A Guide to

Air Flow Measurement

Accurate. Reliable. Every Time.

4.1. Flow from ceiling diffusers 13 6. Preferred units – Sl 4 2. Flow in ducts 12 6. Pitot static tubes 7 3. Pressure transducers 10 5.10. Flow rate in large airways 13 6. Anemometers 5 3. Flow at grilles 13 6.5. Conversion factors 4 3 Instruments for measuring velocity 5 3. Calculating volume flow rate 8 4. Dial gauges 10 5. volume and pressure 4 2.3.3. Checking for leakage 14 6.3. Maintenance and calibration 11 6 On site 12 6.3.5. Accessories 14 7 Glossary of terms 15 www.2.4.1. Specialised instruments 7 4 Measuring volume flow rate 8 4. Accuracy 2 1.11.8.7. The need for measurement 2 1. Flow from slot diffusers 14 6.6. Precision manometers 10 5. Measuring volume flow rate directly 8 5 Instruments for measuring pressure 9 5.1.2.2.9. Industrial manometers 9 5.3.airflowinstruments. Static pressure 14 6.uk .2. Draughts 14 6.6. U tube manometers 9 5. Balancing systems 14 6. Fundamental principles 2 2 Units of measurement 4 2. Airflow Instruments History 2 1.1.co.1. Definitions of velocity. Contents 1 Introduction 2 1.2.2. Fan performance 14 6.1.4.

In at right angles to the axis of flow. the air systems are usually made relative to atmospheric temperature. and the resulting signals fed to recording or customers including building service contractors. pressure of 1000 mbar. Where air is used to distribute heat it is density of 1. Where noxious fumes are present the health and safety of those working in the area must be protected with an A tube placed in a duct facing into the direction of flow adequate supply of fresh clean air. Our basic instrument may be within ± 1% yet because of the extensively equipped laboratories and state of the art nature of the site the end result may have an uncertainty Research & Development department continually seeks of ± 10%. ±1% at 100. A good appreciation of what is likely to be happening to the air in the particular situation will obviously help. from The general accuracy of the instruments supplied by TSI the static pressure connection of a correctly aligned pitot Instruments Ltd is specified in the literature provided. below sea level at which the measurement is made. The velocities. ±0.1 at 10. if followed. the sensing hole or tapping should be percentage of reading for all or part of the scale. from one man's expertise in the fields of air flow characteristics of a particular instrument are required measurement and fan design. Neglecting frictional losses the mean total pressure at any cross- This booklet sets out in straightforward terms the basic section throughout the duct system is constant and is principles of operation of the instruments used and their made up from two variable components: the static application to site situations.1 Airflow Instruments History reading i.airflowinstruments.e. and leakage rates within a ductwork system can be Standard Conditions are internationally agreed at an air determined. control devices by the use of appropriate commissioning specialists. research professionals. Accuracy The overall accuracy of a result depends upon the The static pressure is the bursting pressure within the accuracy of the instrument.4 Fundamental principles A special products group develops and supply tailored Due to the depth of the earth’s atmosphere the air special solutions to meet customer specifications around us exerts a pressure. Airflow Developments then TSI Instruments Ltd’s laboratories can offer Limited was founded. new ways of measuring air flow and other ventilation parameters.2 The need for measurement barometer and varies slightly from day to day depending All air flow systems have to meet certain design upon the weather conditions. This is measurable with a 1.uk 2 .3.2 kg/m3. Instructions are products backed by in-built reliability designed and provided with every instrument and. e. movement and comfort levels within a room pressure and may be corrected to “Standard Conditions” can all be established.co. with www. should developed by experts in air measurement and has been minimize these sources of error. Air Airflow Instruments are accurate. like must be compared with like. individual calibration. The accuracy of the expertise and innovation in air measurement. Static pressure the accuracy of interpretation. To ensure that The accuracy of an instrument may be quoted as either a the static pressure readings are not influenced by the percentage of full scale deflection (FSD) or as a velocity pressure. manufacturing to the stringent requirements of ISO9001 since 1994. the Pressure measurements in heating and ventilating balance between fresh and re-circulated air.g. Flow patterns may not be stable. For example an instrument claiming The velocity pressure is the pressure in the duct due to ± 1% of reading will have to achieve a progressively the movement of the air.ps FSD has an allowable constant error over the range. and instrumentation. An instrument claiming ±1% of pv = pt . volume flow rates to make possible a comparison between readings.1 Introduction a corresponding decreasing accuracy with decreasing 1. quality errors such as parallax and zeroing. combining over 90 years of taken at a less than ideal station. and the altitude above or requirements. ± 0. Site conditions seldom match laboratory conditions. 1. facility engineers. Airflow's measurement instruments division and difficulties of access may cause measurements to be joined TSI Incorporated. known as atmospheric (barometric) pressure. and a temperature of 16OC. actual performance can be measured and compared with the specification. static tube facing directly into the flow. high-quality. ± 1 at 100. If the In 1955. movement cannot be seen but may be identified and professional-grade instruments used by a wide range of measured. measurements are taken at the wall of the duct or in a space where there is very little air movement. volume flow may vary In 2005. By use of appropriate instrumentation. The number of air changes. total pressure and subtracting the static pressure. ±2% at 50. corresponding to a barometric doubly important that there are no leaks to waste energy. It is measured by taking the reducing error with decreasing reading.5 at 50. ±10% at 10. Airflow Instruments earned its reputation as a world Airflow Instruments are designed to minimize operator leader by continually providing innovative. i. the accuracy of the user and duct and is exerted in every direction.e. pressure (ps) and the velocity pressure (pv) pt = pv + ps 1. will sense the total pressure in the duct (pt). comparing the accuracy of instruments.

