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Flow Metering Priciple

Flow Metering Priciple

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Published by Mathieu Smeets

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Published by: Mathieu Smeets on Jan 23, 2014
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The most common principals for fluid flow metering are: • Differential Pressure Flowmeters • Velocity Flowmeters • Positive

Displacement Flowmeters • Mass Flowmeters • Open Channel Flowmeters

Differential Pressure Flowmeters
In a differential pressure drop device the flow is calculated by measuring the pressure drop over an obstructions inserted in the flow. The differential pressure flowmeter is based on the Bernoullis Equation, where the pressure drop and the further measured signal is a function of the square flow speed.

The most common types of differential pressure flowmeters are: • Orifice Plates • Flow Nozzles • Venturi Tubes • Variable Area - Rotameters

where up to 80% of the differential pressure generated at the constricted area. The orifice plates are simple. is recovered. Nozzle and Venturi Meters Venturi Tube Due to simplicity and dependability. • Orifice. . the Venturi tube flowmeter is often used in applications where it's necessary with higher TurnDown Rates. or lower pressure drops. The TurnDown Rate for orifice plates are less than 5:1.Orifice Plate With an orifice plate. generating a pressure difference. In the Venturi Tube the fluid flowrate is measured by reducing the cross sectional flow area in the flow path. After the constricted area. than the orifice plate can provide. Wear reduces the accuracy. the fluid flow is measured through the difference in pressure from the upstream side to the downstream side of a partially obstructed pipe. Their accuracy are poor at low flow rates. The plate obstructing the flow offers a precisely measured obstruction that narrows the pipe and forces the flowing fluid to constrict. with a sharp edge to the upstream side. the fluid is passes through a pressure recovery exit section. A high accuracy depend on an orifice plate in good shape. cheap and can be delivered for almost any application in any material.

The TurnDown Rate and accuracy can be compared with the orifice plate. The flow nozzle is relative simple and cheap. This provides a TurnDown Rate 10:1. the Venturi Tube flowrate can be reduced to about 10% of its full scale range with proper accuracy.With proper instrumentation and flow calibrating. and available for many applications in many materials. Nozzle and Venturi Meters . • Orifice. Nozzle and Venturi Meters Flow Nozzles Flow nozzles are often used as measuring elements for air and gas flow in industrial applications. • Orifice.

Nozzles and Venturi Meters After the pressure difference has been generated in the differential pressure flow meter. As we can see. The flow is choked.The Sonic Nozzle . At this point it's not possible to increase the flow by lowering the downstream pressure. where it breaks Mach 1 or sonic. and a metering float which is free to move within the tube. accurate. This situation is used in many control systems to maintain fixed. repeatable gas flow rates unaffected by the downstream pressure.Critical (Choked) Flow Nozzle When gases accelerate through a nozzle. the minimum area. the fluid pass through the pressure recovery exit section. The maximum velocity is achieved at the throat. Variable Area Flowmeter or Rotameter The rotameter consists of a vertically oriented glass (or plastic) tube with a larger end at the top. . the velocity increase and the pressure and the gas density decrease. the pressure drop in orifice plates is significant higher than in the venturi tubes. where the differential pressure generated at the constricted area is partly recovered. Fluid flow causes the float to rise in the tube as the upward pressure differential and buoyancy of the fluid overcome the effect of gravity. Recovery of Pressure Drop in Orifices.

. The rotameter meter typically have a TurnDown Ratio up to 12:1. Magnetic floats can be used for alarm and signal transmission functions. and downward gravity factors. and integrating the flow speed over the flow area. Velocity Flowmeters In a velocity flowmeter the flow is calculated by measuring the speed in one or more points in the flow.The float rises until the annular area between the float and tube increases sufficiently to allow a state of dynamic equilibrium between the upward differential pressure and buoyancy factors. The height of the float is an indication of the flow rate. The tube can be calibrated and graduated in appropriate flow units. The accuracy may be as good as 1% of full scale rating.

The pitot tube measures the fluid flow velocity by converting the kinetic energy of the flow into potential energy. Calorimetric Flowmeter The calorimetric principle for fluid flow measurement is based on two temperature sensors in close contact with the fluid but thermal insulated from each other.Pitot Tubes The pitot tube are one the most used (and cheapest) ways to measure fluid flow. . the dynamic pressure can be measured across the velocity profile. especially in air applications as ventilation and HVAC systems. or multiorifice pitot probe. The use of the pitot tube is restricted to point measuring. With the "annubar". even used in airplanes for the speed measurent. and the annubar obtains an averaging effect.

