Product Review: Omega FDT500 In-Line Ultrasonic Flow Meter
In this week’s product review, we have flow meters again! Hey, what can I say? The market has so many types and brands that it’ll take a while to review all of them on Visaya, but we’re doing our best.
If you don’t know how an ultrasonic flow meter works, then read this article about it. Today’s device uses the time-of-flight principle to measure mostly water applications. So let’s give it up for the FDT500 from OMEGA!
Stick with me, and we’ll find out the pros and cons of this device. Are you there? Then get ready to dive into the features world!
Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments. This content serves the purpose of providing information if you want a new device.
Whatcha got there?
The FDT500 brings an exciting design, with electronics entirely different from the other brands on the market. It has a disk for its display! Fun. You can have the electronics integrated or installed remotely, depending on what you need. The FDT500 has a single-line LCD to show you the values and other data on the device; the local pushbutton lets you switch between data types.
The manual is a bit confusing, but the device itself is simple – no fancy diagnostics or extra ways to integrate it. It comes calibrated and ready to install, which I like. And you can read your data using an optical probe, RS232, or a converter from RS232 to USB. The software can collect and archive all measurements and error messages.
What can it do?
The FDT500 mainly measures water with two sensors and the transit time principle mentioned earlier. You can select different sizes on the website; if you pick the ANSI flange then you can choose anywhere from two to eight inches, and the DIN flange ranges from 32 to 200.
The device can handle 0 to 50 degrees Celsius with integrated electronics and 0 to 90 on the remote version, with a max pressure of 230 pounds per square inch gauge.
The meter body comes in cast iron and the electronic housing in aluminum alloy with a plastic cover. Finally, let’s talk about the accuracy, one of the most relevant points of the device. The vendor claims an accuracy of +-2 percent of reading, and +-5 percent below minimum transition rate. Can anyone verify? If so, then drop us a line!
Why should I care?
This simple flow meter can fit in nearly any application that requires remote monitoring and basic flow measurement. For juice, it uses a battery that OMEGA says can last anywhere from 6 to 8 years.
You can integrate it with analog. It has passive output, and you need an external power supply, but you can handle that. The manual says you can use pulse output to integrate the device into your control system, but the device page doesn’t mention this. Kinda odd, so you might want to check that first.
If you just need a device to collect data which you’ll archive every now and again, then you can use the optical port or the RS323 port to download all that. It has a few more optional features, and you can see all of them on the device page here.
The FDT500 from OMEGA is a low-budget ultrasonic flow meter mostly for water flow measurement, but you can probably get it to fit in other applications. It has a fairly good battery and different ways to collect data from it, so it’s not a bad little entry device. Check it out!