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Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

Introduction:Accurate measurement of flow rate of liquids and gases is an


essential requirement for maintaining the quality of industrial processes.
In fact, most of the industrial control loops control the flow rates of
incoming liquids or gases in order to achieve the control objective. As a
result, accurate measurement of flow rate is very important. Needless to
say that there could be diverse requirements of flow measurement,
depending upon the situation. It could be volumetric or mass flow rate,
the medium could be gas or liquid, the measurement could be intrusive or
nonintrusive, and so on. As a result there are different types of flow
measuring techniques that are used in industries.

Basic Units:Mass
Mass flow rate = Time : Qm =

Volumetric flow rate =

m
t

: Kg/sec, kg/hr, tons/hr.

volume
V
;
Q
=
v
time
t

: m3/sec, m3/hr.

Mass flow rate is the ideal measurement value because it is independent


of pressure and temperature, although volume flow rate is usually
technically more convenient to measure and, therefore, is preferred.
The volumes of the incompressible liquids are never affected by the
pressure in the ranges normally encountered. Temperature changes,
however, result in volume changes which in some cases require correction
measures.
It is well known that flow can be of two types: viscous and turbulent.
Whether a flow is viscous or turbulent can be decided by the Reynolds
number RD. If RD > 2000, the flow is turbulent
Obstruction or head type flow meters are of two types: differential
pressure type and variable area type. Orifice meter, Venturimeter, Pitot
tube fall under the first category, while rotameter is of the second

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

category. In all the cases, an obstruction is created in the flow passage


and the pressure drop across the obstruction is related with the flow rate.

The selection of the proper instrument for a particular application is


governed by many variables, including cost. Flow-rate-measurement
devices frequently require accurate pressure and temperature
measurements in order to calculate the output of the instrument.

Differential Type:The most widely used flow metering principle involves placing a
fixed area flow restriction of some type in the pipe or duct carrying the
fluid. This flow restriction causes a pressure drop that varies with the flow
rate. Thus, measurement of the pressure drop by means of a suitable
differential-pressure pick up allows flow rate measurement.
Venturi Meter:In the venturi meter the fluid is accelerated through a converging cone of angle
15 -20 and the pressure difference between the upstream side of the cone and
the throat is measured and provides the signal for the rate of flow.

The fluid slows down in a cone with smaller angle (5-7) where most of the
kinetic energy is converted back to pressure energy. Because of the cone and the
gradual reduction in the area

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

there is no "vena contracta". The flow area is at minimum at the throat. High
pressure and energy recovery makes the venturi meter suitable where only small
pressure heads are available.
A discharge coefficient Cv- of 0.975 may be taken as standard, but the value
varies noticeably at
low values of the Reynolds' number.

The pressure recovery is much better for the venturi meter than for
the orifice plate.
The venturi tube is suitable for clean, dirty and viscous liquid and
some slurry services.
Pressure loss is low.
Typical accuracy percent is i of full range.
Required upstream pipe length 5 to 20 diameters.
Viscosity effect is high
Relative cost is medium

Orifice Meter:An orifice plate installed in a line creates a pressure differential as the
fluid flows through it. This differential pressure is measured via impulse
lines by a differential pressure transmitter which converts it into an
analogue or digital signal which can be processed to provide a display of
the instantaneous rate of flow
The orifice meter shown in figure below, consists of a flat orifice plate with
a circular hole drilled in it. There is a pressure tap upstream from the
orifice plate and another just downstream. There are in general three
methods of placing the taps. The coefficient of the meter depends upon
the positions of taps.
An orifice meter is essentially a cylindrical tube that contains a plate with
a thin hole in
the middle of it. The thin hole essentially forces the fluid to flow faster
through the hole in order to maintain flow rate. The point of maximum
convergence usually occurs slightly downstream from the actual physical
orifice this is the reason orifice meters are less accurate than venturi
meters, as we cannot use the exact location and diameter of the point of
maximum convergence in calculations. Beyond the vena contracta point

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

(The more important point is that, the minimum flow area is not the
orifice area A2, but is somewhat less and it occurs at a distance from the
orifice plate, known as the Vena Contracta,), the fluid expands again and
velocity decreases as pressure increases.

