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CONTENTS

Section
1.1

Test Objectives

2.1

Background Theory

3.1

Test Apparatus

4.1

Test Procedure

5.1

Test Result

6.1

Discussion and Conclusion

7.1

Reference

1.1

Test Objectives

The objective of this test was to measure fluid flow rate through a duct using three
different methods and compares the results. The methods were velocity survey using a
Pitot-static tube, the venturimeter and the sharp-edged orifice plate.

2.1

Background Theory

2.1.1 Flow rate

The volume flow rate in a duct was given by:
_

3
Q AU (m /s)

(1)

Where:
Q:

A:

U:

average velocity (m/s)

For solid wall ducts the mass flow rate must remain constant at all stations along the
duct. At low flow speed the density, , remains constant and hence the volume flow
rate must be constant. Often, the mean velocity,

U , was used as a one-dimensional

property of the real flow because the real velocity varies only slightly across much of
the duct cross-section. In ducts with only gradual changes of cross-section with small
flow curvature, the static pressure was virtually constant across all of the duct crosssection. Hence, the one-dimensional flow model was often a useful and accurate
assumption.
2.1.2

Velocity Measurement

With the above assumptions the flow rate can be calculated if the flow velocity was
usually derived from pressure measurements using Bernoullis equation.
This states that:
p

1
U 2 constant = p o
2

for an incompressible flow where:

p = static pressure
1
U 2 = dynamic pressure
2

(2)

p o = total pressure

(figure)
The static pressure was the pressure measured in the moving stream and can be
determined using a wall static pressure tapping as illustrated above.
The total pressure, p o , was the total pressure registered when the flow was at rest
and can be determined from the pressure measured at the nose of the Pitot-tube.
(figure)
When the static and total pressures were measured, the velocity can be calculated
from the Bernoullis equation (2) which gives after re-arrangement.
2
( po p)

2.1.3

(3)

Bernoullis equation applied at two different stations along a duct gives:

p1

1
1
U 12 p 2 U 22
2
2

(4)

Where, subscripts 1 and 2 indicate stations 1 and 2 along the duct. The volume flow
rate at station 1 and 2 will be equal provided that the density was constant. Hence
assuming one-dimensional flow, A1U 1 A2U 2
giving: U 1

(5)

A2
U 2 (6)
A1

1 A
p1 2 U 2
2 A1

p2

1
U 22
2

(7)

U2

2 ( p1 p 2 )
A 2
1 2
A1

(8)

Therefore the flow rate in the duct comes from

Q A2U 2

(9)

However, usually the actual flow rate was less than the measured flow rate. The
reasons will be described later. Therefore a correction factor C d was introduced
giving:

Q C d A2U 2 C d A2

2 ( p1 p 2 )
2

A2
1

A1

(10)

Where the correction factor Cd was usually called as the discharge coefficient. The
coefficient varies from one device to another and was normally determined after
calibration tests.
2.1.4

The Manometer

A manometer is a device which measures pressure difference. Figure 1 shows a U

tube manometer. When there is a pressure difference between p1 and p2 this difference
is observed as the difference in the fluid levels h. This difference in the fluid levels
can be converted to pressure difference using: p12 p1 p 2 f .g.h

Figure 1
Where:
f = density of the manometer fluid ( f = 784 kg/m3)

g = acceleration due to gravity (g = 9.81 m/s2)

The manometer fluid density was calculated from
f = specific gravity w

(12)

Where w = standard density of water ( w = 1000 kg/m3)

The specific density of the manometer fluid = 0.784
2.1.5

Pitot-static tube

A Pitot-static tube was shown in Figure 2. It consists of two concentric tubes, each of
which is connected to a pressure measuring device; in this case an inclined
manometer. The inner tube acts as a Pitot tube and measures the total pressure. The

outer tube has several holes in the side. When the axis of the tube was aligned
parallel to the flow direction, the holes act as static pressure tappings.
Figure 2
Using equation (3),
U

2
( p o p)

(3)

2.1.6

Venturimeter

Figure 3 shows a typical venturimeter. The duct becomes narrower (contraction) to

the narrowest section (throat) and then becomes gradually wider (diffuser). The
pressure differences between 1 and 2 were used for flow rate measurement.

Figure 3
Using equation (10)

QV C d A2

2 ( p1 p 2 )
2

A2
1

A1

(13)

and hence the flow rate may be calculated.

