The Pitot Tube is used for many industrial applications, a few examples are to measure air flow in pipes, ducts, and stacks, and liquid flow in pipes, weirs, and open channels. While accuracy and rangeability are relatively low, pitot tubes are simple, reliable, inexpensive, and suited for a variety of environmental conditions, including extremely high temperatures and a wide range of pressures.
The pitot tube is an inexpensive alternative to an orifice plate. Accuracy ranges from 0.5% to 5% FS, which is comparable to that of an orifice. Its flow rangeability of 4:1 is also similar to the capability of the orifice plate. The main difference is that, while an orifice measures the full flowstream, the pitot tube detects the flow velocity at only one point in the flowstream.