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# Air Flow Measurement

Chemical Engineering Practice

In the pilot plant there is a long vertical pipe with an unknown friction factor which was experimentally determined and correlated to several semi empirical equations. Most fluid flow problems can be solved using the Bernouli equation. It is equipped with a blower at one end and an orifice plat at the over end. This was accomplished by first arriving at the average velocity within the pipe using a Pitot tube and several barometers. The discharge coefficient was measured for this at various flow rates. In addition to this the pipe is fitted with an orifice meter at the far end. The Bernouli equation can be solved very easily when all the parameters are known. The air was forced through the pipe using a blower with various volumetric flow rates to obtain data points.6” further from the Pitot tube.Fluid flow is an important consideration in the field of chemical engineering as it is a popular method for the transportation of chemicals within a plant. Please find a copy of the report attached to this document. a Pitot tube 188” further along the pipe and another barometer 56. There is a barometer attached to the pipe 2” from the blower. Just past 2 . This was accomplished by using the average velocity determined in the first part of the experiment to predict the flow through the orifice meter along with the pressure drop that was directly measured. Δ(P/ρ + gz + v 2/2) = F – dw/dm. friction factors often have to be experimentally arrived at. Equipment The cylindrical pipe located in the pilot plant at the University of Ottawa is a 3” internal diameter pipe. However.

to obtain a pressure distribution within the pipe. At the end of the experiment the temperature of the room was measured to be 23° C. 60%. 70%. The pressure drop across the orifice was noted as well. The Pitot tube was placed at the center of the pipe and the stagnation pressure was recorded. The Pitot tube was placed again in the center and the damper was adjusted to obtain a lower pressure reading. 5 on either side of the center of the pipe. The blower was turned on and its damper was fully opened to get a maximum flow rate of air through the pipe. 3 . The Pitot tube was moved to 10 positions. Pressures of 80%. 50% and 40% of the initial pressure were used to repeat the process.8” and another barometer to measure the pressure drop across it.the last barometer there is an orifice plate with a diameter of 1. The pressure just above the blower was measured along with the pressure of the free steam at the Pitot tube.

008 4 .28 0.006 in most cases.Summary of Results The average velocity was determined to be 5.62E+04 0.98 0.006 0.17 0.64 4.53 70% 4.63 3.28 60% 3.63. appeared to be relatively constant through the experimental conditions despite the fact the Reynolds number and pressure drops across the pipe were different. Table 2.13 0.13 m/s with the damper completely open. Table 1: Average velocity within the pipe Pressure %of initial (Pitot tube) average velocity (m/s) 100% 5.65 3.03E+04 1.53 0. Table 2: Discharge coefficient for various flow rates average velocity m/s Discharge coefficient 5. f. The friction.18E+04 2. shows the average velocity in relation to the reduction of pressure measured from the Pitot tube at the center of the pipe.72 40% 3. Table 1.006 0.90E+04 1.31E+04 2.17 Using the average velocity along with the pressure drop across the orifice meter the discharge coefficients were determine have an average 0.61E+04 2.007 0.13 80% 4.63 4.006 0.007 0. table 3. The discharge coefficients do not appear to have much correlation with the average velocity.72 0. the friction factor of the pipe was determined to be approximately 0.98 50% 3. Table 3: Friction factor for various Reynolds numbers and pressure drops Pressure Drop (Pa) Re f 31 24 23 21 20 15 2.64 3.61 Finally.