Because of the smooth changes in the cross-section with the venturimeter, the
discharge coefficient was close to 1. In this experiment the venturimeter has a
discharge coefficient (Cd) of 0.97.
2.1.7

Sharp-edged Orifice

The details of the sharp-edged orifice were slightly different from those of the
venturimeter. Figure 4 shows the flow field in the duct. The flow goes into a narrow
section and forms a jet downstream of the orifice. The narrowest jet section was not

at the orifice but just downstream of the orifice. The pressure difference between the
undisturbed station 1 and this section 2 was used for flow rate measurements.
However, it was not possible to measure the sectional area of this narrowest section
of jet; the area of the orifice A was used instead.
Figure 4
The equation used was identical to equation (10) except that Ao was used, giving:

QV C d Ao

2 ( p1 p 2 )
2

Ao
1

A1

(14)

The flow through the orifice was not smooth and also Ao was not the smallest crosssectional area in the jet. The discharge coefficients for orifice plates differ
considerably from unity largely because of the energy dissipation downstream of the
plate in the highly non-uniform separated jet flow. The value for this particular orifice
was Cd = 0.62.
This accounts for both viscous effects and the reduction of the minimum jet crosssectional area from Ao.

3.1

The Test Apparatus

The test apparatus used was shown in Figure 5. Air was drawn into the inlet and
pumped through the duct by a multi-vane fan driven by a 400 W electric motor. The
flow through the duct may be controlled by the exit damper which allows the outlet
area to be varied.
Figure 5
The duct contains both rectangular (127 x 114 mm) and circular (140 mm dia.) cross
sections and was equipped with both venture and orifice throats (diameter 89 mm and
108 mm respectively). Pressure tappings were provided in the throat walls as
indicated below in Figure 5; a Pitot-static tube was also provided to allow a velocity
survey across the rectangular section of the duct.
a:

b:

c:

d:

e:

f:

Other tappings were not used in this experiment.

4.1

Test Procedure

First of all, all the rubber tubing were checked and were connected securely to
the manometers required.

The zero setting of the inclined manometer for the Pitot-static tube

With the damper fully open, the motor was started and the conditions allowed
settling for some few minutes.

The atmospheric pressure and the laboratory temperature was measured and
recorded.

The venturi differential c-d was recorded and the orifice differential e-f too
was recorded as well. And also the amount of fluctuation on both manometers
was recorded.

The duct was traverse with the Pitot-static tube and the differential a-b at the
12 points was also recorded.

The experimental steps where repeated with the damper half-closed and
partially-closed.

5.1

Test Results

5.1.1

Barometric pressure, pa = 750.20 mmHg

Barometric temperature, t = 21oC
T = t + 273.15 = 294.15 K
Air Density: a

1.1858 kg/m3
287 T
287 294.15

Density of paraffin: f 1000 0.784 784 kg/m3

Area of rectangular duct section, A = (0.127m x 0.114m) = 0.014478 m2.
Velocity, u

2
( p o p)

2 f 9.81 h / 100

m/s
a

Flow rate, Q u A
5.1.1.1 Pitot- Static Traverse Calculations
Point
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

h (cm)
0.5
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.6
0.8
0.9
1.2
1.4
1.3
1.1
1.3

u (m/s)
8.054
8.054
8.822
8.822
8.822
10.187
10.805
12.476
13.476
12.986
11.945
12.986

Q
(m3/s)
0.117
0.117
0.128
0.128
0.128
0.147
0.156
0.181
0.195
0.188
0.173
0.188

From the table the Average velocity and the flow rate was calculated as below
UAverage =

1 12
ui 10.6196 m/s
12 1

m3/s

5.1.1.2 Venturimeter Calculations

Discharge Coefficient, Cd = 0.97
A1

D12 (0.14) 2

0.01539 m2.
4
4

A2

D22 (0.089) 2

0.00622 m2
4
4

2 f 9.81 p / 100
Q C d A2

a
2

A
(1 2 )
A1

2 784 9.81 3.6 / 100

1.1858
m / s 0.97 0.00622
0.1425
2
0.00622
(1
)
0.01539

Q= 0.1425 m3/s
5.1.1.3 Orifice Plate Calculations
Discharge Coefficient, Cd = 0.62

D12 (0.14) 2
A1

0.01539 m2.
4
4

D22 (0.108) 2
Ao

0.00916 m2
4
4
p = 3.0 cms of paraffin.

2 f 9.81 p / 100

Q C d Ao

A
(1 o )
A1

2 784 9.81 3.6 / 100

1.1858
m / s 0.97 0.00916
0.13942
2
0.00916
(1
)
0.01539

Q= 0.13942 m3/s
5.1.2

Half-closed Damper

(note: the half-closed and partially closed experiment were carried out on the same
day).
Barometric pressure, pa = 750.20 mmHg
Barometric temperature, t = 20oC
T = t + 273.15 = 293.15 K
Air Density: a

1.2083 kg/m3
287 T
287 293.15

Density of paraffin: f 1000 0.784 784 kg/m3

Area of rectangular duct section, A = (0.127m x 0.114m) = 0.014478 m2.
Velocity, u

2
( p o p)