The liquid serves as the conductor and the magnetic field is created by energized coils outside the flow tube. The voltage produced is directly proportional to the flow rate. but in general they are all based on the same simple principle: If a fluid moves through a pipe and acts on the vanes of a turbine. In general lower thermal conductivity require higher velocity for proper measurement. and they can measure flow in both directions with equal accuracy.An introduction to the vortex flowmeter principle. Accuracy may be better than +/-0. These alternating low pressure zones cause the obstruction to move towards the low pressure zone. Electromagnetic Flowmeter An electromagnetic flowmeter operate on Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction that states that a voltage will be induced when a conductor moves through a magnetic field. the turbine will start to spin and rotate.1%. Two electrodes mounted in the pipe wall detect the voltage which is measured by a secondary element. In a stationary (no flow) fluid condition there is a constant temperature difference between the two temperature sensors.One of the two sensors is constantly heated and the cooling effect of the flowing fluid is used to monitor the flowrate. The rate of spin is measured to calculate the flow. Response times will vary due the thermal conductivity of the fluid. Electromagnetic flowmeters can measure difficult and corrosive liquids and slurries. Turbine Flowmeter There is many different manufacturing design of turbine flow meters. . The reduction is proportional to the flow rate of the fluid. Vortex Flow Meter An obstruction in a fluid flow creates vortices in a downstream flow. The calorimetric flowmeter can achieve relatively high accuracy at low flow rates. The turndown ratios may be more than 100:1 if the turbine meter is calibrated for a single fluid and used at constant conditions. When the fluid flow increases. Vortex shedding is the instance where alternating low pressure zones are generated in the downstream. heat energy is drawn from the heated sensor and the temperature difference between the sensors are reduced. • The Vortex Flowmeter Principle . With sensors gauging the vortices the strength of the flow can be measured. Every obstruction has a critical fluid flow speed at which vortex shedding occurs.

As fluid moves away from a transducer. The positive displacement flowmeter may be used for all relatively nonabrasive fluids such as heating oils. the frequency of the returning signal decrease. • The Electromagnetic Flowmeter Principle .Electromagnetic flowmeters have a relatively high power consumption and can only be used for electrical conductive fluids as water. oval-shaped gears with synchronized. A fixed volume of liquid is swept to the meter's outlet from each compartment as the impeller rotates. inside the meter's housings. • The Ultrasonic Doppler and Time of Flight Flowmeter • An Ultrasonic Flowmeter Tutorial . The pressure of the liquid passing through the measuring chamber causes the disk to rock in a circulating path without rotating about its own axis. polymer additives. The frequency of the reflected signal is modified by the velocity and direction of the fluid flow If a fluid is moving towards a transducer. Accuracy may be up to ?0. Positive Displacement Flowmeter The positive displacement flowmeter measures process fluid flow by precision-fitted rotors as flow measuring elements. The frequency difference is equal to the reflected frequency minus the originating frequency and can be use to calculate the fluid flow speed. The impellers are in continuous contact with the casing.1% of full rate with a TurnDown of 70:1 or more. • Nutating disk meters have moveable disks mounted on a concentric sphere located in spherical side-walled chambers. animal and vegetable fat. Mass Flowmeters Mass meters measure the mass flow rate directly. freon. A fixed quantity of liquid passes through the meter for each revolution. rotating impellers. • Oval-gear meters have two rotating.An introduction to the electromagnetic flowmeter principle Ultrasonic Doppler Flowmeter The effect of motion of a sound source and its effect on the frequency of the sound was observed and described by Christian Johann Doppler. The positive displacement rotor construction can be done in several ways: • Reciprocating piston meters are of single and multiple-piston types. The number of rotations of the rotor is counted by an integral electronic pulse transmitter and converted to volume and flow rate. The rotation of the rotors are proportional to the volume of the fluid being displaced. Thermal meters use a heated sensing element isolated from the fluid flow path where the . and many more. Known and fixed volumes are displaced between the rotors. pressure. the frequency of the returning signal will increase. The revolutions of the impeller are counted and registered in volumetric units. Shaft rotation can be monitored to obtain specific flow rates. It is the only moving part in the measuring chamber. printing ink. • Rotary vane meters consists of equally divided. close fitting teeth. Thermal Flowmeter The thermal mass flowmeter operates independent of density. lubrication oils. and viscosity.A basic tutorial about ultrasonic flowmeters. two or more compartments.