In a laminar flow regime this is relatively simple. mainly that it measures the local velocity within a pipe.Discussion The Pitot tube used in this experiment was a static Pitot tube. P s. These positions were selected such that they have an equal contribution to the average 5 . vs = 0 vo = (2(Ps – Po)/ ρ)1/2 equation 13 The advantage of Pitot tube is that it is a very simple and inexpensive method of assessing the velocity in a pipe. P o. dw/dm = 0 . referred to as the stagnation pressure. in turbulent flow several different points must be measured. a decision as to the actual flow regime could only be made after completing the experiment. however. a Pitot tube does present some difficulties in its use. However. fluid and the pressure required to stop a small cross sectional area of the fluid from moving. This results in a velocity profile that must be measured in order to obtain the average velocity. Performing a Bernouli balance across the Pitot tube will yield the velocity of the fluid if one neglects friction and changes in elevation shown as follows: Δ(P/ρ + gz + v2/2) = F – dw/dm F = 0. not the average velocity. This apparatus measured the pressure of the free steam. This comes about by the no slip condition of the fluid at the fluid pipe interface. z1 = z2 = 0 Δ(P/ρ + v2/2) = 0 (Ps – Po)/ ρ = vo2/2 – vs2/2. The flow was assumed to be turbulent prior to performing the experiment. The Pitot tube was placed at 5 positions of either side of the center of the pipe.

This was accomplished by dividing the pipe into 5 equal subareas and then positioning the Pitot tube at the center of the area. the ratio of shear to viscous forces of the fluid.velocity. As such. The volumetric flow rate could then be divided by the area to given an average velocity.γ) – 1))1/2 equation 23 With the velocities obtained it was then possible to calculate the Reynolds number.63. Typically. gas flow rates less than 0. A more complex method of solving the velocity within the pipe would be equation 2 which does not assume incompressible flow. The discharge coefficients obtained appeared to not be a function of the velocity as the average discharge coefficient was 0. which indicated that all the velocities used in this experiment were all in the turbulent flow regime. If the Pitot tube was not positioned such that each velocity gave had an equal weight contribution to the overall average velocity a curve could have been fitted to the data.3 of the Mach number. The velocities of air that were arrived at were in the order of 1 to 5 m/s. can be assumed to be incompressible 2. v = ( 2γ/( 1.γ) * (ρ/ ρo) ((Ps/Po) γ/( 1. The Reynolds numbers that were calculated were all in excess of 4000. this was done using equation 3. it was possible to solve for the discharge coefficient from the orifice meter. this did not necessitate the used of equation 2. The average velocity could then be solved by taking a simple average of the velocities. This is in agreement with previous literature 1 values as the coefficients all tend 6 . These positions were measured on either side of the center of the pipe. Performing a surface integral upon the velocity as the function of the radius would have yielded the volumetric flow rate. 100 m/s. Using the velocity again.

All three trend lines appear to decrease with increasing Reynolds numbers.towards 0. equation 5.0014 + 0. These results were plotted against two semi empirical correlations for friction factor. This suggests that the pipe used in this experiment is not hydraulically smooth as equation 5 does not appear to fit the data remotely. Plotting the friction factors and product of the product friction factors and the Reynolds numbers as a semi log plot yielded a linear plot from which the parameters of the von Kármán could be obtained.75 equation 53 Since the pipe can not be characterized as hydraulically smooth the relative roughness needed to be estimated. the relative roughness of the 7 . equations 3 and 4. f = 0. The friction factors were obtained from experimental results by using the pressure drop and the average velocity.125*Re-0. A hydraulically smooth pipe’s friction factor can be obtained by von Kármán equation.499 for the intercept shown in figure 3 in appendix 1. 1 / √(f/2) = 2. Using the Moody chart1. These equations are used to correlate the Reynolds number to the friction factor for smooth pipe in a turbulent flow regime.046*Re-0. This suggests that the data obtained from the lab is of a good quality and that the pipe can be characterized as smooth. they were relatively close and the variation may be the result of experimental error shown in figure 1 of appendix 1.2 f = 0.63 when the Reynolds number is in excess of 10 4 for turbulent flow.5ln(Re *√(f/8)) + 1. some of the individual values weren’t in complete agreement.32 Equation 33 Equation 43 The experimental results appear to be in good agreement with the values predicted by the equations shown in figure 2 in appendix 1. Although.49 for the slope and 24. A linear trend line was fit to the data and reading off the slope gave the experimentally arrived of values of 6.

