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MECH 373

Instrumentation and Measurements


Lecture 22

Systems for Measuring Fluid Rate


(Chapter 10)
• Variable-Area Flowmeters

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Measurement Systems

• In engineering experiments and in process plants, we often need to know the


quantity of a fluid flowing through a conduit.

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Technical Basis on Fluid Systems

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Technical Basis on Fluid Systems

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Technical Basis on Fluid Systems

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Systems for Measuring Fluid Flow Rate
Variable-Area Flowmeters
• A variable-area flowmeter is a meter that measures fluid flow by allowing
the cross sectional area of the device to vary in response to the flow, causing
some measurable effect that indicates the rate.
• This class of flowmeters consists of devices in which the flow area of the
meter varies with flow rate and the value of the flow rate is determined by
sensing the position of the component causing the area change.
• The most common of these devices is known as the rotameter.

Rotameter
• The rotameter consists of a
weighted object called a float,
which is free to move, within a
vertical tube. Flow entering from
the bottom of the tube passes over
the float as shown below:

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Systems for Measuring Fluid Flow Rate
• The principle of the device is based on the balance between the drag force,
the weight and buoyancy forces acting on the float in the moving fluid.
• In operation, the float rises to some position within the tube at which the
force balance exists. The height of this position increases with flow velocity
and, hence, the flow rate.
• The force balance is:
FD  FB  FW
where FD is the drag force caused by the upward-moving fluid, FB is the
buoyant force acting on the fluid, and FW is the weight of the float. The
buoyant force is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid:
FB   f g
where, ∀ is the float volume,  f is the density of the flowing fluid, and g is
the acceleration due to gravity.
• The weight is given by:
FW  b g
where,  b is the density of the float.
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Systems for Measuring Fluid Flow Rate
• The drag force can be described by the drag coefficient:
CD Afr  f V ref2
FD 
2
where CD is the drag coefficient, Afr is the frontal area of the float (in the
direction of the flow), and Vref is a reference fluid velocity. In this case, we use
Va, the velocity in the annular area between the float and the tapered tube, as
Vref.
C D Afr  f Va2
• Substituting:   f g  b g
2

1/ 2
• Solving for Va, we obtain  2g (b   f ) 
Va   
 C A 
D fr f 
1/ 2
 2gb 
For gases,  f  b , so Va   
 C D A fr  f 
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Systems for Measuring Fluid Flow Rate
• The float can be designed such that CD is approximately independent of the
float position.
• Since the volume flow rate is:
Q  Va Aa
• Va is constant, the flow rate is proportional to the annular area, Aa.
• It is possible to design the rotameter so that the annular area is a linear
function of the float vertical position y. Hence, a measure of the float vertical
position is a linear function of the flow rate.
• Although it is possible to use devices that sense float position, most
rotameters are not used for remote sensing of flow but are instead read visually
and used to check or adjust the fluid flow rate.
• Rotatmeters have the advantages of being easy to read, having a low pressure
drop, and having a scale that is linear with flow.
• Most rotameteres must be mounted with the axis vertical, but there are
rotameters that can be installed in any orientation and that use a spring instead
of the weight of the float to counter the fluid drag force.
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Systems for Measuring Fluid Flow Rate
• While it is not common to have a sensor for remote sensing of flow rate, it is
common in the process industries to have a sensing switch that will trip an
alarm if the flow exceeds some system limit.
• The accuracy of higher-quality rotameters can be better than ±2% of full
scale, but many are used to give a general indication of flow and are accurate
only to the order of ±10%.
• Rotameters are usually calibrated to produce the best accuracy for a particular
application.
• To avoid a new calibration, a rotameter can sometimes be calibrated for one
fluid and used to measure the flow of another fluid or the same fluid at another
temperature or pressure. A simple method to permit use with another fluid is
based on the above equations.

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements

Course Review

Youmin Zhang
Phone: x5741, Office Location: EV 4-109
Email: ymzhang@encs.concordia.ca
Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal
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Course Outline
1. Introduction, Chapter 1 [1.1]
• course objective and requirements; why measurement systems,
experimental design
2. General Characteristics of Measurement Systems, Chapter 2 [2.1, 2.2, 2.3]
• components
• instrumentation
• error – systematic & random, accuracy, precision, sensitivity
• calibration, traceability of standards
• dynamic measurement systems – response, damping, etc
3. Measurement Systems with Electrical Signals, Chapter 3 [3.1, 3.2 (3.2.1, 3.2.3,
3.2.4), 3.3]
• sensors, amplification, attenuation, filtering
• measurement instruments
• sensor principles and characteristics
4. Computer-based Data Acquisition Systems, Chapter 4 [4.1, 4.2, 4.3 (4.3.1,
4.3.2, 4.3.4), 4.4]
• system components – principles of A/D & D/A conversion
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Course Outline
5. Sampling and Analysis of Time-Varying Signals, Chapter 5 [5.1, 5.2, 5.3]
• characteristics of time-varying signals
• sampling rate considerations
• filtering
6. Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data, Chapter 6 [6.1, 6.2, 6.3 (6.3.2), 6.4
(6.4.1), 6.5, 6.6 (6.6.1, 6.6.2, 6.6.3, 6.6.4)]
• noises
• experimental considerations
7 Experimental Uncertainty Analysis, Chapter 7 [7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.7]
• propagation of uncertainty
• uncertainty analysis
8. Sensor Systems for Engineering Applications, [8.1.1, 8.2.1, 8.3.1, 8.5.1, 8.5.4,
8.6.1, 9.1.2, 9.2.1, 10.1.2, 10.2.2]
• measurement of various parameters of interest to engineers, e.g.
displacement, velocity, temperature, pressure, vibration, stress, flow rate
etc.
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Course Objective / Requirement
• Objective: Introduce the fundamental principles that
need to be followed when setting up a measurement
experiment. Develop a basic understanding of
measurement systems and its role in engineering.
Learn how to analyze experimental data.
• Requirements:
– Quizzes (two): 10%
– Midterm: 20%
– Laboratories: 10%
– Final exam: 60%
– Need to pass (50% marks) the Laboratory
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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurement
Lecture 1
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Introduction:
Introduction to measurement systems

