Flow sensors review

Review includes three most widely used models of flow meters — Koolance INS-FM17, Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2, Aqua Computer Flow sensor high flow G1/4

Comments: 8

Introduction

Those of you who use water cooling system for a long time have a clear understanding than flow speed effects performance of not only each WC components in particular but the whole system in general. Furthermore, in case of pump malfunctioning it can lead to PC hardware failure. Flow meter installation does provide all information concerning flow characteristics, thus, allowing to set automatic PC shut-down if pumps stops operating. Flow meters that are commonly used in WCS are type of turbine meter of liquid flow. These meters have rather primitive operating principles. By passing through flow meter, water flow forces the turbine with an integrated ferromagnetic insert to rotate. Then, Hall sensor tracks turbine rotations and generated electric impulses which are then passed to the controller. The controller has to set to an appropriate impulse per liter value which depends on particular flow meter model.

This review includes three most widely used models of flow meters — Koolance INS-FM17, Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2 and Aqua Computer Flow sensor high flow G1/4.

Koolance INS-FM17

Koolance INS-FM17

Quite a compact sensor, has one outstanding feature — there is no need to have a specialized controller to monitor flow level. The sensor is connected to the fan connector on motherboard. It is possible to monitoring flow meter readings by means of BIOS or software that can provide fan speed data. Sensor output is in milliliters per minute. Pay attention to flow direction when connecting the flow meter. It is marked on the acrylic case. There is a special switch than has to be set in reference with the inner diameter of tubing that is used in WC system. There are two values — 6 mm and 10-13 mm (the inner diameter of the tubing). Fittings are not included.

Specification:

  • Flow rate range: 1.0–15 l/ min (LPM) / 0.26–4 GPM
  • Fluid temperature range: 0–70 °C (32–158 °F)
  • Maximum pressure 6kgf/cm2
  • Dimensions: 2.5cm x 4.8cm x 1.9cm
  • Input-output threads: G 1/4 BSP nozzles
  • Materials used: nickel-plated brass and acrylic

Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2 outer thread — Highflow

Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2

Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2

Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2

Actually this flow sensor has different labelling — GMR AFS1-B Messing. Pay attention to flow direction when connecting the flow meter, all data is available on manufacturer’s home page. Input-output ports have G1/2 external threads, therefore, additional adapters for G1/4 threaded nozzles are required which standard for LC systems:

Flow meter GMR Brass G1/2

Specification:

  • Flow rate range without adapters: 0.75–35 l/min
  • Flow rate range without adapters: 0.5–10 l/min / 0.13-2.64 GPM
  • Operating measurement range: 1.0–35 l/min (LPM) / 0.26-9.24 GPM
  • Maximum pressure: 16 Bar with brass case and 10 Bar with acrylic case
  • Fluid temperature range: < 90°C max.
  • Poll value: 492 impulses per liter (828 impulses per liter with adapter)
  • Supply voltage: DC 4.5-24 V, 10 mA
  • Orientation: vertical and horizontal
  • Input-output threads: G 1/4 BSPP nozzles
  • Materials used: Brass MS85

Aqua Computer Flow sensor high flow G1/4

This device uses Digmessa Hall sensor, however, working chamber and the impeller are of own manufacturer design.

AC Flow sensor “high flow"

AC flow sensor highflow

AC Flow sensor “high flow” — working chamber and the impeller

AC Flow sensor “high flow"

Specification:

  • Flow rate range: 0.67-10 l/min (LPM) / 0.18 – 2.64 GPM
  • Tolerance ± 2.0%
  • Poll value: 169 impulses per liter
  • Supply voltage: DC 5V 5-13 mA
  • Input-output threads: G 1/4 BSP nozzles
  • Materials used: plastic, stainless steel

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Discussion

Leave a Reply

James, June 24, 2010 at 3:30 am

James,

My Koolance flow meter melted placed at the end of the loop after my 2 ATI 4870×2. It can’t handle heat!!

HWlab Team, June 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm

HWlab Team,

What exactly do you mean by saying that your flow meter “melted”?
Can you describe it in details?

JN, August 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm

JN,

any Koolance product that has acrylic in it is JUNK; too thin, poor quality.

Voiager, May 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Voiager,

Hallo,
I own a computer Water Flow sensor “High Flow G1 / 4, which I connected on a 5 Aquaero XT, but I see no value. I checked the contacts but it is entirely correct. Can you help?

Thanks

HWlab Team, June 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

HWlab Team,

Sorry, but we don’t have an Aquaero 5 at our lab yet.

Sprucemoose, July 21, 2011 at 11:03 am

Sprucemoose,

Hi!

I just bought one of the Aquacomputer High Flow sensors, however there is a distinct clicking noise coming from the device, it’s almost completely silent when running at 1,8L/Min (30%PWM), the clicking starts being audible at around 2,4L/min and increases drastically with flows above this. Max flow I get while using my MCP35x pump i 6,7L/min.

It is even so that the vibration traveling through the tubing to the radiators making a resonating humming sound when the radiator is installed in the case.

I have bled the whole system properly, so I don’t think that air is the problem. I’m wondering if you had any problems with your test-sensor?

Jan, June 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Jan,

Hi!!
I have the Aqua Computer Flow sensor “high flow” G1/4 for aquaero (http://shop.aquacomputer.de/product_info.php?products_id=2294) in my computer watercooling system. For connection I use this (http://shop.aquacomputer.de/product_info.php?products_id=1622&XTCsid=r43p5ukg7a1mkchgoc75nhruli7he007) cable.
My pumpe is aquastream XT USB 12V Pumpe – Ultra Version. (http://shop.aquacomputer.de/product_info.php?products_id=1301)
My problem is that I don’t get any rpm signal when I connect the flow sensor to the aquabus/flow connection on the aquasteam. Tried to chance the impulse and the aquabus/flow settings in the software but still nothing. Tried most settings I think :-p
If I connect the flow sensor to the main board I can read the rpm ie.speedfan.
Is there something wrong with my aquasteam?

Jan.