Theoretical Analysis of Experimentally Observed Perplexing Calibration Characteristics of Ball-in-Vortex Flow-Meter

[+] Author and Article Information
S. P. Mahulikar1

Department of Aerospace Engineering,  IIT Bombay, P.O. IIT Powai, Mumbai-400076, Indiaspm@aero.iitb.ac.in

S. K. Sane

Department of Aerospace Engineering,  IIT Bombay, P.O. IIT Powai, Mumbai-400076, India


Corresponding author.

J. Fluids Eng 127(5), 1021-1028 (May 05, 2005) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1988342 History: Received March 02, 2004; Revised May 05, 2005

This investigation analyzes the calibration nonlinearity of the ball-in-vortex flow-meter, designed to work on the principle of a rotating sphere in and due to a vortex flow. The comparison of this flow-meter reading with the standard flow-meter indicates the existence of different calibration regimes, bifurcated by a sharp change in slope of the calibration curve. Based on the governing mechanics of this flow-meter, this paper explains this nonlinearity, and proposes its mathematical form. In particular, the bifurcation in calibration characteristics is attributed to the change in the surface contact frictional force, due to translation of the ball. The mathematical model captures the various calibration regimes associated with this translation, from one plane of rotation in the flow-meter to another, or from one periphery to another. Thus, calibration nonlinearity of this flow-meter can be fully comprehended through its governing mechanics, and harnessed for flow measurement.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of typical ball-in-vortex flowmeter (3)

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Figure 2

Schematic sketch illustrating operation of BiVFM

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Figure 3

Block diagram of experimental rig

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Figure 4

Plot of Cd versus Re, for the bell-mouth

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Figure 5

Free body diagram of moving ball in BiVFM

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Figure 6

Illustration of BiVFM calibration based on theoretical analysis. (a) Calibration for observation set No. 1. (b) Calibration for observation set No. 2.




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