airflowinstruments.56 m/s – a difference of 7.ps. When using formulae. Part of the range of Airflow Instruments More commonly. a difference of 8. It is important to stress that site conditions varying from standard can make significant differences to results. equivalent velocities are 15. the velocity (or dynamic) pressure may be measured directly by connecting up a pitot static tube as in fig 2 to give a differential reading of pt .3 m/s at 16OC. For instance.Fig 1. Formulae for these calculations are shown in section 3.2.43 m/s velocity whereas the same velocity pressure at 1500m altitude indicates 15. Fig 2. 125Pa velocity pressure at sea level indicates 14. The effects of these changes on determination of air velocity from a pitot static tube are taken into account in the formulae shown in section 3.co.8%.2%. for air at 125 Pa velocity pressure. adjustments should be made taking into account temperature and barometric pressure. As a further example.61 m/s at 65OC and 14.uk 3 .2. Measuring velocity pressure with a pitot static tube www.

3 below. stable and without swirl.airflowinstruments. volume and pressure second (m/s).1 Definitions of velocity. It is seldom Pressure p measured in Pascals (Pa) or uniform and in a duct there will normally be higher kilopascals (kPa).6 km/h The volume flow rate is obtained by multiplying the average velocity (v) by the cross sectional area (A) Volume flow rate 3 3 3 where the velocity is measured.3 Conversion factors character dramatically when there are obstructions such as bends or dampers in the system close to and Approximate conversions from other units of upstream of the measuring plane. 1 in wg = 249.2 Units of Measurement Velocity v measure in metres per 2. Typical velocity profiles across a duct with a sudden change in cross-section www.447 m/s 1 m/s = 2. Volume flowrate qv measure in cubic metres per Air velocity (v) second (m3/s) or litres per Air velocity is the speed at which air passes a specified second (litre/s).2 Preferred units – Sl Sl (Système International) is the preferred system of Length units of measurement. sometimes referred to as mercury 2 Newtons per square metre (N/m ). 2 Temperature O 5 O O O T F = /9 (t – 32) C t C = 1. There are however other systems 1 inch = 25.472 litres/s 3 3 3 3 qv = v x A 1 ft /min = 1.000472 m /s = 0. It is measured in metres/second.00508 m/s 1 m/s = 196. It is expressed in cubic 1 ft /min (cfm) 1 m /s = 2120 ft /min 3 3 metres/second (m /s). velocities near the center and much lower velocities near Area of cross measure in square metres 2 the walls.3048 m/s 1 m/s = 3.uk 4 . point. Plotting the velocities measured across a duct section A (m ). 1 Pa = 1 N/m .07 Pa 1 kPa = 10. will produce a velocity profile and examples of this are Temperature t measured in degrees O shown in fig 3.197cm H2O 5 Air pressure 1 in mercury = 3388 Pa 10 Pa = 1000 mbar Pressure is the force acting on a unit area. Celsius ( C). It is =29. = 0.1 Pa 1 kPa = 4.8t + 32 F 2.8 ft/min symmetrical. 1 ft/sec = 0.237 mile/hr Air volume flow rate (qv) 1 km/h = 0.281 ft/sec 1 mile/hr = 0.co.014 in wg 1 cmH2O = 98. This profile will become biased at corners and change its 2. measurement: For this reason any measurements of velocity in a duct Velocity should be made where the velocity profile is fairly 1 ft/min = 0.588 ft /min The importance of obtaining accurate values for average Pressure velocity and effective area at the plane of measurement 1 N/m2 = 1 Pa 1 kPa = 1000 Pa must be stressed. Fig 3.278 m/s 1 m/s = 3.4 mm 1 mm = 0.70 m /h 1 m /h = 0.0394 in still in use and conversions to Sl units are given in 2.52 in measured in Pascals (Pa).

