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@TecQuipment Ltd 1999
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Installation 2-1
Preparation 2-2
Routine Care and Maintenance 2-2

3 THEORY 3-1



Calculations of Discharge 5-1
Venturi Meter 5-1
Orifice Meter 5-1
T Rotameter 5-2
Calculations of Head Loss 5-3
Venturi Meter 5-3
Orifice Meter 5-3

Wide-Angled Diffuser 5-4
Right-Angled Bend 5-4
Discussion of Meter Characteristics 5-4
Conclusion 5-5


Figure 1.1 TecQuipment flow measurement apparatus

The TecQuipment 010 l'1ow Measurement

apparatus is designed to familiarise students with the
typical methods of measuring the discharge of an
essentially incompressible fluid, whilst giving
applications of the Steady-Aow Energy Equation and
Bernoulli's Equation. The discharge is determined
using a venturi meter, an orifice plate meter and a
rotameter. Head losses associated with each meter are
detennined and compared as well as those arising in a
rapid enlargement and a 90° elbow.
The unit is designed for use with the TecQuipment
HI or HID Hydraulic Bench, which provides the
necessary liquid service and evaluation of flow rate.
outlet tube

The apparatusis shown in Figure 2.1. Water from the through a rapidly diverging section.the flow continues
Hydraulic Benchentersthe equipmentthrough a venturi along a settling length and through an orifice plate
meter, which consists of a gradually-converging meter. This is manufactured in accordance with
section, followed by a throat. and a long gradually- BSI042. from a plate with a hole of reduceddiameter
diverging section. After a change in cross-section through which the fluid flows.
TecQuipmentFlow Measurement

Following a further settling length and a right-angled direct its free end into the bench measuringdevice.
bend, the flow enters the rotameter. This consistsof a Before continuing, refer to the hydraulic bench
transparenttube in which a float takesup an equilibrium manualto find the methodof flow evaluation.
position. The position of this float is a measureof the 2. With the air purge-valve closed, close the main
flow rate. valve fully then open it by approximately 1/3.
After the rotameter the water returns via a control Switch on the bench and slowly open the bench
valve to the Hydraulic Bench, where the flow rate can valve until water startsto flow. Allow the HIO to fill
be evaluated.The equipmenthas nine pressuretappings with water then openthe benchvalve fully, and then
(A to I) as detailed in Figure 2.2, each of which is close the main HIO valve. Couple the handpump to
connectedto its own manometerfor immediatereadout. the purge valve and pump down until alr the
manometersread approximately 330 mm. Dislodge
Installation any entrappedair from the manometersby gentle
tappingwith the fingers. Check that the water levels
are constant.A steadyrise in levels will be seenif
SeaI~ clip the purgevalve is leaking.
outlet tube 3. Check that the tube ferrulesand the top manifold are
free from water blockage, which will suppressthe
manometerlevel. Ferrules blockage can be cleared
by a sharpburst of pressurefrom the hand pump.

Routine Care and Maintenance
tapping tube
Do not allow water to stand in the apparatusfor long
periods. After use fully drain the apparatusand dry
externallywith a lint-free cloth.
The control valve is a commercial gate valve. the
internal detailsof which are shown in Figure 2.4. Slight
gland leakagecan be rectified as follows:

---" I. Remove the handwheel retaining nut and the
'-, , :, ~ handwheel.
2. Slacken the nut and remove. The gland packing
ferrule will now be exposed.The headof the ferrule
should be about 2 mm clear of the thread. If this is
not the case, the leak may be rectified by refitting
and tightening nut.

Figure 2.3 Rotameter connection diagram

Figure 2.3 showsthe layout of the rotameterassembly.

To fit the rotameter and float, push one of the short
piecesof hoseover the elbow outlet and drop over two
hose clips. Push the rotameterinto the hose, and then
carefully drop the float into the rotameter.Pusha short
piece of hose over the top of the rotameter and drop
over two hoseclips. Then pushthe outlet pipe assembly
into the top of this hose. Tighten all four pipe clips
ensuringthat the hoseis securedto the elbow, rotameter
and outlet tube. Finally attach the clear outlet tube,
securing with the pipe clip, and manometer tapping
tube,securingwith a cabletie.

