Fluid Motion in Ultrasonic Flowmeter Cavities

[+] Author and Article Information
Tore Lo̸land, Lars R. Sætran

Department of Mechanics, Thermo-and Fluiddynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Kolbjo̸rn Hejes vei 2, N-7034 Trondheim, Norway

Robert Olsen, Inge R. Gran

Applied Thermodynamics and Fluid Dynamics, Sintef Energy Research, Kolbjo̸rn Hejes vei 1b, N-7034 Trondheim, Norway

Reidar Sakariassen

Statoil, K-lab, P.O. Box 308, N-5500 Haugesund, Norway

J. Fluids Eng 121(2), 422-426 (Jun 01, 1999) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2822225 History: Received July 13, 1998; Revised January 26, 1999; Online January 22, 2008


The ultrasonic flow meter is a newcomer among flow meters for measuring large quantities of natural gas. It has notable advantages compared to traditional meters. The ultrasonic flow meter is much more compact and has a wider dynamic range for flow measurements than the orifice plate meter. When manufactured, the ultrasonic sensors are often set back from the pipe wall in a cavity. When the fluid flows past the cavities, a secondary flow of vortices with characteristic size equal to the cavity width is established inside the cavities. The aim of this study has been to investigate the influence of this secondary flow on the accuracy of the ultrasonic flow meter. Both measurements and numerical simulations of the cavity flow have been conducted. It has been found from the present work, that the influence of the flow in the cavities on the measurements increases nonlinearly with the pipe flow rate.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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