The discharge coefficient - Co - varies considerably with changes in area


ratio and the Reynolds' number. A discharge coefficient - Co - of 0.60 may
be taken as standard, but the value varies noticeably at low values of the
Reynolds number.
The pressure recovery is limited for an orifice plate and the permanent
pressure loss depends primarily on the area ratio. For an area ratio of 0.5,
the head loss is about 70 -75% of the orifice differential.
The orifice meter is recommended for clean and dirty liquids and some
slurry services.

The pressure loss is medium


Typical accuracy is 2 to 4 of full scale
The required upstream diameter is 10 to 30
The viscosity effect is high.
The relative cost is low.

Orifice Installation:Almost all flow meters need certain lengths of straight, uninterrupted pipe
upstream and downstream of the flow meter itself, and orifice plates are
no exception. In order for the velocity profile to fully develop (and the
pressure drop to be predictable), straight pipe runs are required both upand downstream of the d/p element. The amount of straight run required

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

depends on both the beta ratio of the installation and on the nature of the
upstream components in the pipeline.

Instrument Manifolds:The five-valve configuration is available for use with differential pressure
and multi-variable transmitters. Two block valves provide instrument
isolation and one equalize valve is positioned between the high and low
transmitter process connections. In addition, two drain/vent valves allow
for controlled venting, 100% capture of vented or drained process, and
simplified in-process calibration capability.

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

DP Installation:The size and orientation of the impulse-line pressure taps depend on both
the pipe size and the process fluid. The recommended maximum
diameters of pressure-tap holes through the pipe or flange are:
inch for pipes under two inches in diameter;
38 inch for two- and three-inch diameter pipes;
for four- to eight-inch diameter pipes; and
inch for pipes larger than eight inches in diameter.
Depend on the process fluid: -

Electromagnetic type flow meter:Electromagnetic flow meters use Faradays law of electromagnetic
induction for making
a flow measurement. Faradays law states that, whenever a conductor of
length l moves with a velocity v perpendicular to a magnetic field B,

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

an emf e is induced in a mutually perpendicular direction which is given


by
e= Blv ...(1.52)
where B = Magnetic flux density (Wb/m2 )
l= length of conductor (m)
v= Velocity of the conductor (m/s)
The volume flow rate Q is given by
Q = (d 2 /4) v
where d= diameter of the pipe
v= average velocity of flow (conductor velocity in this case)
From equation (1.52)
v= e/Bl ...(1.54)
Q = d2e/4Bl
Q = Ke
where K is a meter constant.
Thus the volume flow rate is proportional to the induced emf.
In the electromagnetic meter, the constant magnetic field is generated
around the pipe
by magnet and the flowing liquid acts as a conductor. The flowing liquid
can be regarded as a continuous series of discs passing through the
magnetic field, the bore of the pipe being directly proportional to length of
the conductor. Thus the emf generated is directly proportional to the
velocity of flow.

The flow tube should have high electrical resistivity so that the
magnetic flux does not by-pass the metered liquid and also to minimize
the eddy currents. The electrode potential is detected by two metal

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

electrodes essentially of the point type made of stainless steel, or


platinum where high resistance to corrosion is necessary. These are
located diametrically opposite to each other with their surfaces flush with
the inside surface of the lining, so that they do not disturb the flow
pattern. Thus the electro magnet is of the core type and consists of two
saddle shaped copper coils. This flow tube is rigidly located in the air gap
and the laminated iron core, for focusing the magnetic field in a direction
at right angles to the flowing liquid, being positioned beneath the coils. At
alternating electric supply is used to energize electro magnet as a.c.
supply avoids polarization of the electrodes. Thus the emf across the
electrodes will be directly proportional to the velocity of flows of the
metered liquid and it will not be influenced by variations in the specific
resistance of the liquid if there is no current flow through it.

Limitations of electromagnetic Flow Meters:(i) The substance being measured must be conductive. Therefore, it cant
be employed for metering the flow rate of gases and steam, petroleum
products and similar liquids having
very low conductivity.
(ii) To render the meter insensitive to variations in the resistance of liquid,
the effective
resistance of the liquid between the electrodes should not exceed 1% of
the impedance of the external circuit.
(iii) It is a very expensive device.
(iv) As the meter always measures the volume rate, the volume of any
suspended matter
in the liquid will be included.
(v) To avoid any trouble which would be caused by entrained air, when the
flow tube is
installed in a horizontal pipe-line, the electrodes should be on the
horizontal diameter.