Connectthe supplyhosefrom the hydraulic benchto
the inlet of the venturi meter and securewith a hose If the ferrule is flush with the thread,then the gland
clip. Connecta hose to the control valve outlet and requiresrepacking.To do this:
TecQuipment Flow Measurement

1. Remove the existing packingand repackwith either

replacementnylon '0' rings or asbestoscord.
2. Refit the gland ferrule and nut, ensuring that the
gland ferrule has sufficient clearanceto tighten the
packing when the nut is refitted.

If the plastic manometertubes becomediscoloured a

stain and deposit remover is availablefor usewithin the


~ The head loss MI2 may be assumedto arise as a

consequenceof vorticity in the stream. Becausethe
flow is viscousa wall shearstressexists and a pressure
force must be applied to overcomeit. The consequent
increasein flow work appearsas an increasein internal
energy, and becausethe flow is viscous, the velocity
profile at any sectionis non-uniform.
The kinetic energy per unit massat any section is
then greater than y2/2g and Bernoulli's Equation
incorrectly assessesthis term. The fluid mechanics
entailed in all but the very simplest internal flow
problemsare too complex to permit the headloss M to
be determinedby any other meansthan experimental.
Figure 3. 1 The steady-flow energy equation Sincea contractionof streamboundariescan be shown
(with incompressiblefluids) to increaseflow uniformity
and a divergencecorrespondinglydecreasesit, M is
typically negligibly small between the ends of a
contracting duct but is normally significant when the
duct walls diverge.



When the equipment has been set up as in Section 2, this period.recordthe readingsof the manometersin
measurementscan be takenin the following manner: Table 4.1.
2. Repeatthis procedurefor a number of equidistant
Open the apparatusvalve until the rotametershows valuesof rotameterreadingsup to the point in which
a reading of approximately 10 mrn. When a steady the maximumpressuresvaluescan be recordedfrom
flow is maintained measure the flow with the the manometer.
Hydraulic Bench as outlined in its manual. During

r Test number

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

:Manometric levels ~

Rotameter (cm)
Water, W (kg)
Time, T (..~)
Venturi (8)
Mass flow rate Orifice (11)
in (kg/S) Rotameter
Wel~ tank
Venturi (13)
DH/ Inlet Or~ (14)
kinetic head Rotameter
O~ser (16)
Elbow J:!!)J
Table 4.1 Form of results

Calculations of Discharge Orifice Meter

Between tappings (E) and (F) ~12 in Equation (3-1) is

r The venturi meter, the orifice plate meter and the

rotameterare all dependentupon Bernoulli's Equation
for their principle of operation. The following have
been preparedfrom a typical set of results to show the
by no means negligible. Rewriting the equation with the
appropriate symbols:
VE-I h..-PL
form of the calculations. ~-2";l' pg pg,
Venturi Meter

r Since LlHI2 is negligibly small betweenthe ends of a

contracting duct it, along with the Z tenns, can be
omitted from Equation (3-1) betweenstations (A) and
such that the effect of the head loss is to make the
difference in manometricheight (hE - hF) less than it
would otherwisebe. An alternativeexpressionis:

From continuity:
(5-1) where the coefficient of discharge K is given by
previous experience in B51042 (1943)1 for the
The discharge, particular geometry of the orifice meter. For the
apparatusprovidedK is given as 0.601.
Q = AsVB = ~ 2g P..6.._fi Reducingthe expressionin exactly the sameway as
-=(AB / AJ2 pg pg for the venturi meter,

Q = AF~ = kAc 2g ;
With the apparatusprovided, the bores of the meter at

r (A) and (B) are26 rom and 16 rom respectively,so:

