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A variable area meter is a type of differential pressure flow meter. These are simple and versatile devices which are used to measure the flow of liquids, gases, and steam.
- They work at a fairly constant pressure drop.
- Direct visual indication of flow rate is given by the position of the float, piston or vane.
- The position of the float, piston or vane gets changed as the rising flow rate opens a larger flow area to pass the flowing fluid.
- When the flow decreases, either the force of gravity or a spring is employed to return the flow element to its resting position.
- Gravity-operated meters also known as Rotameters must be installed in a vertical position, whereas spring operated meters can be mounted in any position. Variable area flow meters are available with local indicators. Position sensors and transmitters can also be used (pneumatic, electronic, digital or fiber optic types) for linking to remote displays or controls.