# Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

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### Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

This is part of a project I have been working on and I thought I would share it here since there have been a few threads on how to read water flow rate in liters per hour using the Water Flow Sensor found in the Seeed Studio Depo. It uses a simple rotating wheel that pulses a hall effect sensor. By reading these pulses and implementing a little math, we can read the liquids flow rate accurate to within 3%. The threads are simple G1/2 so finding barbed ends will not be that hard. I found some at a hardware store for \$1.89 each.

You will need
Seeeduino / Arduino
Water Flow Sensor
10K resistor

Wiring up the Water Flow Sensor is pretty simple. There are 3 wires: Black, Red, and Yellow.
Black to the Seeeduino's ground pin
Red to Seeeduino's 5v pin
The yellow wire will need to be connected to a 10k pull up resistor.and then to pin 2 on the Seeeduino.

Here is a fritzing diagram I made to show you how to wire it all up.

Once you have it wired up you will need to upload the following code to your Seeeduino. Once it is uploaded and you have some fluid flowing through the Water Flow Sensor, you can open the serial monitor and it will display the flow rate, refreshing every second.

Code: Select all
`// reading liquid flow rate using Seeeduino and Water Flow Sensor from Seeedstudio.com// Code adapted by Charles Gantt from PC Fan RPM code written by Crenn @thebestcasescenario.com// http:/themakersworkbench.com http://thebestcasescenario.com http://seeedstudio.comvolatile int NbTopsFan; //measuring the rising edges of the signalint Calc;                               int hallsensor = 2;    //The pin location of the sensorvoid rpm ()     //This is the function that the interupt calls {   NbTopsFan++;  //This function measures the rising and falling edge of the hall effect sensors signal} // The setup() method runs once, when the sketch startsvoid setup() //{   pinMode(hallsensor, INPUT); //initializes digital pin 2 as an input  Serial.begin(9600); //This is the setup function where the serial port is initialised,  attachInterrupt(0, rpm, RISING); //and the interrupt is attached} // the loop() method runs over and over again,// as long as the Arduino has powervoid loop ()    {  NbTopsFan = 0;   //Set NbTops to 0 ready for calculations  sei();      //Enables interrupts  delay (1000);   //Wait 1 second  cli();      //Disable interrupts  Calc = (NbTopsFan * 60 / 7.5); //(Pulse frequency x 60) / 7.5Q, = flow rate in L/hour   Serial.print (Calc, DEC); //Prints the number calculated above  Serial.print (" L/hour\r\n"); //Prints "L/hour" and returns a  new line}`

I hope this helps someone out! Thank's to Seeed Studio for hooking me up with a sensor so I could develop this tutorial.

Pre-kindergarten

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### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

Can't wait to post it onto our product page.... Thank you so much pal!

Elementary-3

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### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

No problem Eric. I enjoyed writing it. I am working on the next write up, where I will show the user how to display that flow rate on an LCD. Eventually I want to set it up so the user can log the data using the Seeeduino Stalker.

Pre-kindergarten

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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

This is very interesting! Thanks for posting. I have a question around a practical example I'm thinking about putting together around this. I see the the "accurate within 3%" note and I get a bit nervous...

How appropriate would this sensor be for measuring small amounts of liquid, like cups of beverage from a beverage dispenser? I would ideally like to achieve centiliter accuracy, if I pour a 50 centiliter cup of liquid (half a liter), is this sensor going to be resolute enough? ...Do I risk being off by 1.5 cl or so per beverage? Or better yet, can it be calibrated?

Thanks!
Pre-kindergarten

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Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:28 pm

### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

I was think the same thing. I am wanting to dispense different liquids in the same fashion but I am wondering what this 3% means too. What would be the lowest accurate amount it could safely measure?

Kevin
Pre-kindergarten

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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:29 am

### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

Hello,

Thank you very much for the write up. I am a newbie to microcontrollers and particularly in regards to fluid dynamics and flow rate.

Can anyone explain in detail the formula used:

NbTopsFan * 60 / 7.5 used in the code above
Pre-kindergarten

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:44 am

### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

Hi everyone,

Sorry for my english but i'm french... In first thank you for your post it' very interesting... I have just one qustion about your code, the flow is in L/min no? In the data sheet 7.5Q is for L/min...

Bye
Pre-kindergarten

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### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

eltoddo: Yes, it will be off 1.5cl in the worst case. If, and only if, the accuracy is constant for a certain device, it can be configured. Lets say you have constant -1% error in measured vs. real value, (aka. 50cl measured, 50.5cl real) you pull 1.01 as multiplier into the code. In +1%, you use 0.99 as multiplier. (Yes, it is a bit wrong, but I'm just making it simple enough.) Experiment and change the multiplier value to compensate. If the error was constant, that is.

Nashblackcat: If the sensor works with 1 to 30 liters per minute(LPM) range, 50cl is gained with 6LPM in 5 seconds. Take that as 10cl in 1 sec, and if going down to 2LPM speed, it is ~3.33cl in one sec. Hard to say what the safe margin is, but I would NOT try filling 4cl vodka shot. 8cl maybe.

LeeLinkoff: In the formula NbTopsFan * 60 / 7.5 , the NbTopsFan is the amount of rising pulse edges detected by the controller in a set delay time. Here it was 1 second. So we have here our pulses per second and the *60 multiplies this value by 60, so we get pulses per minute. The 7.5 is a constant set in the datasheet of the sensor that tells us the relation between flowrate and pulses per minute the sensor is sending. I would add here a correction value *0.97 to *1.03 if the measurement error is constant to a certain device.

nikoumouk: I agree, the comment and code is wrong and real output is in LPM. Add *60 or change original *60 to *3600 to get liters per hour.
Pre-kindergarten

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### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

What happens to pulses that arrives while the interrupt is disabled? Don't you need a buffer here?
Kindergarten

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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:29 pm

### Re: Tutorial: Reading Water Flow rate with Water Flow Sensor

dnordenberg: No, you don't care about them. We need to look only the pulses during the 1 second period for our calculation of flow. The problems will come up only if the flow will change a lot in a short period of time, instead of being (almost) constant.
Pre-kindergarten

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