2 f 9.81 h / 100

m/s
a

Flow rate, Q u A
5.1.2.1 Pitot-Static Traverse Calculations
From the table the Average velocity and the flow rate was calculated as below
UAverage =

1 12
u i 9.5065 m/s
12 1

Point
No.
1
2
3

h
(cms)
0.4
0.5
0.4

u (m/s)
7.136
7.978
7.136

Q
(m3/s)
0.1033
0.1155
0.1033

m3/s

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

0.6
0.4
0.5
0.7
0.7
0.8
1.1
1.5
1.4

8.740
7.136
7.978
9.440
9.440
10.092
11.834
13.819
13.350

0.1265
0.1033
0.1155
0.1367
0.1367
0.1461
0.1713
0.2001
0.1933

5.1.2.2 Venturimeter Calculations

Discharge Coefficient, Cd = 0.97
A1

D12 (0.14) 2

0.01539 m2.
4
4

A2

D22 (0.089) 2

0.00622 m2
4
4

2 f 9.81 p / 100

Q C d A2

A
(1 2 )
A1

2 784 9.81 3.5 / 100

1.2083
m / s 0.97 0.00622
0.1392
2
0.00622
(1
)
0.01539

Q= 0.1392 m3/s
5.1.2.3 Orifice Plate Calculations
Discharge Coefficient, Cd = 0.62
A1

D12 (0.14) 2

0.01539 m2.
4
4

Ao

D22 (0.108) 2

0.00916 m2
4
4

2 f 9.81 p / 100
Q C d Ao

5.1.3

a
2

A
(1 o )
A1

2 784 9.81 2.9 / 100

1.2083
m / s 0.97 0.00916
0.1358
2
0.00916
(1
)
0.01539

5.1.3.1 Pitot-Static Traverse Calculations

From the table the Average velocity and the flow rate was calculated as below
UAverage =

1 12
ui 7.8329 m/s
12 1

Point
No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

h
(cms)
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.25
0.3
0.5
0.55
0.6
0.9
1.15
1.1

u (m/s)
6.180
5.046
5.046
6.180
5.641
6.180
7.978
8.368
8.740
10.704
12.100
11.834

m3/s

Q
(m3/s)
0.089
0.073
0.073
0.089
0.082
0.089
0.116
0.121
0.127
0.155
0.175
0.171

5.1.3.2 Venturimeter Calculations

Discharge Coefficient, Cd = 0.97

D12 (0.14) 2
A1

0.01539 m2.
4
4
D22 (0.089) 2
A2

0.00622 m2
4
4
p = 2.8 cms of paraffin.

2 f 9.81 p / 100
Q C d A2

a
2

A
(1 2 )
A1

2 784 9.81 2.8 / 100

1.2083
m / s 0.97 0.00622
0.1245
2
0.00622
(1
)
0.01539

Q= 0.1245 m3/s
5.1.3.3 Orifice Plate Calculations
Discharge Coefficient, Cd = 0.62
A1

D12 (0.14) 2

0.01539 m2.
4
4

Ao

D22 (0.108) 2

0.00916 m2
4
4

2 f 9.81 p / 100
Q C d Ao

a
2

A
(1 o )
A1

2 784 9.81 2.3 / 100

1.2083
m / s 0.97 0.00916
0.1209
2
0.00916
(1
)
0.01539

6.1

Discussion And Conclusion

6.1.1

Results Comparison

The flow rate calculations for the three methods under three different conditions had
been carried out and their results tabulated as below:

Apparatus
Pitot-Static
Tube
Venturimeter
Orifice Plate
Average

Flow rates Conditions, Q (m3/s)

Fully
HalfPartially
Open
closed
Closed
Damper
Damper
Damper
0.1538
0.1425
0.1394
0.1452

0.1376
0.1392
0.1358
0.1375

0.1134
0.1245
0.1209
0.1196

Average
0.1349
0.1354
0.1320
0.1341

The flow rates output obtained from the test measurement under the fullyopen damper condition had indicated that the Pitot-static tube records the
highest flow rate than the Venturimeter and the Orifice plate.

At the condition where the damper was Half-closed, the flow rate recorded
was relatively similar with a slight variation in the results.

While at the condition when the damper was partially-closed, the Venturimeter
and Orifice plate recorded almost the same flow rates, whereas the Pitot-static
tube registered a lower value of flow rate than them.

6.1.2

Recommendation

When measuring the traverse location test to simplify the average velocity and flow
rate on the rectangular duct using the Pitot - static tube, it would be necessary to avoid
the traverses close to the fan, dampers pipe bend and expansions. Also, centroids of
equal area must be used. The Pitot - static tube needs to be aligned with the axis of the
duct using the alignment guide on the tube for reference.

7.1

Reference

1. Nasr, G.G. and Connor, N.E. Experimental and Measurement Methods, Lecture
Notes, University of Salford, 2006.