Home » Sierra Blog » Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Official Blog of Sierra--Let's Talk Flow!

How Does a Water Flow Meter Work?


Oct 27, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

A water flow meter is a device that measures the amount of water flowing through a pipe. There are several water flow meter technologies to choose from depending on the water measurement application, maintenance requirements, and budgetary terms.  Each of these types of water flow meters has a unique principle of operation, specific application benefits, and overall cost-of-ownership. The question […]

Read the Story

How Does a Flow Meter Work?


Oct 09, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

A flow meter works by measuring the amount of a gas, liquid or steam that passes through or around the flow meter sensors. While flow meter sensors work in many different ways, the end goal is the same: Deliver the most accurate and repeatable flow measurements for the specific application, whether for general research, process […]

Read the Story

Preventable Mistakes with Vortex Flow Meters


Sep 22, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Vortex flow meter technology is an ideal technology for many applications particularly saturated and supersaturated steam, volumetric water applications as well as flow energy management (natural gas, compressed air, steam, water) in facilities and large campuses. In some of these applications, vortex installations can be tricky and take flow expertise for the most successful installations. Kam Bansal, […]

Read the Story

How Does a Thermal Flow Meter Work?


Aug 31, 2017
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

An insertion-type (immersible) thermal flow meter works by measuring the total mass flow rate of air/gas flowing through a pipe or duct. In a thermal flow meter’s simplest working configuration, gas flows past a heated velocity sensor and a temperature sensor. Instrument electronics work to maintain a constant temperature differential of 50 degrees Celsius between the actual gas temperature and the […]

Read the Story

Sensor Probe Insertion/Retractor Simplifies Installation of Steam Flow Meters in Hot Tapping Applications


Oct 26, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Accurately measuring fluid flows like steam in large ducts or pipes is a challenging application. Large ducts and pipes often have swirl or turbulent flow which makes accurate flow measurement difficult. Not to mention, installation of steam flow meters can be extremely challenging since in many cases you will need to shut off the steam flow to install […]

Read the Story

How to Attain Precise CO2 Injection in the Carbonated Beverage Production Process


Sep 06, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Looking for the perfectly carbonated beverage? Is your CO2 injection process leaving your drinks flat? Industrial mass flow controllers offer the perfect solution for controlling the exact CO2 injection into beverages to create the perfect foam for the beer industry or carbonation for popular soft drinks. It is pivotal that carbonated beverage manufacturers have the […]

Read the Story

Providing Precision Flow Control Solutions for Critical Biomolecular Research


Apr 29, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

When scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (CBS) in the United Kingdom needed instrumentation to control the flow of gases in their research, they turned to Litre Meter, a UK distributor for Sierra Instruments, and the SmartTrak 100 series mass flow meters and controllers. The working relationship between Litre Meter and the […]

Read the Story

For Vortex Flow Meters, Accuracy Matters in Steam Energy Flow Measurement


Mar 13, 2016
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The heat is on. Most facilities managers are in the hot seat to account for all of the flow energy, going in and out of their facility which is no easy task. This mandate is no different for steam flow measurement. Vortex flow meters continue to be the industry standard for accurate steam flow measurement. […]

Read the Story

For the First Time, Field-Adjust For Gas Composition Changes, Retain Accuracy, Save Time and Money


Jun 05, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

For the first time, customers can adjust their gas composition in the field on thermal flow meters to solve EPA reporting challenges. When gas composition changes, typical thermal meters must be sent back to the factory to be re-calibrated in order to maintain required accuracy levels.  All of this is a costly, time consuming endevour. Imagine the time […]

Read the Story

If gas composition changes, field-adjust to maintain flow meter accuracy?


