Category: Operating principles

  • Distinguishing among communication options 

    Distinguishing among communication options This article presents an overview of Alicat’s various communication options. For more detailed specifications, check this page.  Choosing the best communication protocol to work with your Alicat devices depends on factors such as:  Preference for analog, serial, or industrial protocol communication  Required operating distance  Required data transfer speed  Desired device linking […]

  • What is mass flow?

    What is mass flow? Most Alicat devices measure and control the mass flow rate of a gas. As gas flows through an Alicat, it passes through a flow channel with temperature and pressure sensors. These sensors measure the instantaneous temperature and pressure of the gas stream, and use that information in combination with known gas […]

  • What is the difference between mass flow and volumetric flow?

    What is the difference between mass flow and volumetric flow? Understanding the difference between mass flow and volumetric flow is important when determining which flow instrument is right for your application. Here we introduce the concepts of mass flow and volumetric flow and discuss use cases for each measurement. What is a volumetric flow rate? […]

  • Laminar Differential Pressure (DP) Flow Meter – Operating Principle

    Laminar DP mass flow instruments operate on the principle of differential pressure-based laminar flow measurement.

  • Coriolis Flow Meter – Operating Principle

    Coriolis Flow Meter – Operating Principle The physics of the Coriolis effect The Coriolis effect is commonly used to explain why hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. This phenomenon occurs due to the fictitious Coriolis force, responsible for the apparent deflection of an object moving […]

  • What is laminar flow?

    What is laminar flow? Laminar flow is key to the operating principle of Alicat differential pressure instruments, enabling them to output highly accurate mass flow rates across very wide measurement and control ranges. In this article, we briefly discuss different flow types with a focus on laminar flow. Turbulent, laminar, and transitional flow When flowing […]

  • RS-232 communication with an Alicat

    RS-232 communication with an Alicat The RS-232 protocol is the default method of talking to Alicat devices. While instruments can also be configured using a variety of other protocols (RS-485, PROFIBUS, EtherCAT, Modbus RTU or TCP/IP, DeviceNet, PROFINET, and EtherNet/IP), the tried and true RS-232 communication standard remains the go-to method for commanding and reading […]

  • What is pressure drop?

    Pressure drop is the amount of line pressure permanently lost as gas passes through an instrument. This loss is due to the frictional resistance of the components the gas touches. Every instrument and fitting in a line induces some pressure drop. Calculating pressure drop Pressure drop is determined by calculating the difference between the pressure […]

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