, do not hesitate to contact us or follow the link for further information. We welcome your feedback.

Trevor Forster (Managing Director)


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Trevor's Technical Tip

Trevor Forster is Managing Director of Titan Enterprises. His experience in fluid handling dates back to the mid 1960's when he started working on rotating seals and flowmeter design for third party clients. Trevor draws upon over 40 years of using innovative design and production techniques to produce elegant flow metering solutions for organisations around the globe.

In this issue - Trevor offers you useful technical tips on:

Avoiding Turbine Flowmeter Pitfalls

Small turbine flowmeters are adaptable devices that Titan has successfully employed for a wide range of laboratory dispensing applications.

Turbine flowmeters offer the high level of repeatability and dependability required for accurate laboratory batch delivery systems. Assuring the linearity of these low cost small flow devices should however be carefully considered. Turbine flowmeters are intrinsically Reynolds number devices so as long as the operating characteristics do not change drastically even their non-linearity can be accommodated with a software correction. In most laboratory dispensing applications - the flow rate is constant so linearity is not normally an issue.

Care has to also be taken with the resolution of turbine flowmeters. For example - to deliver a pre-selected quantity of pure water at 1-litre per minute any one of our 800-Series flowmeters could be used. The problem comes with the volume size, accuracy requirements and delivery speed versus permissible pressure drop in the system. The chart below highlights the potential issues.

Flowmeter batch times and resolutions.

Titan model 803 815 845 865 810 824
Flow range l/min 0.05-0.5 0.12-1.5 0.0-4.5 0.25-6.5 0.3-10 0.5-15
Pulses per litre 17000 7000 3500 2100 1420 980
Desired flow rate l/min 0.5 max 1 1 1 1 1
Desired volume l 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Number of pulses counted   700 350 210 142 98
Best Resulting resolution ±   0.07% 0.14% 0.24% 0.35% 0.51%
Dispense time seconds   6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00
   Smaller volume measurement
Desired flow rate l/min 1 1 1 1 1 1
Desired volume l 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05
Number of pulses counted   350 175 105 71 49
Best Resulting resolution ±   0.14% 0.29% 0.48% 0.70% 1.02%
Dispense time seconds   3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00


As can be seen from the two examples above the relationship between best possible resolution, dispense volume and dispense time is completely linear. Unfortunately the system timings, start and stop response times and general system inertia can become significant. However, if these are known and constant - they can be calibrated out permitting quite small deliveries to be made relatively accurately.

In practice using turbine flowmeters it is difficult to achieve accuracies much better than ±0.5% . For laboratory dispensing applications requiring higher accuracy we have an ultrasonic system under test that may offer a more appropriate solution.

Further Information: click here

Flow Technology Spotlight

In this issue of fLowdown we focus on the subject of:

Size Matters!

Following development of possibly the world’s smallest Pelton wheel flowmeter (patented by Titan) - Trevor Forster spots the world's largest Pelton Wheel in Norway.

For many years – Titan Enterprises has produced Turbine flowmeters based upon a Pelton wheel which rotates freely on robust sapphire bearings and contains over-moulded magnets that are detected through the chamber wall by a Hall effect detector.

Recently Trevor came across a monster Pelton wheel turbine while on holiday in Norway. It is claimed to be the largest Pelton Wheel turbine in the world with a diameter of over 5 metres and weighing 37 tonnes. When this Pelton Wheel turbine was in use in the Norwegian Power Industry it ran at 300 RPM and had a peak generating capacity of 310MW of power using 43,000 m3 of water per second. Unfortunately - the wheel broke when one of the reaction cups, weighing 700Kg, failed and caused the plant to be shut down for two months while a new unit was manufactured and installed. The re-attached faulty cup is still clearly visible.

While the world's largest Pelton wheel turbine was not manufactured by Titan - possibly the world's smallest Pelton Wheel turbine flowmeter was.

