Natural gas flow meters use a transducer in order to measure the amount of liquid, mass or gas that passes through the meter's primary device. The transducer takes this raw flow measurement and sends it to the transmitter, which then uses it to create a usable and differentiated flow signal. This signal can include information regarding velocity, volume or mass flow.
Because natural gas leaks can be dangerous, natural gas meters measure a variety of factors to determine if a natural gas system is faulty. In addition to measurements pertaining to the amount or rate of gas flow, natural gas flow meters can also measure thermal output. These measurements are still typically taken and gauged by the flow meter's transducer through the filtering of flowing liquid, mass or gas.
Newer natural gas flow meters utilize a computerized transmitter that can assess the raw data from the transducer and extrapolate much more data than traditional mechanical transmitters. For example, many computerized transmitters can also determine the pressure, viscosity and composition of the gas filtered through the transducer. All of this information is particularly important for natural gas flow meters so that operators can determine if the system is malfunctioning or leaking.