The conducted heat is directly proportional to the mass flow rate and the he temperature difference is calculated to mass flow. With the ability to measure liquids.1% with an turndown rate more than 100:1. viscosity and density.flow stream conducts heat from the sensing element. The Coriolis flow meters are in general very accurate. Open Channel Flowmeters A common method of measuring flow through an open channel is to measure the height of the liquid as it passes over an obstruction as a flume or weir in the channel. The Coriolis meter can also be used to measure the fluids density. Coriolis Flowmeter Direct mass measurement sets Coriolis flowmeters apart from other technologies. pressure. The flow rate over a weir is a function of the head on the weir. Coriolis flowmeters are universal meters. the tubes will deform and an additional vibration component will be added to the oscillation. Due to the Coriolis forces. Mass measurement is not sensible to changes in pressure. the V-Notch Weir. better than +/-0. the Cipolletti weir. Common used is the Sharp-Crested Weir. or head. which is measured upstream of the structure. the Rectangular-Notch Weir. the Parshall Flume or Venturi Flume. heat capacity and viscosity of the fluid. This additional component causes a phase shift on some places of the tubes which can be measured with sensors. The weir results an increase in the water level. The fluid to be measured runs through a U-shaped tube that is caused to vibrate in an angular harmonic oscillation. Weirs are structures consisting of an obstruction such as a dam or bulkhead placed across the open channel with a specially shaped opening or notch. . Coriolis Mass Flowmeter uses the Coriolis effect to measure the amount of mass moving through the element. The accuracy of the thermal mass flow device depends on the calibrations reliability of the actual process and variations in the temperature. flow rate. temperature. slurries and gases.

Common weir constructions are the rectangular weir. Weirs are called sharp-crested if their crests are constructed of thin metal plates. For standard weirs . Flow measurement installations with broad-crested weirs will meet accuracy requirements only if they are calibrated.is well defined or constant for measuring within specified head ranges. and the broad-crested weir. Sutro (proportional) weir and compound weirs (combination of the previously mentioned weir shapes). • Common Standards and Specifications for Weir Flow Measurements Rectangular weirs and triangular or v-notch weirs are often used in water supply. the triangular or v-notch weir. and broad-crested if they are made of wide timber or concrete. triangular or v-notch profile for the water flow. . Other available weirs are the trapezoidal (Cipolletti) weir.cd . They consist of a sharp edged plate with a rectangular. Water level-discharge relationships can be applied and meet accuracy requirements for sharp-crested weirs if the installation is designed and installed consistent with established ASTM and ISO standards. Rectangular Weir The flow rate measurement in a rectangular weir is based on the Bernoulli Equation principles and can be expressed as: q = 2/3 cd b [2 g]1/2 h3/2 (1) where q = flow rate h = head on the weir b = width of the weir g = gravity cd= discharge constant for the weir . Broad-crested weirs can be observed in dam spillways where the broad edge is beneath the water surface across the entire stream.must be determined cd must be determined by analysis and calibration tests. wastewater and sewage systems.

. or • pressure transmitters Ultrasonic level transmitters are positioned above the flow without any direct contact with the flow.and the flow must in general be calculated in the control system. It's common to measure the levels with: • ultrasonic level transmitters.like a pulse signal or 4-20 mA signal before transmitting it to the control system. The pressure transmitter outputs a linear level signal .4-20 mA . then use the equations above for calculating.h2)]1/2 (3) Measuring the Levels For measuring the flow rate it's obviously necessary to measure the flow levels. Ultrasonic level transmitters can be used for all measurements.Triangular . Some of the transmitters can even calculate a linear flow signal . Pressure transmitters can be used for the sharp-crested weirs and for the first measure point in broad-crested weir.Triangular or V-Notch Weir For a triangular or v-notch weir the flow rate can be expressed as: q = 8/15 cd b [2 g]1/2 tan(θ/2) h5/2 (2) where θ = v-notch angle • An Online V-notch .Flow Rate Calulator Broad-Crested Weir For the broad-crested weir the flow rate can be expressed as: q = cd h2 b [2 g (h1 .

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