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Lecture23

FlowmeterDesign.
Contentsoflecture
Designofflowmeter
Principlesofflowmeasurement;i)Venturiandii)Orificemeterandnozzle
Relationshipbetweenflowrateandpressuredrop
Relationbetweenpressuredropandmassflowrate
KeyWords:Fluidflow,MacroscopicBalance,FrictionalLosses,TurbulentFlow,Venturimeter,Orifice
Meter,PitotTube

Designofflowmeters
Efficient handling, utilization and disposal of fluids in engineering processes require knowledge of
quantities of fluids flowing. Indirectly, this information can be obtained by stoichiometric calculations.
However, precise and accurate measurements of flow quantities become essential to efficient
operation. Most of the flow measuring devices for engineering purposes can be designed by using
mechanicalenergybalanceforthedevice.
Principlesofflowmeasurement
It is known that pressure energy can be converted into kinetic energy and vice versa. Thus, if a
restrictionisplacedintheflowpassage,thefluidwouldbeacceleratedwiththecorrespondingdecrease
inpressurehead.Therearethreedifferentwaysinwhichthiscanbepracticed.
Venturi
Intheventuri,thecrosssectionalareaofaflowpassagedecreasesgraduallyinthedirectionofflowand
attains a minimum cross section area at the throat and thereafter gradually increases further in the
directionofflow.Figureshowsaventurimeter.

Figure1:Designofaventurimeter
Pressure taps are installed upstream the throat and at the throat, and the difference in pressure at
thesetwolocationsisusedtocalculatevelocityandthetotalrateoffluidflowingthroughaventuri.

Duetothegradualdecreaseandincreaseinthecrosssectionoftheflowpassage,theeffectoffrictional
forcesondeceleratingthefluidvelocitycanbeconsideredtobenegligiblysmall.

ii)Orificemeterandnozzle
Anorificemeterisofsimpleconstruction.Athinplatewithacentrallylocatedholeisinsertedintothe
flowpassage.Themainpathofflowthroughtheorificeissameasthatofventuri,buttheflowcontacts
suddenlyasfluidpassesthroughthehole.Theflowcontinuestocontractashortdistancedownstream
the hole as shown in the figure. Figure also shows the flow lines. It can be seen that the region of
smallest cross section, known as vena contracta, is developed downstream the orifice. In the vena
contracta the kinetic energy is maximum. Note that the minimum cross section in the orifice meter is
notorificediameter,butitiscrosssectionatvenacontracta.Accordinglypressuretapistobeinstalled
atvenacontractaasshowninthefigure.

Figure 2: Design of orifice meter and flow lines. Note that the smallest cross section is downstream
theorificediameter.

Nozzlesaresimilartoorificesingeneralbutthedecreaseincrosssectionareainthedirectionofflowis
gradualwhencomparedwithanorificeinwhichitisabrupt.Sothatthelossesduetofrictionarelower
innozzlethanintheorifice.

Relationshipbetweenflowrateandpressuredrop
Wecanconsiderflowofanincompressiblefluidandapplymechanicalenergybalanceatplane1and2
andneglectingfrictionallosses.Weget
+
v
2
2
2
-
v
1
2
2
P
1
-P
2
2
= u
v

1
= [
d
2
d
1
(1)
Equationofcontinuityforincompressiblefluid,gives

2
v

2
1 2 1 2
v

2
= _
2 (P
1
-P
2
)
p |1-[
d
1
d
2
(2)
Herev

andv

isaveragevelocityatplane1and2,andu andu arediameteratplane1and2.


By1and2weget,

4
_
12
(3)
Note that velocity
2
according to eq. 3 corresponds to maximum velocity when effect of friction on
flow is ignored. Pressure difference corresponding to v
2
in eq.3 is the one which one would read at
plane2inventuriandinorificeatvenacontracta.Itmustbenotedthattheequation3isnotspecific
toanyflowmeasuringdevice;itisapplicabletoorifice,venturimeter,nozzleoranyother.Theequation
relatesvelocityofthefluidtothepressuredifferenceanddiameter
v
ratio.
u
0
an
v

0
= C
D
]
2
p
Nowthecrosssectionareaatvenacontractaisnotknownandhenced
2
atvenacontractaisnotknown.
Venacontractaiscreatedduetotheabruptcontractionasthefluidpassesthroughanorifice.Thecross
sectional area at venacontracta would depend, among other factors, on shape of the orifice (circular,
rectangularorsquare,etc.)andfluiddynamics.Itcanbedeterminedexperimentally.However,diameter
oftheorificeisknown.WeintroducecoefficientofdischargeC
D
dreplaceu
2
ineq.3bydoweget.

(P
1
-P
2
)
(1-\4)

12
, v

0
= K ]
2
p
(P
1
- P
2
)
12
(4)
Here =
d
0
d
1
andK = flow coefficient = C
D
(1 -
4
)
-0.5

v

0
in isv

2
incaseofventuri.Equations3and canbeappliedtoventuri,andnozzlesaswell
onceweknowthevalueof .Thedischargecoefficientvalueisspecifictotheflowmeasuringdevice.
elationbetweenpressuredropandmassflowrate
(5)
where A is the minimum age. A = A
0
in case of orifice meter and
A = A
2
incaseofventuri.
Forflow takeintoaccountthecompressibilityfactororexpansionfactorYsothat
0.5
(6)
whereY = _
y _1-[
P
2
P
1

Note eq.4 4
C
D

R
Forincompressiblefluid,themassflowrateis
m = K A. {2 (P
1
-P
2
)]
0.5
,
cross section area of the flow pass
ofgasesonehasto
m = K Y A {2 (P
1
- P
2
)]

-1

_
(y-1) [1-
P
2
P
1
(1-\
4
)
_[
P
2
P
1

-2
-\
4
_
_
12
(7)
aresimplestandcheapest sbuttheycausepermanentpressuredrop
inthesystems.Thepermanentpressuredropcanbecalculatedfrom
In the venturi the flow passage is designed so that the friction is minimum. Permanent pressure drop
canbetakentobeequalto1u%ofthemeasuredpressuredifferential.
Orificeplates typesofflowmeter
P
Ioss
= (1 -
2
) (P
1
- P
2
)