by the air stream. These anemometers record the linear signal produced by the instruments is in predictable movement of air past the instrument in metres or feet for relationship to the air velocity and can be measured and as long as it is held in the air stream. In recent anemometers the rotating vane forms part of an Anemometers are not fundamental instruments and. is enclosed in a hand- held instrument connected by short flexible pipes to a probe. require calibration against recognized standards. measured by the displacement of the plate from the vertical. (Fig. Flow and Fig 4.co. By noting the time displayed. the multipointer dial arrangement by a low friction digital The vane type has a hinged vane. The controls. Thermal anemometers use the cooling effect with a stop watch the velocity in m/s or ft/min can be of air passing at tiny heated element to indicate air determined. The probe is inserted into the duct and allows air to enter through an upstream facing hole. Rotating vane anemometers In later anemometers the vane was made to rotate like a windmill. which is deflected counter and combined much greater ease of reading with when placed in the air stream. which measure air speed.3 Instruments for Measuring Velocity 3.airflowinstruments.uk 5 . which displays the measured velocity directly and instantaneously without Swinging vane anemometers any need for external timing. the velocity being and the LCA501.1 Anemometers Anemometers are instruments. 4) simple flat plate hinged at the top. The Airflow AM 5000. with delicate clockwork gearing recording the number of revolutions of the vane on a multi-pointer dial. the signal is fed into electronic such. velocity. replaced Fig 5. are still available. as electronic transducer. or a ring of vanes. Developments of this approach. or very conveniently placed ‘start’. An example of this type of Very early designs of vane anemometers consisted of a instrument is the Airflow Instruments LCA301. first introduced in 1968. controlled by a hair spring. generally referred to as tethered vane anemometers. which is caused to rotate. LCA301 Anemometer Temperature Logger www. In one of the more recent versions the hinged vane. pass through the instrument and return through a downstream facing hole. (Fig. circuitry with its own time base. 5). ‘stop’ and ‘re-set’ cups. LCA501 Air velocity.

giving two capabilities in one instrument.As a transducer the rotating vane offers little resistance Thermal anemometers offer an effective low-cost method to flow and trends to give a good average reading over of measuring velocity in air. in that the passage of air takes heat away ambient. This element is mounted at the end of a probe.airflowinstruments. The velocity sensor is heated to Thermal anemometers an elevated temperature (relative to the surrounding air) A wet finger in the air will detect the direction of the wind by means of control electronics. only a point velocity reading and a traverse is needed to obtain an average reading. Because it is a operation for constant temperature thermal thermal device. from a heated element at a rate dependent upon the velocity. sensors: an air velocity sensor and a temperature compensation sensor. delivers more power to maintain the constant “overheat. handle extension rods are available.uk 6 . Their principal disadvantage is that they take flow (e. the power small length of thin wire.” Thus. This is the basic principle of determine the quality of the instrument. more power is The method of heating the element (which can be a required to maintain the “overheat. Airflow Instruments TA460 Thermal Anemometer www. In the Airflow Instruments TA range. To avoid the blockage problem when measuring in large airways. The temperature sensor because a drop in temperature is felt on the surface senses the ambient air temperature and forces the facing into the wind. They are particularly the area swept by the vanes. electronics immediately direct and instantaneous.” As more air flows past the sensor. there are two reach points. a simple thermocouple or an needed to maintain the constant “overheat” is directly electronic component) and the read-out technique related to the velocity. Thermal anemometers act in a velocity sensor to stay at a constant “overheat” above the similar way. swirl) inaccuracies will result. variations in ambient temperature. Air flowing past the velocity sensor tends to cool the which can be inserted into the airstream.co. As this happens. Readout is sensor. it is important to compensate for anemometers. and also to achieve access to normally out-of. Fig 6. Thermal anemometers are also available with a temperature measuring facility.g. pressure and composition of the gas/air being measured. Its main weaknesses are appropriate for use at low velocities where a vane that it is not easy to insert into any but the largest of anemometer or pitot static tube would not be sensitive ducts and that if there is an angular component in the enough.