Apr 13, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Changes in gas composition cut into productivity in the field, exactly when you need accuracy in flow meter measurement the most. But what if you could retain that precision, even when those changes occur? Now you can do just that with qMix Software.  If your gas composition changes over time, you can now quickly field-adjust the QuadraTherm […]

Read the Story

Why Dry Sensor Design Is Key for Stability, Accuracy and In-Situ Validation


Mar 01, 2015
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Designing a stable sensor that will last over the lifetime of your thermal mass flow meter is the holy grail in thermal mass flow meter design.  The truth is that most flow meter manufacturers use a “wet” sensor design, filled with epoxies and cements.  As conditions in your application change, the sensor is heated and cooled over time, expanding […]

Read the Story

Take Charge of Your Facility’s Water Usage…


Oct 27, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Water is a precious resource! Now, more than ever, businesses and facilities must take charge of their water usage to help with water conservation and lower water bills. Water conservation begins with knowing exactly how much water you are using in your process or facility. When you know how much water you are using, you can adjust […]

Read the Story

The Truth About In-Situ Calibration Validation of Thermal Flowmeters


Sep 10, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In-situ calibration validation is one of the great benefits of thermal mass flow technology. This video reviews in-situ calibration validation and details how thermal sensor stability is the only way a calibration validation is actually valid! Get the truth about in-situ calibration so you can make informed decisions. Watch the video now! For a more detailed […]

Read the Story

4 Keys to Great Portable Ultrasonic Flow Metering


Aug 18, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The liquid measurement market is an extremely large market with many varied measurement requirements. To get the best bang for your buck, a portable ultrasonic flow meter is a practical solution. With a portable ultrasonic flow meter, you can use one liquid flow meter in several locations throughout your flow process. There are many portable […]

Read the Story

How to Save Time & Money by Calibrating Flow Meters Onsite


May 01, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

If you have hundreds of mass flow controllers and meters or just a few in your lab, facility, or manufacturing process, how do you keep up with the demands of annual recalibration? Most flow meters and controllers need to be recalibrated yearly to meet stringent ISO quality standards. This requires technicians to remove the mass flow meters from the […]

Read the Story

Talking Biogas Production In Europe


Feb 03, 2014
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Europe is quickly becoming a hotspot for the biogas industry, and Sierra and our local French distributor Alto Instruments took advantage of that fact by exhibiting at BiogazEurope in France. Attendees learned about the entire biomass process, from the bio side of things (mass) to the energy side (electricity). Some trending applications featured at the […]

Read the Story

Part 2: Challenges with Submetering Natural Gas


Nov 11, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

I previously shared a post on how mid-to-large size facilities can save money by taking the initiative to submeter natural gas usage. The traditional diaphragm meters used by utility companies rely on fixed compensation variables that can lead to inaccuracies and overcharging. While this can affect residential customers, it comes as no surprise that it […]

Read the Story

Part 1: Challenges with Submetering Natural Gas


Oct 28, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In an article for Gases & Instrumentation magazine, I explored energy management as it relates to the natural gas industry. Natural gas exists in abundance in this country, with production expected to increase 44 percent by 2040. With such unprecedented growth in production of this natural resource, utility companies must focus on providing the most accurate gas […]

Read the Story

Part 3: Biogas Flow Meter Measurement-The Solution


Sep 16, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In recent weeks, I’ve shared some exciting advancements in the biogas industry in regards to renewable energy management. From harnessing biogas energy from landfills to the digester gas produced at wastewater treatment plants, one thing is paramount: Adjusting for changing gas composition is critical to obtaining accurate flow meter measurement for optimal biogas energy collection.  […]

Read the Story

Part 2: Biogas Mass Flow Measurement–The Challenge


Sep 05, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my previous posts, I shared the focus on the growing need for renewable energy sources in the United States, with biogas becoming a hot commodity. Common sources include harnessing biogas from landfills, as well as digester gas produced at wastewater treatment plants.  One of the major flow measurement challenges in biogas applications is the fact […]

Read the Story

Biogas Flow Meter Measurement: Accuracy Challenges


Aug 07, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Last week I shared some insight into the growing biogas measurement market, specifically why this area of renewable energy seems to be heating up more and more. In short, it’s because of the versatility of the end product, which can be used for heating, electricity or to fuel internal combustion engines. But there are some […]

