Designs for monitoring vehicle performance have advanced remarkably in recent years. They have become more functional, more technologically advanced and simply closer to the mass consumer. Fuel consumption metering systems still occupy a peripheral place in the general niche of transport electrical engineering, but this area is also of interest to an increasing number of motorists. Against this background, fuel flow meters operating according to different principles quite logically appear. Independent production of similar metering devices is also practiced, which, of course, have their own specifics.
General information and characteristics of flowmeters
Most of these meters are traditional small meters designed to be installed in the fuel system. Characteristics for the dimensions of a typical device can be represented as follows: 50 x 50 x 100 mm.
This is a small unit with a capacity of 100-500 l/h. The average error is 5-10%. In the process of liquid consumption, the device fixes in one way or another the indicators of the sensitive element and saves the received data. Implementation of the accounting system,control and presentation of information may be different. For example, a fuel flow meter for a car is designed for manual reading. It may have a mechanical data display panel or be linked to an LCD digital display in the cabin, but the information is not processed by the on-board computer. More technological devices allow the possibility of electronic accounting in automatic mode. Depending on the dynamics of consumption, for example, on-board equipment can correct certain parameters of the units and assemblies of the machine.
Varieties of devices
Classification is based precisely on the principle of taking readings, which is determined by the sensitive element. To date, the following flow meters for cars are distinguished:
- Coriolis. The principle of operation is based on the Coriolis effect, which measures the dynamics of the phases of mechanical oscillations in the tubes through which the fuel circulates.
- Turbine. A blade device is integrated into the system, the rotation of the blades of which is converted into speed indicators. Thus, taking into account the parameters of the served channels, the volume of consumption is also determined.
- Gear. Another type of mechanical fuel flow meter, which captures data through rotating elements. In this case, a compact gear wheel is used, the movement of which allows recording of flow data.
- Ultrasonic. These are counters of a new type, which are not at allcontact with the target environment, and fix the parameters of changes in the characteristics of the fuel system based on acoustic waves.
Features of diesel meters
Heavy fuel is usually used by trucks and special vehicles that place higher demands on fuel meters. The principle of operation is usually mechanical. Moreover, the design of the sensors has a higher degree of isolation - for example, with protection class IP66. Thus, the device is protected from the effects of an aggressive environment. The housing can be formed from an aluminum hard alloy, the measuring chambers of which are also provided with anti-friction coatings. The diesel fuel flow meter is located both in the fuel mixture supply line and in the return channel, through which the liquid returns to the tank. Only if both circuits are covered can accurate consumption data be obtained.
The presence of a GPS monitoring system is perhaps the most modern addition to fuel consumption sensors. Such devices allow you to transmit information to the on-board computer wirelessly. Multifunctional devices can comprehensively record flow data in several systems simultaneously. The main fuel mixture and technical fluids with additives and modifiers can be taken into account. The advantage of integrated monitoring is the ability to accurately control additives for fuel,transmission and other systems. In addition, different modes of operation of devices can be provided. There are fuel flow meters that, in addition to the function of counters, perform the tasks of controlling idling, fix possible temperature overloads and, based on the information received, regulate climate equipment. When the device is introduced into the signaling infrastructure, the flow sensor may well be programmed to perform the tasks of controlling the heater and the engine autostart system.
Installation of flowmeters
Devices are installed in the target metering circuit by means of a physical tie-in into the channel. And here it is important to emphasize that the fuel channels, depending on the model of the car, may initially have remote pipes with plugs, which can be used just as integration points for metering devices. It should also be borne in mind that the installation is carried out behind the filtration system. This solution will prevent possible contamination of the fuel flow meter and its premature failure.
Mechanical fixation of massive devices is usually carried out on a complete frame, which is attached to the surface of the body. According to motorists, it is important to calculate the attachment point so that the sensitive channel is sufficiently mated with the target environment, and the body base can be securely fixed on the mounting platform with hardware. It is desirable that the installation site does not involve strong vibration loads and thermal effects.
Full withzero, according to drivers, it is quite difficult to assemble a full-fledged counter, and for this you need to have certain knowledge in radio engineering. However, on the basis of a ready-made control unit such as a controller and a sensor with an electric valve, the task is simplified. The sensor itself is integrated into the fuel line. It should be placed between the fuel pump and the carburetor. As for the control unit, it is connected to the detector and output to the salon. Using the CAN interface, a do-it-yourself fuel flow meter can also be connected to on-board electronics. As additional elements for mounting and controlling the sensor, it may be necessary to use fittings, washers, pallets and bushings. The technical infrastructure must be designed for autonomous operation when the fuel pump opens.
How to fool the fuel flow meter?
Regular meters for controlling the consumption of gasoline or diesel can be adjusted in one direction or another. The simplest method involves draining through the return line. It is enough to insert a fitting into this channel and drain the liquid along a hidden circuit. In some configurations, the built-in line can be used for a direct supply function, in which case the fuel flow meters simply will not provide up-to-date information. Another option involves a thermal effect on the sensor. This applies specifically to liquid level detectors, which, after a thermal burn, stop working correctly, although outwardly they look intact. You can pour boiling water over the device orbring the heater to it for 5-10 minutes. But before doing so, it is worth considering the feasibility of such experiments.
Flow meters reviews
Fuel metering devices in any design will require the need to be built into the fuel channel. It is this intrusion that causes the most criticism, as it is sensitive to the engine and fluid circuits. For the same reason, experts do not recommend using such controls without special need. If the decision is finally made, then it is best to choose specialized fuel flow meters focused on use in a particular car model. The advantages of the devices include the possibility of relatively accurate monitoring of fuel consumption. And more importantly, the car owner can use the received data for other electronic systems that work with engine parameters.