Meter provers and flow proving components provide a known traceable volume to simulate actual operating conditions to test and verify the performance of flow meters and transfer meters. Flowmeter accuracy is very important in many industries, and many manufacturers may also have to adhere to government accuracy and repeatability specifications to ensure that quality standards are met for a particular application.
Meter provers and flow proving components may include simple verification, traceable calibration, or in-field testing. These tests are conducted depending on the requirements of the application and specific industry standards. Meter provers and flow proving components for calibration of flowmeters may use several different methods to assess flowmeter performance, including volumetric and gravimetric testing, and master meter comparison. Calibration involves using traceable standards to evaluate an individual meter and compare it to a laboratory standard. In some instances, a meter prover may indicate the need to re-calibrate a flowmeter back in the laboratory.
Meter provers and flow proving components are also used in in-field proving, which may involve testing at the application process site or using an out-of-process flow proving component such as a cart, master meter, or scale. In this setting, a master meter is piped in series with the flowmeter being tested. In some applications, a nonintrusive ultrasonic flowmeter is used to verify that the meter is performing within a specified range. Though typically less accurate than a meter prover that uses a master meter, the ultrasonic comparison is useful for determining whether or not a flowmeter is functioning within defined operational parameters.
Meter provers and flow proving components also perform flowmeter verification, which typically test electronic flow products, including sensors and transmitters. Flowmeter verification is often an electronic simulation that does not involve testing the meter under actual flow conditions. Meter provers and flow proving components for electronic verification detect any changes in the meter’s sensor and transmitter functions that may be caused by erosion, corrosion, or hardware failures.