2 Pitot static tubes The shape of the head and the arrangement of static A small diameter tube facing into the air stream will holes determine the characteristics of the pitot static sense total pressure. Where v = air velocity in m/s For the measurement of very low velocities some Airflow T = absolute temperature in degrees Kelvin Instruments products give a digital readout from as low O (=t C + 273 where t is airstream temperature) as 0. Specialised Instruments √ 3 5 10 T 10 ___ x ____ x ______ x pd Most of the instruments referred to above are portable V = 1.291 5 and designed to be easily carried around. The difference between which has a factor of almost unity and good yaw the two pressures gives the dynamic or velocity pressure characteristics. Levels can be pre-set and an output connection can be used for remote signaling. 3.airflowinstruments.uk 7 .291 √Pd Used in conjunction with a precision manometer. It does not need an individual calibration (Pd). TSI Instruments Ltd manufacture the UK National will sense static pressure. Velocity (m/s) = 1. and a permanently installed instrument is required. Holes at right angles to the flow Tube. only requiring small access holes for each traverse.3. Pitot Static Tubes www.4 pa (10 + ps) failure of flow.co. degree of precision increasing rapidly as the velocity standard conditions. A more precise formula taking increases.25m/s pa = atmospheric pressure in Pascals (1 millibar = 100 Pascals) pd = dynamic or velocity pressure in Pascals ps = duct static pressure in Pascals Fig 7. In some pa 289 10 + ps situations it is critical to know if an air supply is operating. Airflow Instruments can provide special monitoring √ T x pd 5 systems which give a fail-safe signal in the event of = 759. velocities from 2. curve.3.5 m/s upwards can be measured with a This is an adequate formula for standard or near. The pitot static tube is particularly well suited account of temperature and barometric pressure is: for taking velocity pressure readings in a duct. These two features are Physical Laboratory’s modified ellipsoidal nose design combined in a pitot static tube.

the Wilson Flow Grid gives If the average velocity in a duct or airway can be extremely good results even when placed fairly close to a measured with either pitot static tube or anemometer. flow rate results calculated. Wilson Flow Grid www.co. It consists of an arrangement then by multiplying this by the area of the duct or airway of tubes with upstream and downstream holes.6m by 0.84 m /s 4. 3 rate is 0. This may be translated into volume.2 Measuring volume flow rate directly Almost any departure from a straight duct or intrusion It is possible to build orifice plates and venturi tubes into into the duct will create a pressure drop. give volume.airflowinstruments.uk 8 . at the plane of measurement the volume flow rate can be with very little loss.8m is 8 m/s. clause 21. example is the British Standard conical inlet – see BS 848: Part 1: 1980. For example. if the mean velocity in a comparable in accuracy to those obtained by a full pitot rectangular duct 0. which. To conform with be established by site testing for by application of BS 1042 it is necessary to have long straight approaches accepted formulae for standard configurations.8 x 8 = 3. flow rate. Recognising this problem Airflow Instruments developed a device called the Wilson Flow Grid.1 Calculating volume flow rate permanent installation.6 x 0.4 Measuring Volume Flow Rate 4. which can a predictable relationship to volume flow rate. A good and these are not always practical. bend or other obstruction. Designed for Fig 8. the volume flow static traverse. which will have ductwork systems to provide pressure signals.

difference in height of the two columns of liquid and the calculable amount. and a pressure is applied to one of the limbs. www.5 Instruments for Measuring Pressure 5. The weight of liquid so displaced increasing the surface area. As the reservoir causes the level of fluid to move by a small. A pressure applied to this will be proportional to the pressure applied.1 U tube manometers 5. The manometer fluid may be plain water but problems can arise from algae growth in the tube causing the density of the fluid to alter.airflowinstruments. the simple U tube manometer has much to overcome and other advantages incorporated in Airflow commend it. to improve the resolution further. the freedom from tube staining and the expanded scales due to the low O relative density of 0.co. say water. the In the Airflow Instruments design one of the limbs of the other being open to atmosphere. Alternatively with zero taken at the center point the scale length is halved with subsequent loss of resolution.2 Industrial manometers Although probably the oldest method of measuring low The disadvantages of the simple U-tube manometer are pressures. In Fig 10. Instruments’ range of single limb industrial manometers in which it is only necessary to read one liquid level. For very low pressures the manometer limb is inclined. Airflow Instruments’ manometers are filled with a special blend of paraffin dyed red for ease of reading.784 at 20 C. the pressure can be calculated.5 single limb manometer some designs a double scale is employed and the pressure value obtained mathematically from the readings of the two levels. a U-tube manometer for vertical instruments and gives much greater magnification when the limb is inclined. the liquid will move to U-tube is replaced by a reservoir. If a U shaped glass tube is half filled with liquid. FL1. Each in the glass limb reduces a considerable change in the millimeter height difference of water column represents level. The advantages of this fluid are the free moving meniscus. The same volume of fluid displaced density are known. Principle of U-tube manometer A disadvantage of the U-tube is that the scale has to be constantly moved to line up with the moving zero.uk 9 . Fig 9. thus substantially balance the pressure. This nearly doubles the resolution compared with approximately 10 Pascals. as mentioned above.

