Steps to choosing the best fuel flow meter

DFM 400 Fuel Flow Meter

Choosing a fuel flow meter requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure accurate measurement and compatibility with your specific application. Here are numbered steps to help you in the process:

1. Determine the Application Requirements:

Identify the purpose of the fuel flow meter. Is it for industrial use, automotive applications, or marine vessels? Different applications require specific features or certifications.

2. Define Flow Rate and Accuracy Requirements:

Determine the expected flow rate range of your fuel system. Consider the minimum and maximum flow rates you need to measure accurately. Also, define the required level of accuracy for your measurements.

We find generally the fuel flow rate in supply line is rarely indicated on engine specifications. Therefore, the best way to select flow meter is to measure instant flow rate in the supply line. It is advisable to choose flow meter with performance reserve of 20-25%.

3. Consider Fluid Compatibility:

Ensure that the fuel flow meter is compatible with the type of fuel or fluid you intend to measure. Some meters are designed for specific fuel types, such as petrol, diesel, or aviation fuel, while others are suitable for a wider range of fluids.

4. Type of Fuel Systems

“Common Rail” and “unit injector” systems do not allow modifications.  However, our model DFM D differential flow meters can be used in them, to measure fuel flow in supply and return lines. Single-chamber Digital Fuel Meters are used in fuel systems where “recirculation” is permitted.

5. Select the Measurement Principle:

Choose the appropriate measurement principle for your application. Common fuel flow meter types include positive displacement, turbine, ultrasonic, Coriolis, and electromagnetic. Each principle has its advantages and limitations, so select the one that best suits your needs.

6. Assess Environmental and Operating Conditions:

Evaluate the environmental conditions in which the fuel flow meter will operate. Consider factors such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and the presence of any corrosive or hazardous substances. Ensure that the meter can withstand and operate reliably in those conditions.

For example our partner’s DFM flow meters body is made of duralumin. However, when dealing with marine vessels, it is important to consider the aggressive impact of saltwater and air.  Therefore, we would suggest a DFM flow meter with a brass body.

7. Determine Installation Requirements:

Understand the installation constraints and requirements. Consider factors such as available space, pipe size, orientation (horizontal or vertical), and the need for additional fittings or accessories. Ensure that the meter can be installed properly in your system.

8. Evaluate Output and Communication Options:

Check the available output options provided by the fuel flow meter. Determine if you need analog (e.g., 4-20 mA) or digital outputs (e.g., Modbus, HART). Additionally, consider if you require data logging, remote monitoring, or integration with a vehicle tracking system.

For example, if a flow meter is used as part of telematics system, it is important to choose DFM with interface compatible with telematics unit.  Some communication outputs of our range for this purpose include – pulse signal, RS-485 Modbus, RS-232, CAN J1939/S6, S7 (Bluetooth), NMEA 2000.

9. Consider Calibration and Maintenance:

Assess the calibration requirements and maintenance procedures associated with the fuel flow meter. Determine if the meter needs periodic calibration.  Whether it can be easily serviced or repaired. Also, consider the availability and cost of spare parts.

10. Review Manufacturer’s Reputation and Support:

Research the reputation and track record of the manufacturer. Check for customer reviews, product reliability, and the availability of technical support. Ensure that the manufacturer offers sufficient customer assistance, especially if you encounter any issues or need additional guidance.

11. Compare Costs and Make a Decision:

Finally, compare the costs of different fuel flow meter options that meet your requirements. Consider the initial purchase cost, installation expenses, long-term maintenance, and any additional costs associated with calibration or accessories. Make an informed decision based on the best combination of features, quality, and affordability.

Metromatics can help you choose the right fuel flow Meter

Firstly, Metromatics offer a range of fuel flow meters in our DFM (Digital Fuel Meter) Series.  Flow meters that measure fuel, oil, diesel and other liquids for Cars, Trucks, Buses, Marine Vessels and much more.  Available with features such as: single or dual measurement chambers, both low and high flow rates, digital displays for real time fuel consumption analysis, wireless models, and meters that communicate to vehicle tracking systems.

Fuel Flow Rate and Accuracy with DFM Fuel Flow Meters

Flow Rate Range: Typically, the flow rate range for DFM fuel flow meters is between 5 litres per hour (L/h) and 400 litres per minute (L/min). However, specific models may have different flow rate ranges.

