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Vol. 141, No. 6, June 2012, pp. 62-70




Design, Development and Testing of a Semi Cylindrical Capacitive Sensor
for Liquid Flow Rate Measurement in Process Industry


Sagarika PAL, Sharmi GANGULY

Department of Electrical Engineering, National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Kolkata [Under MHRD, Govt. of India],

Block-FC, Sector-III, Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700 106, India

E-mail: spal922@yahoo.co.in, s_ganguly07@yahoo.co.in


Received: 11 April 2012   /Accepted: 25 June 2012   /Published: 30 June 2012


Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: Flow rate through a pipe is an important process variable to be measured and controlled in any process industry. In the present paper, a low cost non contact semi cylindrical capacitive type liquid flow sensor has been designed, developed and tested. The semi cylindrical capacitive sensor consists of two large semi cylindrical thin copper plates separated by a gap distance and mounted along the outer wall of a non conducting horizontal flow pipe in a process. The capacitance of the sensor with variation of liquid flow rate has been measured and the relationship has been observed linear. The capacitance variation has been obtained in nano farad range which again has been converted into voltage by using proper signal conditioning circuit.  For converting the sensor capacitance variation into voltage, capacitance to voltage converter (ICL 7660) has been used instead of conventional bridge circuit. The sensor is purely non contact type and does not create any problem due to contamination with corrosive, chemically reactive liquids flowing through a non conducting flow pipe. Experimental results are found to have good linearity and repeatability within acceptable limits.


Keywords: Liquid flow sensor, Semi cylindrical capacitive sensor, Non- contact sensor, Process industry, Signal conditioning circuit, Horizontal flow pipe



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