Read the Story

Biogas Flow Meter Measurement: The Flooded Market


Jul 31, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my recently published article in Biomass Products & Technology , Precise Biogas Flow Measurement: Overcoming the Challenges of Changing Gas Composition, I highlight the nationwide search for alternative energy sources.  In the article, I note that this search has led to increased interest in sources of biogas energy specifically. Many flow meter companies have jumped into […]

Read the Story

2013 Laboratory Equipment Winner: SmartTrak 100 Is Flow Meter of Choice


Jul 17, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

While there are many mass flow meters and controllers on the market, we believe our SmartTrak 100 stands out from the crowd, and the readers of Laboratory Equipment agree. The SmartTrak 100 has been named the best device in the Meters, Monitors and Gauges Category in the 5th annual Laboratory Equipment Readers’ Choice Awards. The […]

Read the Story

Part 3: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Gas Temperature (Gas Properties)


Mar 07, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In Parts One and Two of this series, we looked at the effects of ambient temperature on mass air flow meters such as Sierra’s FastFlo™ 620S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i. As discussed, cold weather has few physical effects on the meter, but can degrade accuracy due to stem conduction, unless accounted for, as does […]

Read the Story

Part 2: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Accuracy (Stem Conduction)


Mar 01, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Part 2: Cold Weather and Mass Air Flow Meter Accuracy-Effects of Stem Conduction In Part One, we looked at the effects of cold weather on mass air flow meters like Sierra’s Steel-Mass® Model 640S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i. As discussed, cold weather typically doesn’t cause any physical damage to the flow meter, but it […]

Read the Story

Cold Weather and Your Mass Flow Sensor


Feb 22, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Baby It’s Cold Outside Sierra is a global company, so we sell our mass air flow sensors into some pretty extreme cold weather environments.   Indeed, we are seeing more and more applications in the far North, where immersible thermal flow meters like Sierra’s Steel-Mass® Model 640S and our new QuadraTherm™ Model 640i are used in […]

Read the Story

Flare Gas Metering Solutions


Feb 04, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Waste gases must be flared in numerous industries ranging from oil refineries, well drilling operations (like shale gas fracking) to waste water treatment plants and landfills. Due to government regulations, flares are subject to stringent regulations requiring accurate measurement. Requirements to monitor the flow rate and consumption of flare gas involves measurement at points within a […]

Read the Story

Gas Mass Flow; Picking the RIGHT flowmeter, NO easy answer! Part 2


Jan 06, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Last week I talked about various ways to measure liquid flows.  It gets more interesting when you need to measure gas flow.  Then the question becomes do I want volumetric flow or mass flow?  Whether you realize it or not…you probably need mass flow.  Chemical reactions occur on the basis of mass, combustion needs the […]

Read the Story

Liquid Flow; Picking the RIGHT Flowmeter, NO easy answer! Part 1


Jan 06, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

There are many flow measurement technologies available and I have discussed many of them in previous Blogs.   We have the old standbys differential pressure,  positive displacement, turbines and variable area and the newer technologies like vortex, ultrasonic, thermal, magnetic and coriolis.  There is no one-size-fits-all technology…everything on this list is better at some particular measurement […]

Read the Story

Gas Flow Calibration…Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware) Part 1


Jan 06, 2013
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

I am often asked about the accuracy of flowmeters or flow controllers.  Indeed, there is a great deal of “specsmanship” out there.  It is easy to get confused as to what an accuracy statement really means to you.  It is our firm belief that a flowmeter is a way to transport a calibration to the […]

Read the Story

RFQ’s of the Past – Pick interesting RFQ’s we have done and write about them


Dec 30, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Gas Flow Calibration…Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware) Part 2


Dec 30, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Last week, I discussed primary standards and why every Sierra calibration is done on one.  Many of our competitors use transfer standards as a calibration device–typically another flow meter of higher accuracy than the Device Under Test (DUT). A transfer standard is typically a 2:1 device, meaning the accuracy is only twice as good as […]