It was a turbine aimed at metering the lowest possible flow we could achieve. Weighing just 100mg, and with an outside diameter of 11mm, this tiny turbine flowmeter could measure flows of 16.7 X 10-9 m3 per second or 0.8ml/minute and be able to run up to 2000 RPM. This is not the lowest flow turbine we ever produced as our bladeless device ran even lower - the design is subject of our patent number GB2183046 (B).

The design for this device dispensed with traditional turbine flowmeter blades as they caused turbulence in the fluid you were trying to measure thus causing extra drag. We simply placed two 10mm diameter discs only 0.8mm apart. Into the gap between the discs we introduced a jet of liquid and relied on the liquid within the narrow space to form the reaction with the incoming stream and rotate the turbine. The bearings were very small sapphire units sourced from a Swiss manufacturer.

We no longer make this product as we realised that to measure such low flows - energy of some sort would have to be introduced into the system and the device would be very sensitive to changes in the fluid properties. .As a result, in 2008 we developed our “Atrato” flowmeter, which continues to be the lowest flow ultrasonic flowmeter in the world.. Today we have working Atrato ultrasonic flowmeter units with customers capable of reliably measuring flows as low as 0.5ml/min.

Learn More about Turbine flowmeters: click here

Learn more about Atrato low flow ultrasonic flowmeters: click here

How do I measure?

In this issue of fLowdown we discuss:

High Pressure but Low Flow?

While there are a few devices available that will meter high pressure fluids at low flows with good accuracy - very few of them do a great job at a sensible, installed life time cost.

Pelton wheel turbines packaged in stainless bodies will give the required pressure ratings and reasonable performance with consistent fluid characteristics. They are Reynolds Number dependant though so complicated electronics and temperature sensing would have to accompany the meter to get consistent performance where there any changes in fluid characteristic or even flow rate. They will not handle viscous fluids at all.

Positive displacement meters are also capable of measuring low liquid flows at high pressures but again there are limitations. To work well the fluid being monitored should have some viscosity and be perfectly clean particularly when using oscillating piston meters where there are relatively large areas of sliding surfaces. These surfaces wear and are subject to static friction with long term use. We often specify our oval gear meters for these applications as these have relatively small rubbing areas relative to their driving force and are therefore suitable even for non-viscous liquids.

Coriolis meters are very good but expensive. These meters will give ±0.5% accuracy over a wide flow range at pressures up to 100 Bar.

Ultrasonic meters are new to this product area but some care should be taken when specifying this technology. Some devices require zero point adjustment to prevent the meters showing flow where there is none. Ultrasonic meters are typically calibrated at the factory but their readings will change with temperature or even mounting methods. In recent developments at Titan we have addressed these issues and our new 100Bar low flow Process Atrato does not require this in-situ tuning while recording very low flows which are the lowest on the market for this type of technology.

Learn More about the High Pressure Low Flow Atrato: click here.

News Update:

New High Pressure Testing Facility

Having relied on an external pressure test facility for many years - Titan has recently taken delivery of a high-pressure test unit for in-house pressure testing of our flowmeters. The new unit is able to accommodate and test even our largest flowmeters with a 600mm cubic loading capacity. The maximum design pressure is 1200 Bar which will enable us to rapidly validate new flow meter designs as well as certifying meters for high pressure operation.

We are Recruiting: 
Research Software Engineer

Titan Enterprises is looking for an enthusiastic software engineer with an interest in electronics to work in the development of novel flowmeter design and manufacture. As a family run small progressive business, this role gives the applicant the opportunity to be directly involved in the development of leading edge technology. If you think that you have ability or proven ability to develop software in a small enterprising business at the cutting edge of flow measurement systems then we would love to hear from you.

Read Full Job Specification: click here


Problem Solved

In this feature, we look to bring you examples of customer applications addressed by flowmeter development by Titan Enterprises.