Additionally.000001. The discharge coefficient was determined to have an average value of 0.pipe. The curve on the Moody chart for this value is labeled as “Smooth Pipes” and appears to predict the calculated friction factors well. The pressures measured at all points along the pipe oscillated around a central value which suggests a large uncertainty in these measured value. the velocity profile through a smooth pipe was measured with varying Reynolds numbers. appears to be 0. Figure 3.63. a friction factor was successfully calculated for each average velocity and compared to several semi empirical correlations. ε/D. If this experiment were repeated again it could be improved by some minor modifications to the apparatus. Conclusions and Recommendations The experiment was a success. As it stands. 8 . Another method to improve the experiment would be to install more accurate pressure barometers on the pipe. it was not possible to obtain a reading for 20% and 10% pressure of stagnation versus that measured with the damper open when the Pitot tube was positioned in the center of the pipe. A better damper could be installed on the air inlet to better restrict the airflow entering the pipe. The two different methods for calculating the friction factor gave very similar results as seen when graphed.

40E+04 Discharge Coefficient 2.100 -2.63 0.150 -2.100 -2.65 0.05E+04 2.050 -2.500 Friction Factor (logf ) Experimentally Determined Equation 3 Equation 4 Reynolds Number Figure 2: Comparison of friction factors for two semi empirical correlations 9 .62 0.250 -2.66 0.000 4.62 0.300 4.300 4.65 0.64 0.64 0.70E+04 Reynolds Number Figure 1: Reynolds number versus discharge coefficient Friction Factor Plot -2.200 -2.63 0.Appendix 1 – Graphs Orifice Meter 0.61 1.

8/3)4])/√(2000*Porifice/ρ) Co = (5.299 R = 0.13m/s)2*(6.24.5) Figure 3: Ploting of friction factors in such a fashion to obtain the parameters for the von Kármán equation Appendix 2 – Sample Calculations 1) Velocity at 1.19 kg/m3*(5.von Kármán plot 19 18.82)*√[1-(1.423 inches & 100% u = √[2(Ps – P0)/ρ] u = √[(2*0.35 6.21m)2) ƒ = 0.85 + 5.031KPa*1000 Pa*0.13 m/s*0.19 kg/m3)/1.3 6.55 6.13 m/s*(32/1.0762 m*1.5 18 (f/2)^-0.006 10 .15 6.492x .4 6.5 17.266 KPa/1.13 m/s 3) Reynolds Number Re = (uavg*D*ρ)/μ Re = (5.5 6.2 6.7841 2 ln(Re*(f/8)^0.6 y = 6.0762 m)/(1.25 6.61x104 4) Discharge Coefficient Co = (uavg*(32/1.63 5) Friction Factor ƒ = (Ps*1000*D)/(ρ*u2avg*L) ƒ = (0.19 kg/m3] u = 4.82)*√[1-(1.10 + 4.5 17 16.10 m/s 2) Average Velocity at 100% uavg = (All velocities except velocity at center)/10 uavg = (4.8/3)4])/√(2000 Pa*0.10) m/s/10 uavg = 5.5 16 15.78x10-8 Pa-s Re = 2.010 KPa*1000 Pa)/1.5 6.19 kg/m3) Co = 0.18 +…+ 4.45 6.

61x104) Log(Re) = 4.0014+(0.15 ln[Re√(ƒ/8)] = 6.046*Re-0.006/8)] 1/√(ƒ/2) = 18.125/(2.58 11 .417 7) Log Friction Factor Log(ƒ) = Log(0.6) Log Reynolds Number Log(Re) = Log(2.61x104)0.006) Log(ƒ) = -2.32)] Log(ƒ) = Log[0.61x104)-0.046*(2.2) Log(ƒ) = Log(0.0014+(0.32)] Log(ƒ) = -2.217 8) Log Equation 14 Log(ƒ) = Log(0.206 10) von Kármán Equation 1/√(ƒ/2) = 1/√(0.61x104√(0.2) Log(ƒ) = -2.006/2) ln[Re√(ƒ/8)] = ln[2.221 9) Log Equation 15 Log(ƒ) = Log[0.125/Re0.