Accuracy: The accuracy of DFM fuel flow meters is typically within ±1% of the measured value.

Fluid Combability

The specific fluids that are compatible with our fuel flow meters can vary depending on the model and series. However, in general, our fuel flow meters are suitable for the following fluids:

Liquid Fuels:

  • Diesel
  • Petrol
  • Biodiesel
  • Aviation fuel
  • Kerosene
  • Jet fuel
  • Fuel oils (such as No. 2, No. 4, No. 6)

Lubricants and Hydraulic Fluids:

  • Engine oils
  • Hydraulic oils
  • Transmission fluids
  • Gear oils

Chemicals and Other Liquids:

  • Water
  • Antifreeze/coolant
  • Ethanol blends
  • Methanol blends
  • AdBlue/DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid)
  • Various chemical solutions and liquids

It’s important to note that while our fuel flow meters are compatible with a wide range of fluids, some models may have specific limitations or requirements. For example, choosing a fuel flow meter certain models may be optimised for specific fuel types or have temperature or viscosity limitations.  Contact us or read the specification sheets for further clarification.

The measurement principle used

The DFM (Digital Fuel Meter) series, includes turbine-based fuel flow meters. These meters use a turbine rotor to measure fuel flow rates accurately. However, we also offer other models with different measurement principles.

For example, the DFM Marine is a positive displacement fuel flow meter.  Specifically designed for marine applications. It uses a positive displacement mechanism to measure the precise volume of fuel passing through the meter.

In addition, DUT-E 2Bio and DUT-E 2Bio ULTRASONIC, are ultrasonic fuel flow meters. These meters use ultrasonic technology to measure the velocity of fuel flowing through the pipe and calculate the flow rate.

Communication for data transmission and integration with Vehicle Tracking Systems

Firstly, our DFM models offer a variety of communication methods.  However, the method depends on the on model or version.  Some common methods of communication of our DFM Fuel flow meters include:

Analog Output: Some models offer 4-20mA analog output signal.  This signal is used to transmit fuel flow data to other devices or systems that accept analog inputs.

Digital Interfaces:  Some common digital interface options of our fuel flow meters include:

RS-232: A standard serial communication interface for connecting the fuel flow meter to other devices or systems using a serial cable.

RS-485: A serial communication standard that allows multiple devices to be connected on a single bus, facilitating communication with multiple devices simultaneously.

CAN (Controller Area Network): A popular network protocol used in automotive and industrial applications, enabling communication between various components and systems in a vehicle or machinery.

Modbus Protocol:  The Modbus protocol is widely used for communication between electronic devices in industrial automation systems. Some models of our DFM fuel flow meters may support the Modbus protocol, allowing seamless integration into Modbus-based networks and systems.

Fuel Flow Meters with Wireless Connectivity:

In certain models, DFM fuel flow meters may offer wireless connectivity options.  Such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. These wireless interfaces enable convenient remote monitoring and data transmission to compatible devices or systems.

It’s important to note that the availability of specific communication methods may vary depending on the model and version of the DFM fuel flow meter. To obtain accurate and up-to-date information about the communication methods supported by a particular DFM series model, please refer to specification information or contact us for further clarification.

Accessories and Installation Components for DFM Fuel Flow Meters

Metromatics provide a range of suitable adaptors, connectors, and accessories to ensure the correct connection between the fuel flow meter and the fuel line or piping system.  These include:

  • Mounting Brackets and Flanges
  • Adaptors and Connectors
  • Wiring Harnesses and Cables
  • Seal Kits
  • Display Systems and Controllers
  • Calibration Tools and Accessories

Fuel flow Meter Calibration

Fuel flow meters may require periodic calibration to ensure accurate measurements over time.  Calibration is the process of comparing the output of the flow meter to a know reference.  Therefore, to determine and adjust any deviation or errors in measurement.

However, the frequency of calibration and the calibration procedure usually depends on the specific model, the application requirements as well as any industry standards applicable.

Metromatics provide local sales, service, and support for our Fuel Flow Meters in Australia.

Metromatics have knowledgeable, friendly staff who are experienced in the installation of our partner’s DFM Fuel Flow Meters.   We can guide you in the right DFM model to suit your application.  Give us a call now and let us assist you in the process of choosing a fuel flow meter.