Read the Story

QuadraTherm Flowmeter Puts New Spin on Fiberglass [Case Study]


Dec 04, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

What a waste! That’s what I thought when I learned how much material is rejected and how much gas is consumed during the fiberglass insulation manufacturing process. The biggest losses occur during the melting, spinning and subsequent cooling of silica, a key ingredient in fiberglass. For those who work in this industry, it’s a never-ending […]

Read the Story

How Biogas Generators Work with Air Flow Meters


Aug 28, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

For several years, Sierra has been working with the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility near Monterey, Calif., to improve the rate of biogas cogeneration. Santa Cruz produces energy – enough to power 3,000 homes – by blending digester gas (a by-product of its sewage decontamination) with natural gas. This type of biomass helps create electricity using […]

Read the Story

Flowmeter Reliability and Service Win with Wastewater Biogas Plant


Aug 23, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The old maxim – waste not, want not – has taken on a whole new meaning in places like the Santa Cruz Wastewater Treatment Facility, located near Monterey Bay in Northern California. At the plant, digester gas, a by-product of sewage decontamination, is captured and mixed with natural gas to form a type of biomass, one […]

Read the Story

Accurate Fuel Flow Meters from Sierra-CP


Jul 31, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In addition to our Flow Measurement & Control Division, Sierra has a thriving Automotive Test Division called Sierra-CP that designs and manufactures a complete range of solutions for automotive test applications including engine, vehicle, powertrain, transmission, emissions, analytical and component testing. In engine and vehicle testing, extremely accurate fuel flow measurement is often a critical factor.  Our FuelTrak […]

Read the Story

Buy Flow & Level Switches Instantly Online


Jul 24, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Sierra’s InnovaSwitch™ flow and level switches represent the state-of-the-art in gaseous and liquid flow switching or liquid level control.  The InnovaSwitch is easy to install and adjust, giving reliable, low maintenance performance in the most demanding applications.  Now, our InnovaSwitch can be specified and purchased online for the ultimate in convienence. Learn more…  

Read the Story

SmartTrak® 140 Ultra-Low ΔP Mass Flow Controllers


Jul 12, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Get Incredible 4.5 psid (310 mBard) at Flows up to 500 slpm. When you need precision gas mass flow control of expensive process gases, where minimal pressure drop is a key consideration for cost savings and efficiency, the SmartTrak® 140 flow meter controls up to 500 slpm with an ultra-low ΔP of 4.5 psid (310 […]

Read the Story

Out in the Cold: Mass Vortex Flowmeter Conquers Cryogenic Fluid


Jun 13, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Cryogenic fluids are key in a variety of industries with very low temperature applications, including medical, large-scale frozen food processing and electric power transmission. However, these fluids must be handled – and measured – with great care, which can be a challenge if you’re using a traditional turbine meter or other tools to assess various fluid […]

Read the Story

Live Help Online for Flow Meters? How Cool!


May 03, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

If you’ve made your way to our website to research flowmeters or to get information about specific products, such as advanced mass flow controllers or air flow sensors, you may have questions that need expert answers quickly. That’s why we’ve made Live Help available to you. When you click on the Live Help button, located at […]

Read the Story

Flow Meter Do’s and Don’ts with Ammonia


Apr 25, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

At the recent Pittcon 2012 Tradeshow, we had many engineers and researchers stop by our booth wanting to measure and control ammonia. We’ve got a perfect product for the application, but there are a couple of precautions that you have to take. Some of the customers who have stopped by have run into the problem of ammonia […]

Read the Story

Part 2: For Steam Flow, Mass Vortex Flow Meters Are Ideal!


Apr 18, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post, I discussed the problem of density errors creeping into steam flow measurements. When steam is superheated, you can determine density by the steam tables. But, as the vapor cools in a pipe, things aren’t so simple. I said the answer to the conundrum is actually “blowing in the wind” – that a […]

Read the Story

For Steam Flow, Mass Vortex Flow Meters Are Ideal!