complete with a pitot static tube. Once set up fundamental. Due to short scale length industrial manometers. At very low pressures they tend to Fig 11. Other electronic storage or control equipment. connecting flexible tube.5 Pressure transducers Pa to 0-5000 Pa. 5.4 Dial gauges Dial pressure gauges are primarily employed for reading high pressures. In the Airflow Instruments PVM610 and PVM620 a The close fitting of the scale to the glass tube minimizes protected precision diaphragm moving between fixed parallax and the choice of manometer fluid ensures a electrodes causes capacitance changes proportional to a crisp meniscus for accurate reading. spare fluid and a manometer balancing valve which A pressure transducer-based instrument allows isolates the pressure signal to allow zero checking continuous monitoring using a recorder or input to without disconnecting the pressure lines.airflowinstruments. in conjunction with other pressure sensing devices such as the Wilson Flow Grid. and can be used accessories are also included as appropriate to each kit. Precision portable manometer set www. metal bellows system which allows fine settings of the These eliminate the use of fluids and. electronic pressure transducer based Each manometer has a reservoir tank with a built-in instruments are available for laboratory or site use. differential pressure. exhibit an acceptable level of accuracy the instrument panel is accurately leveled with a three ideal for normal ventilating and related air movement point rapid leveling system using a precision compound measurement. As an alternative to the fundamental liquid-filled portable manometer.co. They static pressure measurements.3 Precision manometers exhibit unacceptable hysteresis errors unless they are Employing the same fundamental principles as the very high quality instruments. built-in spirit level. incorporate one or two adjustable-range single-limb manometers providing wide choice of ranges from 0-125 5. although not fluid level without changing the calibration. the instruments can Each instrument is individually calibrated and comes read velocity directly. this range of precision portable the resolution is not generally suitable for other than manometers are built into complete test sets.uk 10 .5. Used with a Pitot Static tube (at standard temperature and pressure).

instruments with typical heating and ventilating use should be serviced and have the calibration checked once a year.6 Maintenance and calibration If instruments in regular use are to retain their designed accuracy. Airflow Instruments produce an open jet wind tunnel for use by organizations which find it economic to do their own calibration of anemometers. many not be compatible with the instrument or have the necessary fluidic characteristics. even of the same relative density. With manometers it is critical to accuracy that the correct manometer fluid is used. they should be regularly serviced. and also immediately after any abnormal use or abuse such as dropping. As a guide. It is difficult to give firm guidance due to the differing amount of use to which instruments are put and the varying conditions in which they operate.5.airflowinstruments. Alternative fluids. Precision instruments need specialist equipment to check the calibration.uk 11 . Fig 12. PVM620 Micromanometer with Pitot tube www.co.

Velocity readings are required at the prescribed points as shown in figs 13 and 14. Flow in ducts The most commonly used method of accurately establishing the air flow rate in a duct is by traversing the duct with a pitot static tube connected to a sensitive pressure transducer such as an inclined manometer or electronic pressure transducer. Fig 14. Measuring points in rectangular ducts.1.6 On Site 6. Log Where continuous monitoring is necessary an Airflow linear rule for traverse points on 3 diameters. can be connected either to a sensitive manometer for visual indication or an electronic pressure transducer where an electrical signal as well as a visual display is needed. A conveniently accessible part of the duct should be selected. Measuring points for circular ducts.uk 12 . the square root taken and the resulting figures averaged. However if no single velocity pressure reading is more than twice any other. a simple average of velocity pressures is unlikely to introduce an error of more than 1 or 2%. Instruments Wilson Flow Grid will give a pressure signal Readings on two diameters may be used proportional to the square of the velocity. www.airflowinstruments. It is convenient to set the marker clops on the pitot static tube to the insertion depth to ensure conformity with the traversing pattern. Log Tchebycheff rule. The velocity pressure readings are noted. Fig 13.co. preferably where there are straight parallel- sided sections upstream and downstream of not less than six duct diameters or widths each. Holes should be drilled in the duct of a sufficient size to give a free fit to the pitot static tube. It is obviously desirable that the flow rate is held steady for the duration of the tests. This output where access is limited.

