A flow totalizer measures the amount of liquid or gas that flows through a pipe. Flow totalizers come in a variety of styles, and they are used in a wide variety of applications. By recording the results of the totalizer and dividing the amount over a quantity of time, the user can determine the average flow rate of the pipe.
One place flow totalizers are used is in agricultural areas. Irrigating a large area of farmland requires large quantities of water. By using flow meters, farmers can track their water usage and try to reduce the amount they must purchase. Flow totalizers for agricultural applications usually record the amount of water movement in units called acre-inches, which refers to the amount of water depth in inches, distributed over one acre, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Flow meters are also used in residential settings to track the amount of water used by a house.
Measuring the amount of liquids used in industrial applications is important for the bottom line. When dealing with large quantities of expensive substances, it is important to ensure that waste and inefficiencies are kept at a minimum. In some cases, flow totalizers are necessary to ensure that mixtures are combined in the proper proportions to ensure products are made properly.