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Measurement & Control

Computational Fluid
Dynamics (CFD)
Practical flow measurement
solutions for non-conforming
straight runs
For over 30 years, GE Panametrics ultrasonic
flowmeters have proven to be the most reliable
solution for challenging gas flow measurement
applications. Leveraging GEs vast experience
in aircraft engine design and by utilizing
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), GE has
compiled a body of work resulting in the ability to
implement USM flow profile accuracy correction
factors for a variety of piping run conditions
that compare favorably to accuracies normally
obtained in straight-runs of 20D or more.

Utilizing Advanced Technologies

to Overcome Flow Measurement Actual CFD Model of Piping Installation

Recognizing the challenges associated with limited
Maintaining accuracy in applications with limited
straight run requirements, GE has embarked on a
straight runs has been, and remains today an
comprehensive year-long study to quantify pipe bend
industry challenge. In gas flow measurement
effects on flow profiles under a wide range of conditions.
ideal conditions require upstream straight runs
In most cases CFD modeling can accommodate
as much as 20D or more. In practice, this may
straights as shorts as 5D upstream and 2D downstream,
be difficult, costly, or in some cases impossible
with minimal effects on meter accuracy.
to achieve. The stakes can be enormous, as re-
laying new pipe runs to accommodate increased
straight runs can easily run into the millions Especially useful in hot-tap or cold tap applications,
of dollars with times, material, equipment and when meter calibration is not possible, CFD provides
downtime. dynamic flow correction that in most cases meets or
exceeds accuracy requirements.
How CFD Works
Providing GE with an isometric drawing of an existing or
planned installation that will require flow measurement,
along with the process parameters, GEs engineering
team will model the flow and define a set of correction
factors that will cover a wide range of flow and process
conditions. These correction factors are then hard-coded
into the transmitter and act as calibration correction
curve over the range of Reynolds numbers defined by the

Added inaccuracy for a CFD corrected straight-run will

typically be in the .5% to 1.5% range, depending on the
actual available straight run, process conditions, and the
complexity of the upstream conditions. Consider that
many non-conforming, un-corrected straight runs may
add 10% or more of additional inaccuracy to a flow meter
reading, essentially rendering the meter non-compliant in
many applications.

The chart above illustrates the wide range of flow Pricing

correction factors that may be determined based Contact your GE Representative for a quote.
on Reynolds number, meter position and meter path
configuration. CFD is an aid to defining the optimum path Lead Time
configuration, and meter placement to minimize meter A typical CFD analysis will require 2 to 3 weeks of
inaccuracy. If you are in the design phase of a piping run programming and computer run time. Depending
for a new or existing application, CFD can be an aid to on the queue, lead-time may be longer.
help optimize the most advantageous meter location, or
warn of a potential measurement problem before a design
becomes a reality. Deliverables
Summary of Report of results of CFD Modeling
Recommended Location of the flowmeter, if new
Ordering Information for install
Recommended flowmeter Configuration, if new
a CFD Analysis install
A series of five correction factors by flow velocity
Part Number to be input to the flow transmitter
FLOW SPECIAL-CFD Meter total accuracy at each correction point
A presentation of the details of the CFD analysis
Five point correction using computation fluid dynamics

Isometric of piping to be analyzed starting at the seal or
knock-out drum, ending at the last disturbance of the
meter-run, and a completed applications data sheet
detailing the flow conditions.

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