Components of a Fuel Measurement System
There are four major sub-systems of a fuel measurement system, fuel consumption measurement, pre-conditioning, conditioning, and interface. Each of these components can vary in their design and function based on the application's requirements. The following is a brief summary of these components and their uses or benefits.
Fuel Consumption Measurement
This measurement, also called Mass Flow Measurement is at the heart of the system. These components are critical in determining the accuracy and reliability of your test measurement data. There are a number of different flow meters each with it's own positives and negatives (eg. Coriolis meters provide mass flow vs. positive displacement meters calculate mass flow from flow rate). Choosing the one that best fits your application is the most important decision in the success or failure of your testing.
The pre-conditioning system is used to prepare the fuel or test medium prior to the fuel consumption measurement. The location and the design of the pre-conditioning can greatly influence the accuracy and response time of the flow meter device. Because of the importance of this influence, the design of the system has to be done in consideration with the testing requirements; it's physical location and packaging, as well as other system components.
A conditioning system is used in applications where excess fuel is returned to the tank from the engine. There are a couple of philosophies on incorporating this returning fuel into a measurement system. Each has its positives and negatives that must be weighed against the objectives of the testing requirement. Again this system can greatly influence the accuracy and response time of the fuel measurement device.
The interface allows the measurement system to be connected to a data acquisition system for retrieving data and controlling the measurement system. Any number of protocols and connections can be used, depending on the users requirements.