This while at some points.4 Flow from ceiling diffusers errors are to be expected.uk 13 . It is therefore desirable to take sufficient readings around Many manufacturers of grilles publish the characteristics the unit to establish the pattern. anemometer. employed then care must be taken to face the circulating air. If the performance specification preferably tapered to an area equal to the free area of is in this form. then reading the velocity at a measures the grille and a length of two diameters (or diagonals) of point in space with a vane anemometer or thermal the grille. depending upon the approach flow.2 Flow rate in large airways pressure drop across the terminal device it is possible to In large airways.6. If a vane anemometer is this hood will reduce the errors due to secondary and re. using a pitot static tube or 6.airflowinstruments. steeply varying velocity profile. given point on the diffuser to volume flow rate. Smoke tests have Some manufacturers provide factors relating velocity at a shown that around the edges secondary air is entrained. but is coverage and velocity. anemometer head into the air stream for maximum reading. velocity can be conveniently measured using a hand- some of the air can even be flowing back into the grille. funnel the air down to a small exit where the velocity is read with a calibrated anemometer. A direct reading instrument will be Calibrated hoods are available in which the anemometer advantageous in this situation.5 metres upstream of the operator. no large 6. head is fixed in the outlet and these will give consistent results provided the pressure drop created by the hood The flow pattern from a diffuser may not be symmetrical does not significantly affect the volume flow. of their products in great detail and by measuring the www. It can be parallel-sided. Any single point reading is not likely to be very meaningful. Where measurement at the grille is the only option it is desirable to construct a simple duct. As with grilles it is preferable to measure the air flow rate before it reaches the diffuser. An anemometer traverse across the end of anemometer may suffice.3 Flow at grilles thermal anemometer traverse or from an installed flow The air emerging from a typical grille is likely to have a grid. thermal employed. In some situations the static holes of a convenient to carry out a traverse to the same pattern as small pitot static tube can be used to provide a pressure suggested for a pitot static tube but using an signal from the rear of the grille. anemometer traverse method or by placing a flow grid in the duct leading to the grille is preferable to measuring at Large hoods are available which engulf the diffuser and the grille. it is are reasonable.co. (where an operator can stand up estimate volume flow provided the approach conditions without adversely restricting the flow rate). held thermal anemometer. which covers the A diffuser’s function is to distribute air with a specified area of the grille. and largely depends on the design of the supply ducting. in accurate positioning of probes if this technique is measuring the flow rate by pitot static tube. Steep velocity profiles occur between the louvers of diffusers and care must be taken If there is access and a reasonable length of duct. Provided the anemometer head is held about 1.