= 0.38 andAB = 2.01 x 10-4 m2

With the apparatusprovided, the bore at (E) is 51.9 mrn


and at (F) is 20 mrn, then:

Since g = 9.81 m/s2 and are the respective
= 8.46X lO-4(~ - hFf2

pg pg m3/s
heightsof the manometrictubesA and B in metres,we
havefrom Equation(5-2): Thus

Q = 9.62X IO-4(hA- hsf2 m = O.846(~- hp)1/2 kg/S

(5-3) For exampleif
Taking the density of water as 1<XX>
kg/m3, the mass hE=372 mrn
flow will be:
ni = o.962(hA - hs)l/2 kgjs
For exampleif (hE- ~f2 = 0.58

r hA = 375 mrn
hB = IIOmrn

m = 0.846x 0.58 = 0.49 kg/s

(The correspondingHydraulic Flow Bench assessment
(hA - he)1/2 = 0.51 was0.48 kg/s.)


ni = 0.962x 0.51 = 0.49kg/s

(The correspondingHydraulic Flow Bench assessment
was0.48 kg/s).
t The value of C is given in the 1943 BS1042publication. Figures
given in later editions may vary.
TecQuipment Flow Measurement

Rotameter Observationof the recordings for the pressure drop

acrossthe rotameter(H) - (I) showsthat this difference
is largeand virtually independentof discharge.There is
a term which arisesbecauseof wall shearstressesand
which is therefore velocity dependent,but since the
rotameteris of largebore this term is small. Most of the
observedpressuredifferenceis required to maintain the
float in equilibrium and since the float is of constant
weight. this pressure difference is independent of
The causeof this pressuredifferenceis the headloss
associatedwith the high velocity of water around the
float periphery.Sincethis headloss is constantthen the
peripheralvelocity is constant.To maintain a constant
velocity with varying dischargerate, the cross-sectional
areathrough which this high velocity occursmust vary.
This variation of cross-sectionalarea will arise as the
float movesup and down the taperedrotametertube.
From Figure 5.1, if the float radius is Rf and the
local bore of the rotametertube is 2Rtthen:

Jt(Rt" R;
= 2xRlS = Cross-sectional art

., Discharge

Now 0 = Ie. where I is the distancefrom datum to the
cross-sectionat which the local bore is Rt and e is the
semi-angleof tube taper. Hence I is proportional to
discharge. An approximately linear calibration
characteristicwould be anticipatedfor the rotameter.

Figure 5. 1 Principle of the rotameter

Figure 5.2 Typical rotameter calibration curve

TecQulDmentFlow Measurement

~ Calculations of Head Loss Orifice Meter

Applying Equation (3-1) between (E) and (F) by
By referenceto Equation (3-1) the headloss associated substitutingkinetic and hydrostaticheadswould give an
with eachmetercan be evaluated. elevated value to the head loss for the meter. This is
becauseat an obstructionsuchas an orifice plate, there
Venturi Meter is a small increasein pressureon the pipe wall due to
Applying the equation betweenpressuretappings (A) part of the impact pressureon the plate being conveyed
and (C). to the pipe wall. BS1042 (Section 1.1 1981) gives an
approximateexpressionfor finding the head loss and
generally this can be taken as 0.83 times the measured
pg headdifference.
hA - hc = L\HAC AHEF = 0.83 (hE - hF) mm
This can be made dimensionlessby dividing it by the
=0.83 (372 - 40) mm = 275 mm
inlet kinetic head ~. The orifice plate diameter (51.9 mm) is approximately
twice the venturi inlet diameter(26 mm), thereforethe
orifice inlet kinetic head is approximately 1/16 that of
n7: 2g
~~ ' (l:A.-.rk.
kJ.'\~"'+ r
the venturi, thus:
44.26 = 276
1-(As/AA)2 Ptf1awP8 16
and Therefore.
VA = VB (AB/A~ )2
Head loss = ifs = 99.6 inlet kinetic heads

With the apparatusprovided (Ao/AA) =0.38. therefore

the inlet kinetic headis:

~ = 0.144 x 116 EA._.&.
( .
= O.167(hA-~)
(r-g pg pg.