Monitoring Jet Engine Oil Consumption

Titan Enterprises recently supplied a set of fluid flow sensors with associated electronics to a leading aerospace company to meter the oil consumption of a jet engine to an accuracy of better than ±0.5%. The flow sensors were calibrated using the actual fluid used in the jet engine and oil manufacturer’s density charts were used to apply the corrections for temperature changes. A calibrated platinum resistance sensor was incorporated into the flowmeter body to ensure accurate temperature measurement.

During testing the customer weighed the oil at the start of the run, ran the engine for a pre-determined period and weighed the remaining oil to see how much the engine had consumed. After the initial test the customer reported that the supplied fluid flow sensor was over 0.5% out from their mass tests. They returned the flow sensor to the factory and we re-calibrated and attained virtually identical results to our first run. Doubting our calibration rigs we did a mass calibration on our flow rigs but this appeared to confirm that everything was calibrated correctly.

We could see no problems with the techniques used but could not explain the offset in the answer which was repeatable but wrong. As a consequence we decided to check the density correction matrix we had entered into the system in case we had made a repeated error. Handed a copy by the aerospace company of their own density correction chart we noted it was 0.5% offset from the oil manufacturer data ! Entering the customer’s empirically collated data our fluid flow sensor performed perfectly.

To request futher information click here.

Product Focus

How Much Have You Drunk?

Based upon a unique Pelton wheel design, Titan Enterprises beverage dispensing flowmeters are inherently reliable and proven in tens of thousands of installations around the world.

At the heart of each beverage flowmeter is a precision Pelton wheel turbine that rotates freely on robust sapphire bearings and contains over-moulded magnets that are detected through the chamber wall by a Hall effect detector. The output from the beverage flowmeter is a stream of NPN pulses that are directly interfaced with the electronic display. This combination of materials and technology ensures a long-life product with reliable operation throughout.

Constructed from totally non-metallic wetted components and offering a flow range of up to 10 litres per minute – Titan’s NSF-accredited beverage dispensing flowmeters are the product of choice for precise metering of lower viscosity beverages including coffee, wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks.

To learn more: click here.

Case study: click here.

Book Review

“The Fourth Phase of Water”

Water is just H2O right? Apparently not. Having worked with low flow liquid flow meters for many years the technical team at Titan has come to recognise that water, on a micro level, does not always behave as we would expect it to. But what is going on? This informative book explains some of those anomalies in simple terms and is not like any fluid dynamics book we have ever read. It is full of very simple experiments that the author and his small team have designed and challenges us to repeat using very simple everyday tools. There are lots of questions which can be answered by a proposed fourth phase of water whose formula is H3O2. Labelled Polywater by a Russian scientist it has been know about for years but not properly investigated. The author of this book, Dr Gerald Pollack, uses a recent scientific finding that when touching most surfaces, water transforms itself into Exclusion Zone (EZ) or fourth phase water. Using this finding he is able to provide simple explanations for everyday phenomena including … How do clouds made up of dense water droplets manage to float in the sky? ; Why don’t your joints squeak as they rub together? ; Why do you sink in dry sand, but not in wet sand? ; Why does warm water freeze quicker than cool water?

For those of you who prefer the tactile experience of a physical book it can be easily sourced from most good bookshops. For those of you who prefer to be informed by videos try the authors 24 minute lecture on Youtube :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-T7tCMUDXU&vl=en


"What's the difference between a decent solenoid valve and a newly elected politician? The solenoid valve doesn't change its position."

Two atoms are walking down the street, and one says to the other, "Wait, wait, we have to go back. I've lost an electron somewhere." The second atom says, "Really? Are you sure?" To which the first atom replies, "Yes. I'm positive."

New engineer: "How do you estimate how long a project will take?"
Seasoned engineer: "I add up the time required for each task, then multiply the sum by pi."
New engineer: "Why pi?"
Seasoned engineer: "It ensures that all my budgets are irrational."

Click here for a printable version of Flowdown.

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Titan Enterprises Ltd, Unit 2, 5A Cold Harbour Business Park, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4JW. UK
Telephone: +44 (0)1935 812790   -   Fax: +44 (0)1935 812890   -   Email: sales@flowmeters.co.uk