calculations Provided that the total flow rate can be established after Sealing tape Sealing systems making any adjustment to the system it is only necessary temporarily. described are employed for occasional testing. Test sheets These will produce a tell-tale escape of smoke where there are any leaks. For grilles of the same design and size it is only necessary to compare average face velocities. in the duct to the fan inlet.25 m/s. This is sometimes referred to as “balancing by percentage”. Any projection is likely to cause a velocity sometimes necessary to check other parameters.uk 14 . or at a point in High velocity currents of air can create discomfort in the outlet duct where the flow pattern has stabilized. which not only pressurizes the system but measures and indicates the volume of the 6. the High Velocity improve the flow pattern and increase accuracy. Flexible coloured tube Connecting pitot static tubes to manometers To this end. www. Some smoke systems produce sticky deposits. sealed off and visually inspected. watts meter Checking fan motor the grille face. and commonly employed in ventilating test work. instruments already mentioned.6. 6. some form of temporary frame should be constructed around the source of the flow and a velocity profile 6. Tachometer Checking fan speed 6. Airflow Instruments have available used to measure the slot velocities. tablets or Notebook or pre-printed Recording test results canisters are available for feeding smoke into a system. Smoke producing phials. This is particularly true of high velocity systems. The primary places where the air flow rate from a fan can be measured are at the inlet to the 6. If a standard conical inlet is fitted. connections can be made on the duct wall. volume and pressure it is projections. Alternatively static flow from grilles and registers.9 Checking for leakage Duct connectors Making static pressure Air performance available at the fan can be wasted due tappings in ducts to leaks in the system. Where a continuous signal is required the Airflow Instruments If the volume of flow from a draught is required then Wilson Flow Grid is recommended. it is necessary to balance the system by means of damper or other Calculator Volume flow and other adjustments to give the correct flow at each terminal. the test holes absolute value not being critical. Pitot traverses as previously out and measuring the velocity of draughts.5 Flow from slot diffusers Many systems will have a leakage performance Slot diffusers can be treated in a similar way to grilles requirement specified as a maximum leakage flow rate at and a small head anemometer or thermal anemometer a specified pressure. A shallow hood can a comprehensive piece of equipment. The pressure component to be included with the static following is a list of useful accessories additional to the pressure reading. grilles can be set straight and simple anemometer traverses made at a common distance from Volts. Leakage Tester (HVLT).co. It is critical to the accuracy of the reading that the face of the duct in 6. closing to take comparative measurements at the terminals. Knowing the area a volume flow can be Duct static pressure can be taken from the static calculated in a similar way to that used in determining the connections on a pitot static tube.11 Accessories the vicinity of the hole is smooth and free from In addition to air velocity. For low velocity systems the Low Velocity This short booklet can only highlight the basic methods Leakage Tester (LVLT) is available. which can damage instrumentation and this should be considered before carrying out a test.10 Draughts approach duct. amps. creating inaccuracy. Steel tape measure Measuring duct and Having established that the total flow rate from the fan is terminal sizes sufficient to meet the total requirement.7 Static pressure established.airflowinstruments.6 Fan performance leakage. rooms. As a general recommendation air velocities should not normally exceed 0. accurate measurements of volume flow rate are possible by taking Our thermal anemometer range is suitable for searching pressure tappings.8 Balancing systems Any system will have a designed performance and the Item Use total air flow rate and its distribution to the various terminals will be specified. The smoke test should be carried out after a section of the system has been selected. of fan testing.

The wire is heated electrically. Secondary air Room air entrained and set in motion by air discharge Dynamic loss from a grille. Tethered vane anemometer Grille This is similar to the rotating vane anemometer in that A system of fixed or adjustable vanes covering an the air exerts a force on the vane assembly. and may be considered in A term used in fluid mechanics to denote the energy per practice to be unaffected by the reduction of velocity unit weight of a fluid. An outlet device discharging supply air in a direction radially to the axis of entry. The speed at energy to the air or gas passing through it. intertwining and Boundary layer crossing each other in a disorderly manner so that a The region close to a surface in which the air velocity thorough mixing of the fluid takes place. bellmouthed or conical inlets).g. Laminar flow With this kind of flow. and that the states in which that energy exists (pressure. one stream line in a moving fluid is constant. The rate of heat dissipation is directly related to the Kinetic energy velocity of the air passing the wire.uk 15 . is resisted by a hair spring. the means of driving it. curvatures. measurements are made of the heat dissipated by the wire.95% oxygen Damper 0. The rotation opening through which air is discharged.co. This is expressed in terms of the close to the surface. The wind velocity is measured by the angle through which the spring is Return grille compressed at equilibrium. electronically or by a counter mechanism. Outside the boundary layer the fluid Head moves at the full velocity. This energy which a fluid or body possesses by virtue of its motion. the particles of the fluid move Bernoulli’s theorem entirely in straight lines even though the velocities of This says that the total energy per unit mass along any adjacent particles are not necessarily the same. Attenuators Devices for reducing the amplitude of a source of energy. An instrument used for the measurement of air velocity. the paths of the individual fluid particles are not straight but sinuous.7 Glossary of Terms Air Consuming A gas comprising the following constituents (when dry): The act of using up available resources. With this type of flow. energy.03% carbon dioxide through a confined cross section by varying the cross- sectional area. The energy lost when an airstream traveling at a known velocity is forced to make a sudden change in direction Anemometer or velocity. Air density The ratio of the mass of a given amount of air to the Diffuser 3 3 volume which this amount occupies (ie lb/ft or kg/m ). which continuously supplies protective ring and supporting bracket. 78. There are which the vane assembly rotates is a measure of the air three main components to a fan: the impeller (sometimes velocity acting upon it. and height). This can occur even for extremely convex calibrated and used to measure air flow rate (e. A grille covering an opening through which air is withdrawn from the conditioned space.93% argon A device used to control the volume of air passing 0. etc. Coanda effect The tendency for an airstream under some Inlet device circumstances to attach itself to and follow the shape of a A shaped air intake with pressure tappings that can be surface. www.airflowinstruments. vertical height of a fluid column. Flow Often used in a noise control device to reduce unwanted sounds. This speed may be sensed either referred to as the wheel or rotor). varies from zero at the surface up to its full value (in the main stream). kinetic or Turbulent flow potential) are related and convertible. and the casing. Rotating vane anemometer The consists of a disc of angled vanes attached to a Fan rotating spindle and is usually mounted within a A rotary bladed machine.09% nitrogen 20. Energy Hot wire anemometer This has a probe consisting of a very fine short length of Potential energy wire (or small thermistor bead) attached to the end of a The energy of a fluid or body due to its position (or supporting tube.