For exampleif:
hA = 375 rom
hB = 110rom
hc = 350 mm
AHAC = hA-hc = 25 mm

:f'd1'67(~A -hB) = 0.167)(26-'

= 44.26mm

Headloss = ~ 2S = 0.565inlet kinetic heads

Figure 5.3 Rotameter head loss
TecQuipment Flow Measurement

For this meter, applicationof Equation(3-1) gives: Right-Angled Bend

The inlet to the bend is at (G) where the pipe bore is
51.9 mIn and outlet is at (H) where the bore is 40 mIn.
.!!l+zJ) = AHHI
P8 t:i!I) pg Applying Equation(3-1):
-2 "ti:"2
Then as illustrated in Figure 5.3:
hH - hI = AHHI pg 2g pg 2$". :J

Inspection of the table of experimentalresults shows The outlet kinetic headis now 2.8 timesthe inlet kinetic
that this head loss is virtually independentof discharge head.For exampleif:
and has a constant value of approximately100rom of hA = 375 mm
water. As has already been shown, this is a hB = 110 mm
characteristic property of the rotameter. For
comparativepurposesit could be expressedin terms of
hG = 98 mm
the inlet kinetic head. However, when the velocity is hH = 88mm
very low the head loss remains the same and so and
becomesmany, many times the kinetic head.
It is instructive to compare the head losses Inlet kinetic head = 2.76 mrn
associatedwith the three meters with those associated Outlet kinetic head = 7.73 mrn
with the rapidly diverging section, or wide-angled then
diffuser, and with the right-angled bend or elbow. The
sameprocedureis adoptedto evaluatetheselosses. MlGH = (98-88) + (21'f!'it73)
Wide-Angled Diffuser = 5.03mID of water
The inlet to the diffuser may be consideredto be at (C)
and the outlet at (D). Applying Equation(3-1): Therefore,
-2 -2
Headloss = 103 = 182inlet kinetic heads
E£.+~=.E!2.+.YP.-+AHCD 276
pg 2g pg 2g
Sincethe arearatio, inlet to outlet, of the diffuser is 1:4, Discussion of the Meter Characteristics
the outlet kinetic headis 1/16of the inlet kinetic head.
There is little to choose in the accuracyof discharge
For exampleif: measurementbetween the venturi meter, the orifice
meter and the rotameter- all are dependentupon the
hA = 375 rnm
sameprinciple. Dischargecoefficientsand the rotameter
hB= Il0rnm
calibration are largely dependenton the way the streain
hc = 350 rnm
from a 'vena contracta'or actualthroat of smallercross-
hD = 360 rnm sectional area than that of the containing tube. This
then effect is negligibly small where a controlled contraction
takes place in a venturi meter but is significant in the
Inlet kinetic head = 44.26mrn orifice meter. The orifice meter dischargecoefficient is
(See venturi meter head loss calculations). The also dependenton the precise location of the pressure
correspondingoutlet kinetic headis: tappings (E) and (F). Such data is given in BSI042
which also emphasisesthe dependenceof the meters
44.26 - 28 mm
-- behaviour on the uniformity of the flow upstreamand
16 downstreamof the meter.
In order to keep the apparatus as compact as
possible the dimensions of the equipment in the
Mm = (350-360)+(44.26-28) neighbourhoodof the orifice meter have been reduced
to their limit, consequently some inaccuracy in the
= 3 L46 mm of water assumedvalue of its dischargemay be anticipated.
The considerabledifference in head loss between
Therefore, the orifice meter and the venturi meter should be noted.
i~L46 The orifice meter is much simpler to make and use, for
Headloss is = 0.71 inlet kinetic heads it is comparatively easy to manufacture a suitable
orifice plate and insert it between two existing pipe
flanges which have been appropriatelypressure-tapped
for the purpose. In contrast the venturi meter is large,
comparatively difficult to manufactureand complicated
to fit into an existing flow system.But the low headloss
TecQuiomentFlow Measurement

