Open Channel Flow

The common method of measuring flow through an open channel is to measure the height or HEAD of the liquid as it passes over an obstruction (a flume or weir) in the channel. Using ultrasonic level technology, the open channel flow meters include a non-contacting sensor mounted above the flume or weir. By measuring the time from transmission of an ultrasonic pulse to receipt of an echo, the water level or "Head" is accurately measured.

Flumes and weirs are specially designed channel shapes that characterize the flow of water. Common types are Rectangular Weirs, V-Notch Weirs, Parshall flumes and Palmer Bowlus flumes. The choice of flume or weir type depends on the application: flow rate, channel shape and solids content of the water. Contact us for advice on selection of a suitable flume or weir for your application.

The open channel flow meters can be calibrated to any flume or weir by menu selection. The open channel flow meter electronics use an internal formula to calculate flow rate (Flow = K Hn, where 'K' and 'n' are constants and 'H' is Head as measured by the instrument). Calibration to uncommon or custom flumes can be done by direct entry of 'K' and 'n' constants. We also offers a PC software program "Find K&n" to develop calibration constants from a flume or weir flow chart.

The open channel flow meters include a non-contacting ultrasonic sensor, connecting cable and an electronics enclosure which can be mounted at a convenient location nearby (within 500 ft / 152 m). Sensors can be rated intrinsically safe for mounting in hazardous-rated locations. The instruments display, totalize, transmit and control, and some models include data logging/flow reporting systems.