A gas meter is a special flow meter which is used to measure the volume of fuel gases such as natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas. They are widely used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings that consume fuel gas supplied by a gas utility, Gases are more difficult to measure than liquids, as measured volumes are highly affected by temperature and pressure. Gas meters measure a defined volume, regardless of the pressurized quantity or quality of the gas flowing through the meter. Temperature, pressure, and heating value compensation must be made to measure the actual amount and value of gas moving through a meter. Various designs of gas meters are commonly in use, depending on the volumetric flow rate of gas to be measured, the range of flows anticipated, the type of gas being measured, and other factors.
Diaphragm type of gas meters are the most common type and can be seen in almost all residential and small commercial installations. Within the meter, there are two or more chambers formed by movable diaphragms. With the gas flow directed by internal valves, the chambers alternatively fill and expel gas, producing a nearly continuous flow through the meter. As the diaphragms expand and contract, levers connected to cranks convert the linear motion of the diaphragms into rotary motion of a crankshaft which serves as the primary flow element. This shaft can drive an odometer-like counter mechanism or it can produce electrical pulses for a flow computer. Diaphragm gas meters are positive displacement meters.
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