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

Ultrasonic type flow meter:The ultrasonic flow meter operates on the principle that the velocity of
sound in a fluid in motion is the resultant of the velocity of sound in the
fluid at rest plus or minus the velocity of the fluid itself.
Types of Ultrasonic Flow Meters
(i) Transit time flow meters
(ii) Doppler Flow meter.
Transit time flow meters:As the name implies, these devices measure flow by measuring the time taken
for an ultrasonic energy pulse to traverse a pipe section, both with and against
the flow of the liquid within the pipe. Fig. 1.57 shows a representative transit
time flow meter.
The time (tAB) for the ultrasonic energy to go from transducer A to transducer B
is given by the expression :
tAB= L/(C + V. cos ) ...(1.56)
The time (tBA) to go from B to A is given by tBA = L/(C V.cos ) ...(1.57)
where C is the speed of sound in the fluid , L is the acoustic path length in the
fluid and is the angle of the path with respect to the pipe axis.
By combining and simplifying, it can be shown that for V << C :
t= tBA tAB= 2.L.V. cos /C2...(1.58)
It can be shown that :
V = L.t/2 cos t ; A2= K t/tA2...(1.59)
where tA is the average transit time between the transducers. Since the cross
sectional area of the pipe section or spool pipe is known, the product of area
and velocity will yield the volumetric flow rate.

Doppler Flow meter:This type of flow meter is based on Doppler principle. The transmitter of a
Doppler flow meter projects an ultrasonic beam at a frequency of about
0.5 MHz into the flowing stream and deflects the reflected frequency. The
difference between transmitted and reflected velocities is called the beat
frequency and is related to the velocity of the reflecting surfaces (solid
particles and gas bubbles) in the process stream.

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

Principle of Operation
An ultrasonic wave is projected at an angle through the pipe wall into the
liquid by a transmitting crystal in a transducer mounted outside the pipe.
Part of the energy is reflected by bubbles or particles in the liquid and is
returned through the pipe wall to a receiving crystal. If the reflectors are
travelling at the fluid velocity, the frequency of the reflected wave is
shifted according to the Doppler principle, in proportion to the flow
velocity.
Combining Snells law and Doppler equation, the flow velocity can be
determined as
follows if V << C.
V = f.Ct/(2.fo. cos ) = f.K ...(1.61)
where f= Difference between transmitted and received frequency.
fo= frequency of transmission
= angle of the transmitter and receiver crystal with respect to the pipe
axis
Ct= Velocity of sound in the transducer.
As shown in equation (1.61), velocity is a linear function of f. Since the
inside diameter
(ID) of the pipe is known, volumetric flow rate can be measured as a
function of V and square of ID
Volumetric flow rate (Q) V.(ID)2
Variable Area Flow Meter:ROTAMETER:The orifice meter, Venturi meter and flow nozzle work on the
principle of constant area variable pressure drop. Here the area of
obstruction is constant, and the pressure drop changes with flow rate. On
the other hand Rotameter works as a constant pressure drop variable area
meter. It can be only be used in a vertical pipeline. Its accuracy is also less
(2%) compared to other types of flow meters. But the major advantages of
rotameter are, it is simple in construction, ready to install and the flow
rate can be directly seen on a calibrated scale, without the help of any
other device, e.g. differential pressure sensor etc. Moreover, it is useful for
a wide range of variation of flow rates.

Document Title:

Training on GET-Instrumentation

November
2014

FLOW MEASURMENT AND CONTROL

Code: PI

Basic construction of a rotameter is shown in It consists of a vertical


pipe, tapered downward. The flow passes from the bottom to the top.
There is cylindrical type metallic float inside the tube. The fluid flows
upward through the gap between the tube and the float. As the float
moves up or down there is a change in the gap, as a result changing the
area of the orifice. In fact, the float settles down at a position, where the
pressure drop across the orifice will create an upward thrust that will
balance the downward force due to the gravity. The position of the float is
calibrated with the flow rate.
Advantages
1. Low cost.
2. Low pressure drop.
3. Range ability is better.
4. It is suitable for small flow rates.
5. It is easily equipped with alarms and switches or any transmitting
devices.
6. It also measures the flow rate of corrosive fluids.
7. There is an availability of viscosity-immune floats.
8. It can be used in some light slurry services.
Disadvantages
1. It is difficult to handle the glass tube type.
2. It must be mounted vertically.
3. It is not suitable for pulsating services.