Air pressure Terminal The force per unit area imposed on the surface of a solid One outlet of a ductwork system. Pitot tube Any open-ended tube facing directly into the air flow. The the ratio of the vapour pressure existing to the saturated thickness of the plate is small in comparison with its vapour pressure for the same dry-bulb temperature. A grille equipped with a damper control valve.uk 16 . The access of the STANDARD AIR. Otherwise the direction should be stated. Meniscus The shape a liquid surface takes up when confined in a Register small bore tube.Log Tchebycheff Rule Velocity pressure A method of specifying pitot traverse positions and the The increase in pressure produced by bringing a moving number of readings required to obtain a mean velocity for airstream to rest (as measured by a pitot static tube). Differential pressure The difference between pressures measured at two Venturi points or levels in a system. parameters and may be predicted by knowledge of the number. which has a density of 1.g. 5 knots NNW. and negative when below. It is important to install a straightener upstream of a measuring point when such a flow pattern Pressure is suspected. This is positive when the pressure at that point is above ambient Yaw pressure. A non-dimensional number consisting of the product of velocity. velocity in a duct or out of a jet. e.) divided by the dynamic viscosity of the air stream. and enables the A device placed in a duct to straighten a swirling spiral static pressure to be measured. calculate. www. flow. Velocity The speed and direction at which an airstream passes a Barometric pressure reference point. the velocity divided by 2.co. density and length (duct diameter. The outer tube is open to the air flow only through small static orifices Straightener perpendicular to the direction of air flow. connected by a short straight pipe known as the The difference between the absolute pressure at a point throat. Pitot-static tube Standard conditions (STP) A combination of a pitot tube surrounded by a second The standard temperature and pressure used to define 3 O tube for static pressure measurement. absolute pressure at ambient temperature.g. flow pattern. The local ambient air pressure. A venturi is used as a means of metering fluid flow. It rectangular or circular sectioned ducts. Refer to BS 848: Part 1: 1980. and consists of a combination of converging and diverging Static pressure tapers. and is sometimes known as the velocity head or dynamic pressure. The flow rate is related to the pressure difference across the plate measurement at Reynolds number stipulated tapping points. It acts equally in all The horizontal angle an instrument makes to the axis of directions and is independent of velocity. from which air is supplied to a room and the point at which a grille is fixed. other dimensions. Usually the direction is implicit.2 kg/m (16 C two concentric tubes faces directly into the air flow and and 1000 mbar at 55% RH). through which the fluid passes. Absolute pressure Pressure relative to a perfect vacuum. The vertical angle an instrument makes to the axis of The behaviour of air is varied by changes to these flow. Pitch etc. Sampling The other end of the tube may be connected to a The process of taking a number of sample manometer to enable the total pressure of the air flow to measurements so that a statistical average may be be measured.airflowinstruments. Orifice plate Relative humidity This consists of a plate normal to the duct with an The relative humidity of an air/water vapour mixture is aperture in it. (Refer to BS848: is equal to the product of air density and the square of Part 1: 1980). Generally the entrance body by gaseous air. blade length. e. measures the total pressure. The flow rate is related to the pressure difference in an air stream or a pressurized chamber and the between tappings at the throat and in the upstream pipe.

uk France Tel: +33 491 95 21 90 E-mail: tsifrance@tsi. TSI Instruments Ltd.com Contact your local AIRFLOW Distributor or visit our website www.airflowinstruments. United Kingdom UK Tel: +44 149 4 459200 E-mail: info@airflowinstruments.co.com Germany Tel: +49 241 523030 E-mail: tsigmbh@tsi. Bucks.uk for more detailed specifications. Stirling Road.AIRFLOW Instruments.co. P/N 2980550 Rev A (10/2008) Copyright © 2008 by TSI Incorporated . High Wycombe. Cressex Business Park. HP12 3RT.