A Review of Electrical Impedance Techniques for the Measurement of Multiphase Flows

[+] Author and Article Information
S. L. Ceccio, D. L. George

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121

J. Fluids Eng 118(2), 391-399 (Jun 01, 1996) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2817391 History: Received January 16, 1995; Revised December 04, 1995; Online December 04, 2007


Various developments in the use of electrical impedance methods in multiphase flow are reviewed. Because the components of a multiphase flow often exhibit different electrical properties, a variety of probes have been developed to study such flows by measuring impedance in the region of interest. Nonintrusive devices are used to measure spatially averaged flow properties, such as void fraction. Local probes have been developed to measure a variety of pointwise flow quantities, including film thickness in annular flow, local void fraction in dispersed flows, bubble and particle sizes, and flow velocities. Such impedance probes are usually easy to build and use, and can have a high frequency response. However, the spatial resolution of the probes may be limited, calibration may be difficult, and the accuracy of some probes may be limited to specific phase distributions. Researchers are now using electric fields to reconstruct the impedance distribution within a measurement volume via Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT). EIT systems employ voltage and current measurements on the boundary of a domain to create a representation of the impedance distribution within the domain. EIT inversion algorithms are discussed, and the application of EIT to multiphase flows is reviewed. The benefits and limitations of EIT systems are also discussed.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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