associatedwith the controlled expansionoccurring in parts of the system are most responsive,in tenns of
the venturi meter gives it an obvious superiority in associatedheadloss, to small improvementin design.
applicationswhere power to overcomeflow lossesmay
be limiting. Discussion of Results
Rotametersand other flow measuringinstruments

r which dependon the displacementof floats in tapered

tubes may be selected from a very wide range of
specifications.They are unlikely to be comparablewith
the venturi meter from the standpointof head loss but,
If the massflow results are plotted against massflow
ratesfrom the weighing tank methodthe accuracyof the
variousmethodscan be compared.Since all arederived
from Equation (1) similar results would be expected
provided the dischargerangeis not extreme,the easeof from the three methods. The differential mass flow
reading the instrument may well compensatefor the
somewhathigher headloss associatedwith it.
measurement(mmeter - mweightank)could be plotted
The head losses associatedwith the wide-angled againstthe weighing tank massflow resultsfor a better
diffuser and the right-angled bend are not untypical. appraisalof accuracy.
Both could be reducedif it were desirableto do so. The Some overestimation in the venturi meter
diffuser head loss would be minimised if the total termination can be anticipated because its vena
expansion angle of about 50 degreeswere reduced to contracta has been assumedto be negligibly small.
about 10 degrees.The right-angledbend loss would be Similarly, the rotameter determination may well be
substantially reduced if the channel, through which sensitive to the proximity of the elbow and the
water flows, was shapedin the arc of a circle having a associatedinlet velocity distribution. The orifice meter
large radius compared with the bore of the tube is likely to be sensitive to the inlet flow which is
containingthe fluid. associatedwith the separationinducedin the wide-angle

r Large lossesin internal flow systemsare associated

with uncontrollableexpansionof the stream.Attention
should always be paid to increasesin cross-sectional
area and changesof direction of the stream as these
diffuser upstreamof it. Thus both the rotameterand the
orifice metercalibrationswould be likely to changeif a
longer length of straight pipe were introducedupstream
of them.

r Inlet kinetic head: scale B


~ .
~ .c
u ~
~ =
. ~
c ~
~ ~

i '"
:5 :E

Inlet kinetic head: scale D (mm)

Figure 5.4 Typical head loss graph

TecQulpment Flow Measurement

In the calculationsthe head lossesassociatedwith the The venturi meteroffers the bestcontrol to the fluid.
various meters and flow componentshave been made Its dischargecoefficient is little different from unity and
dimensionless by dividing by the appropriate inlet the head loss it offers is minimal. But it is relatively
kinetic heads.The advantageof the venturi meter over expensive to manufacture and could be difficult to
the orifice meterand rotameteris evident althoughover install in existingpipework.
a considerablerange of inlet kinetic heads the loss The orifice meter is easiest to install between
associatedwith the rotameter is sufficiently small to existing pipe flanges and provided it is manufactured
considerthat it would be more thancompensatedby the and erected in accordancewith BS1042, will give
relative ease in evaluation of mass flow from this accuratemeasurement. The head loss associatedwith it
instrument. is very largecomparedwith that of the venturi meter.
It should also be noted from Figure 5.1 that the The rotameter gives the easiest derivation of
dimensionlesshead lossesof the venturi meter and the discharge,dependentonly on sighting the float and
orifice meter are Reynolds number dependent.This reading a calibration curve. It needs to be chosen
effect is also noticeable with the dimensionlesshead judiciously, however,so that the associatedheadloss is
loss of the elbow. not excessive.

The most direct measurementof fluid dischargeis by
the weightank principle. In installations where this is
impracticable(e.g. on account of size of installation or
gaseousfluid flow), one of the three dischargemeters
describedmay be usedinstead.