Product Review: Badger Meter RCT1000
When we talk about flow measurement, you usually think of Coriolis flow meters, right? The Coriolis brings a lot to a process, measuring mass and volume flow, density, concentration, and so on. Furthermore, the installation doesn’t require a specific inlet and outlet run, so its simple application puts it a step ahead of other meters on the market.
On the downside, it costs more than most other flow meters. Depending on your application, you can easily choose a magmeter, vortex, or other similar devices instead. If you know what information you need for and from your process, then you can scale out different devices to choose the right instrument for your application.
Today, we have another new company for Visaya! The crew from Badger Meter has put a lot of time on the instrumentation road and has built an extensive portfolio to show for it. So let’s check out the features on the RCT1000 to see if it can fit in your new installation. Are you ready? Let’s dive into the features pool!
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.
Whatcha got there?
Unboxing the RCT1000 gave us a small flow meter with good construction. The RCTX model, with the local display, is a simple device compared to some of its competitors. The LCD has a white backlight option and puts your process data on the screen if you need it. You can set up locally using the keypad, where you have four buttons – menu, arrow down and up, and enter. You can easily navigate the menu, but I thought the menu button could be clearer. I could’ve poked it to see what happened, but I looked it up in the manual to make sure.
As far as digital protocols and output options, this device put certain other brands on the market to shame. On the digital side, you can have Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP/IP, HART, and EtherNet/IP! I didn’t expect to find so many protocols to easily integrate into your control system. No PROFIBUS (PB) or Foundation Fieldbus (FF), but it’s still a good list.
On the output end, the RCT1000 has the standard options for a simple integration such as frequency, pulse, analog, and pulse width modulation (PWM). Plenty of possibilities to integrate the transmitter into your system, although if you want PB or FF, then you’ll have to keep looking.
What can it do?
The RCT1000 can measure mass flow, density, and temperature, yay! And a little basic math can get you the volumetric flow and concentration. It uses a U-type sensor and offers sizes from three inches all the way down to a sixteenth! Teeny! Scaling out the meter against your process requirements will show you the size that offers the best performance for your application. Moreover, the sensor can support processes with temperatures from -40 to 200 degrees Celsius and up to 3450 pounds per square inch, approximately 237.86 bars.
Now, let’s discuss accuracy. This meter in liquid has +-0.1 percent of flow rate and in density +-0.0005 grams per cubic centimeter. You can use it in gas too, according to Figure 10 in the manual, but I couldn’t find any accuracy data for that. And finally, you can get 316L stainless steel for the wetted part, against the 916L standard option of other brands. Setting a trend? Dunno. If it has other materials, I didn’t see them.
Why should I care?
Because for a simple device, it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, like the USB port, where you can use the RCT Consoles software to read meter data, create trends, and run advanced diagnostics to see whether all parts of the meter are working properly. This feature makes up for a lot of shortcomings.
Furthermore, if you have a batch control system, then the device has a proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controller that can eliminate other devices in the process. It can control your batch process, valves, and other final elements, an uncommon but very valuable plus!
Last but not least, you can choose from three types of electronics – remote, local without display, and local with display. You can also use it in hazardous areas, and it has the approvals necessary to work in chemical, petrochemical, and oil and gas industries.
The RCT1000 from Badger Meter is a simpler option than other basic Coriolis meters from the big players on the market. Still, it has good features, so maybe the price and the performance will suit your application.