Flow Meter

Flow Meter Solutions from Texas Instruments (TI).

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Design Considerations

Flow Meter Solutions from Texas Instruments

The application requirements of flow measurement in industrial settings varies from low cost to very high precision and fast flow metering found in petrochemical and pharmaceutical plants. The two main methods are Magnetic-Inductive and the Coriolis Flow Meter.

The Electromagnetic Flow Meter consists of a non-ferromagnetic tube wrapped with a magnetic coil. Electrodes in the tube’s inner isolated surface are in contact with the liquid (must be conductive) that flows through the tube. The coils around the pipe generate a magnetic field within the tube. The magnetic field inducts a voltage in the liquid, which is proportional to the speed of the liquid in the tube. This voltage is measured via the electrodes. As the measured voltage is very low, precise low-noise signal conditioning is required.

Coriolis Flow Meter is a popular flow meter that directly measures mass flow rate. The pipe through which the fluid is flowing is made to oscillate at a particular resonant frequency by forcing a strong magnetic field on the pipe. When the fluid starts flowing through the pipe, it is subject to Coriolis force. The oscillatory motion of the pipe superimposes on the linear motion of the fluid exerting twisting forces on the pipe. This twisting is due to Coriolis acceleration acting in opposite directions on either side of the pipe and the fluids resistance to the vertical motion. Sensor electrodes are placed on both the inlet and outlet sides which pick up the time difference caused by this motion. This phase shift due to the twisting forces is a direct measurement of mass flow rate.

Excitation Technique:

The field coils can be excited with AC or DC or Pulsed DC field. Each method has its own pros and cons and depending on the particular application requirements, one method may be favorable over the other. TI provides PWM drivers, high voltage output DACs that can be used to excite the field coils.

Signal Acquisition and Processing:

Low noise instrumentation amplifiers followed by precision ADC is typical of the signal chain path. TI’s high resolution differential ADCs have low power consumption, wide dynamic range and low noise. This can be used to digitize the analog output for high resolution, precision measurements. Multiple channel ADCs with simultaneous sampling architectures enable taking multiple measurements such as temperature, phase, density etc in one shot.

Further calibration routines and algorithms can be run on the ultra low-power MSP430. If more signal processing power is required, one could use the DSP core from TI. The low power DSP cores from TI have a FFT accelerator core that enables computing FFTs in a matter of seconds while drawing very little current. The ultra-low power architecture of the DSP offers superior signal processing power while still being able to be powered off the 4-20mA loop.


The Hercules™ Safety MCUs offer an ARM Cortex-R4F based solution and are certified suitable for use in systems that need to achieve IEC61508 SIL-3 safety levels. These MCUs also offer integrated floating point, 12 bit ADCs, motor-control-specific PWMs and encoder inputs via its flexible HET Timer co-processor. Hercules Safety MCUs can also be used to implement scalar and vector-control techniques and support a range of performance requirements.

Interface and Communication:

Traditional analog (4 - 20mA) interface remains the popular choice for industrial control and sensor applications. The other popular protocols include HART, Profibus and IO-Link. TI’s IO-Link interface products have integrated regulators and diagnostic outputs. In addition, wireless options based on IEEE 802.15.4 protocols are becoming more prevalent. TI is committed to provide solutions for both traditional and emerging industrial interfaces.

Power Management:

The Field Transmitter can be powered either off the loop or through a dedicated power line. Line powered transmitters are commonly powered by voltage rails of 12V, or 24V. Loop powered transmitters are powered by the 4-20 mA loop. Such transmitters require extremely low power architectures as the entire solutions has to be powered off the loop. TI provides high efficiency Step Down converters with low quiescent current and low output ripple appropriate for Line and Loop powered transmitters.

Application Notes (9)

Title Abstract Type Size (KB) Date Views
HTM 8 KB 09 Oct 2011 3795
HTM 9 KB 21 Sep 2009 2024
HTM 8 KB 19 Aug 2008 1759
HTM 8 KB 02 Jan 2008 627
HTM 8 KB 31 May 2007 1604
PDF 177 KB 10 Oct 2005 771
HTM 9 KB 28 Jun 2005 372
HTM 8 KB 24 May 2004 12506
HTM 8 KB 21 Jan 2000 1125

Reference Designs

Description Part Number Company Tool Type
CC1101EM 315 and 433MHz Reference Design CC1101EM433_REFDES Texas Instruments Reference Designs
CC1101EM 868 and 915MHz Reference Design CC1101EM868-915_REFDES Texas Instruments Reference Designs
CC1150EM 315-433MHz Reference Design CC1150EM433_REFDES Texas Instruments Reference Designs
CC1150EM 868-915Mhz Reference Design CC1150EM868_REFDES Texas Instruments Reference Designs
CC2500 Reference Design (62 mil layer spacing) CC2500_REFDES_062 Texas Instruments Reference Designs
CC2500EM Reference Design CC2500EM_REFDES Texas Instruments Reference Designs

Selection and Solution Guides

Selection Guides (5)

Title Abstract Type Size (KB) Date Views
PDF 169 KB 28 Jul 2014 1031
PDF 9.51 MB 01 May 2014 56913
PDF 273 KB 16 Jul 2012 1031
PDF 302 KB 28 Mar 2012 1904
PDF 175 KB 11 Jun 2010 1416

Solution Guides (6)

Title Abstract Type Size (KB) Date Views
PDF 5.83 MB 26 Jan 2014 12543
PDF 4.07 MB 12 Nov 2013 4242
PDF 896 KB 12 Nov 2013 5208
PDF 1.08 MB 31 Oct 2013 5048
PDF 599 KB 30 Oct 2013 3316
PDF 2.13 MB 30 Oct 2013 2801

Tools and Software

Name Part # Company Software/Tool Type
ADCPro(TM) Analog-to-Digital Converter Evaluation Software ADCPRO Texas Instruments Evaluation Modules & Boards
Anti-Aliasing Calculation Tool for A to D Converters ANTIALIASINGCALC Texas Instruments Calculation Tools
CC1101 Development Kit 868-915MHz CC1101DK868-915 Texas Instruments Development Kits
Code Composer Studio (CCS) Integrated Development Environment (IDE) CCSTUDIO Texas Instruments SW Development Tools, IDEs, Compilers
MSP430 USB Stick Development Tool EZ430-F2013 Texas Instruments Evaluation Modules & Boards
Op Amp to ADC Circuit Topology Calculator ADC-INPUT-CALC Texas Instruments Calculation Tools

Product Bulletin & White Papers

Product Bulletin (1)

Title Abstract Type Size (MB) Date Views
PDF 299 KB 14 Aug 2013 1502

White Papers (3)

Title Abstract Type Size (MB) Date Views
PDF 905 KB 31 Jul 2014 1201
PDF 658 KB 09 Jul 2014 1726
PDF 393 KB 27 Jun 2014 6186

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