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurement
Lecture 2
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)
General Characteristics of Measurement Systems
(Chapter 2)
• Dealing with error • Dynamic measurements
– Error reduction techniques
– Zero order, first order, second order systems
– Standards
– Time constant, response time, rise time, settling
– Calibration time
– Frequency response
Next lecture:
• Experimental design

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurement
Lecture 3
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)
General Characteristics of Measurement Systems
(Chapter 2)
• Dynamic measurements
– Zero order, first order, second order systems
– Time constant, response time, rise time, settling time
– Frequency response
• Experimental design

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 4
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Measurement Systems with Electrical Signals


(Chapter 3)
• Electrical signal measurement systems
• Signal conditioners
Amplification
Attenuation
Filtering

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 5
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Measurement Systems with Electrical Signals


(Chapter 3)
• Electrical signal measurement systems
• Signal conditioners
Amplification
Attenuation
Filtering

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 6
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Measurement Systems with Electrical Signals


(Chapter 3)
• Electrical signal measurement systems
• Signal conditioners
Filtering
Indicating and recording devices

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 7
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Computerized Data-Acquisition Systems


(Chapter 4)
• Computer systems
• Representing numbers in computer systems

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 7
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Computerized Data-Acquisition Systems


(Chapter 4)
• Data-acquisition components

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 8
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Computerized Data-Acquisition Systems


(Chapter 4)
• Data-acquisition components
multiplexers
A/D converters
D/A converters

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 9
(Course Website: Access from your “My Concordia” portal)

Discrete Sampling & Analysis of Time-Varying


Signals (Chapter 5)

• Sampling-Rate Theorem
Sampling
Nyquist frequency
Aliasing

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 10

Discrete Sampling & Analysis of Time-Varying


Signals (Chapter 5)

• Sampling-Rate Theorem (review)


• Spectral Analysis of Time-Varying Signal
• Spectral Analysis uisng the Fourier Transform

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 11

Discrete Sampling & Analysis of Time-Varying


Signals (Chapter 5)

• Sampling-Rate Theorem (review)


• Spectral Analysis of Time-Varying Signal
• Spectral Analysis uisng the Fourier Transform

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 12

Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data


(Chapter 6)
• Introduction
• General Concepts and Definitions
• Probability

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 13

Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data


(Chapter 6)
• Introduction
• General Concepts and Definitions
• Probability
• Probability Distribution Function

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 14

Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data


(Chapter 6)

• Introduction
• General Concepts and Definitions
• Probability
• Probability Distribution Function
• Parameter Estimation

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 15

Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data


(Chapter 6)

• Introduction • Criterion for Rejecting Questionable


• General Concepts and Definitions Data Points
• Probability • Correlation of Experimental Data
• Probability Distribution Function • Least-Squares Linear Fit
• Parameter Estimation • Outliers in x-y Data Sets

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 16

Experimental Uncertainty Analysis


(Chapter 7)

• Introduction
• Types of Errors
• Propagation of Uncertainties

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 17

Experimental Uncertainty Analysis


(Chapter 7)

• Introduction • Consideration of Systematic and Random


• Types of Errors Components of Uncertainty
• Propagation of Uncertainties • Sources of Elemental Error
• Step-by-Step Procedure for Analysis

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 18

Measurement of Solid-Mechanical
Quantities (Chapter 8)
• Measuring Strain • Measuring Accepleration and Vibaration
• Measuring Displacement • Measuring Force
• Measuring Linear Velocity

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 19

Measurement of Solid-Mechanical
Quantities (Chapter 8)
• Measuring Strain • Measuring Accepleration and Vibaration
• Measuring Displacement • Measuring Force
• Measuring Linear Velocity

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 20

Measuring Pressure and Temperature


(Chapter 9)
• Measuring Pressure
• Measuring Temperature

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 21

Measuring Pressure and Temperature


(Chapter 9)
• Measuring Pressure
• Measuring Temperature

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Lecture 22

Systems for Measuring Fluid Rate


(Chapter 10)
• Variable-Area Flowmeters

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MECH 373
Instrumentation and Measurements
Final Exam:
MECH 373/2 X, 12/5/2007, 14:00-17:00, H407

Office hours before final exam:


• 29/11/07 (Thursday) 13:00-15:00, EV 4-109
30/12/07 (Friday) 13:00-15:00, EV 4-109
03/12/07 (Monday) 10:00-12:00, 13:00-15:00, EV 4-109
4/12/07 (Tuesday) 13:00-16:00, EV 4-109
16:15-17:30, H-620
• Further office hours can be scheduled by appointment

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