Apr 12, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

I want to discuss a special form of gas flow measurement – water vapor – otherwise known as steam flow. Traditionally, steam has been measured with orifice plates. The steam was typically saturated or had a known superheat, so the density could be obtained from the steam tables. However, steam naturally cools as it goes down the […]

Read the Story

Part 2: Capillary Thermal Flow Meters vs. Differential Pressure Devices


Jan 26, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post on capillary thermal flow meters, I talked about volumetric flow and how it must be temperature and pressure corrected to obtain mass flow. Wouldn’t the world be a simpler place if we could simply measure mass flow directly? In fact, we do! Capillary thermal is likely the most ideal technology for accurately and […]

Read the Story

Part 1: Capillary Thermal Flow Meters vs. Differential Pressure Devices


Jan 24, 2012
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

The most common technology in use today for measuring flow is differential pressure “dP or ΔP” (orifice plates, pitot tubes, venturis and the like).  Indeed, that was the only flow measurement method I was taught in engineering school.  Well, things have come a long way in the 28 years since I picked up my degree. […]

Read the Story

Breaking the Ice: Antarctica Researcher Meets Sierra’s ‘Smart’ Mass Flow Meter


Dec 13, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Working here along California’s Central Coast in Monterey, I don’t often get to experience a White Christmas or snowball fights or even the excitement of schussing down the slopes (unless I travel 4 hours to Lake Tahoe, Northern California). So, it’s really tough for me to imagine the frigid, barren conditions of the coldest place […]

Read the Story

Industrial Thermal Mass Flow, The Heat is On…


Nov 03, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

One of the more interesting stories I have been told about Sierra is the genesis of the company’s flagship product, our model 640S Steel -Mass ® Immersible Thermal Mass Flow Meter.  In the mid 60’s, our founder, Dr. John Olin, was working on his PhD at Stanford.  One aspect of his research involved studying the fluid […]

Read the Story

Ultrasonics, Water Flow Measurement: Part 2


Aug 25, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post, I discussed Sierra’s decision to enter the giant water flow measurement market due to our intimate and successful history in the waste water treatment industry measuring air flow with our thermal mass flow meters. At that time, almost a decade ago, we looked at ways to measure water flow and narrowed it […]

Read the Story

Ultrasonics, Water Flow Measurement: Part 1


Aug 15, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Since Sierra is a leading supplier of immersible thermal mass flow meters, I find myself heavily involved in the waste water treatment industry, where Sierra’s model 640S Steel-Trak® is the instrument of choice for measuring the low pressure air fed to the flocculation tanks, where oxygen-loving (aerobic) bacteria happily munch on the wastes. Over time, […]

Read the Story

Air May Be Free, But Compressed Air Isn’t! (Part 2 of 2)


Jul 17, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

In my last post early last month (June 9th), Mr. Carlisle of  Air Compressor Supply was looking for compressed air flow meters to measure compressed air.  As I explained to him,  our Steel-Trak®   Model 640S is ideal for compressed air applications.  The 640S immersible thermal mass flow meter delivers the 1.0% accuracy and highly repeatable direct mass […]

Read the Story

Air May Be Free, But Compressed Air Isn’t! (Part 1 of 2)


Jun 09, 2011
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director
Written By:
Scott Rouse, Product Line Director

Like you, I have become painfully aware of the increasing costs of energy in our daily plant operations. Recently, I was contacted by a company in Oklahoma with an interesting application. Air Compressor Supply Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, does compressed air auditing.  I asked the technician, Carl Carlisle, what exactly that meant. His explanation was […]

Read the Story

Report Bug
Submit a Bug Report

Name

Email

Reproducibility (Did you try to reproduce the bug?)

Classification

Summarize the problem but be specific enough that it can be recreated.

Note: Page, browser, and OS are automatically saved