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FLOW RATE MEASUREMENT

PRELAB QUESTIONS

1. What are the examples of flow measurement techniques that use obstruction.

2. Draw the cross section of a venturi meter and label the throat, upstream, and recovery cone.

4. What is discharge coefficient ? What are C d for orifice plate and venturi meter ?

Jun 2002 49

MESB 203 Lab No.6

Flow Rate Measurement

1 Objective

In this experiment, students will learn different types of flow meters devices to measure liquid

(water) volume flow rate. The flow meters used on the apparatus are venturi meter, variable area

meter and orifice plate. From these three devices, you will be able to compare the advantages and

accuracy of each device.

1.1 Theory

The theory behind this experiment is similar to the air flow rig in experiment 4 and 5. From the

pressure drop on the orifice or the venturi meter, the flowrate of the fluid can be calculated.

Applying Bernoulli equation:

V12 P V2 P

1 Z1 2 2 Z 2

2g g 2g g

For same elevation, Z1 = Z2

V12 P V2 P

1 2 2

2g g 2g g

P1 P V2 V2

2 2 1

g g 2g 2g

1

g

P1 P2 1

V 2 V12

2g 2

For an ideal flow :

Q A1V1 A 2V2

A2

V1 V2

A1

1 1

Substitute V1 int o (p1 p 2 ) ( V22 V12 )gives :

g 2g

2

1 1 2 A2

(p1 p 2 ) V V2

g 2g 2 A1 2

V22 A 2

2

p1 p 2 1

2 A1

Now, we will write the above in term of V2:

2(p1 p 2 )

V22

2

A2

1

A1

2(p1 p 2 )

V2

2

A2

1

Jun 2002 A1 50

MESB 203 Lab No.6

2(p1 p 2 )

Qideal A 2

2

A2

1

A1

The above is for an ideal flow. For venturi tube and the orifice, the equation must be multiplied

with the coefficient of discharge, Cd:

Q actual Cd Qideal

2(p1 p 2 )

Q actual Cd A 2

2

A2

1

A1

Where,

Cd : discharge coefficient

Q : volume flowrate (m3/s)

A2 : throat diameter for venturi, or orifice diameter for orifice plate

A1 : upstream pipe diameter

P : (P1-P2) pressure drop across the venturi meter or the orifice (gh)

Cd = 0.63 for the orifice plate

What is really a discharge coefficient? You have observed in the previous experiments on the

airflow rig where the discharge coefficient is always used in relation to the orifice plate and the

nozzle. Similarly, discharge coefficient will be applied to venturi tube too. Discharge coefficient

basically tells how much the actual flow defers from the ideal flow:

Qactual

Cd

Qideal

A smaller value of discharge coefficient tells that the actual flow is smaller compare to

the ideal or theoretical value. The discharge coefficient for the orifice plate is 0.63 while

for the venturi meter it is 0.98. There is more resistance to the flow imposed by the orifice

plate, and subsequently it causes some loses through the meter. This loss can be observed

from the large pressure drop across the orifice compares to the pressure drop across the

venturi meter.

1.3 Apparatus

Jun 2002 51

MESB 203 Lab No.6

The hydraulic bench and the apparatus are as shown above. The flow meter apparatus is set up

on top of the hydraulic bench. The apparatus above consists of venturi meter, variable area meter

and orifice plate and 8 bank manometer. Pressure readings of the water flow will be taken from the

8 bank manometer.

Venturi meter

Upstream pipe diameter = 31.75 mm

hence A1 = 7.92 x 10-4 m2

Throat dia. = 15 mm

hence A2 = 1.77 x 10-4 m2

Upstream taper = 21 0 inclusive

Downstream taper = 14 0 inclusive

Orifice plate

Upstream pipe diameter = 31.75 mm

hence A1 = 7.92 x 10-4 m2

Orifice diameter = 20 mm

hence A2 = 3.14 x 10-4 m2

1.4 Procedure

1. Observe that the apparatus is placed on the hydraulic bench. The inlet pipe of the apparatus is

connected to the hydraulic bench supply, while the apparatus outlet pipe is connected to the

pipe going to the volumeter tank.

2. Note that the hydraulic bench inlet valve is in shut position.

3. Switch on the pump then slowly open the hydraulic bench inlet valve.

4. At the same time open the flow control valve, the outlet valve on the apparatus.

5. To disperse air trapped in the flow system, close flow control valve, open air bleed screw and

prime manometer and tappings. When done, close back the air bleed screw.

6. Switch off the pump and adjust the levels of the manometer by adjusting the air bleed screw. Try

to get initial manometer level at a comfortable level so that when experiment is carried out there

Jun 2002 52

MESB 203 Lab No.6

will be enough room for the water column in the manometer to move up and down. Close back

the air bleed screw when done. Switch on the pump again.

7. Adjust the inlet and outlet valves so that variable meter gives the flow rate of 2 Liter/min. Record

the manometer reading. Increase the flow rate until 22 Liter/min.

8. Measure a certain volume of the reservoir, using stop watch measure the time taken to fill that

portion.

9. Repeat step 7 to get another set of data.

1.5 Results

Get the manometer readings for the respective flow rates of the variable meter.

Table 1 Experiment Result

Variable

Meter

Flow rate Manometer Readings (mm)

(Liter/min)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

2

5

10

12

15

18

20

22

Manometer 1 minus Manometer 2 = Venturi Reading

Manometer 1 minus Manometer 3 = Loss In Venturi

Manometer 4 minus Manometer 5 = Loss In Variable Area

Manometer 6 minus Manometer 7 = Orifice Plate Reading

Manometer 6 minus Manometer 8 = Loss In Orifice Plate

From the readings obtained on the Venturi meter and orifice plate calculate the volume flow rate

using the basic equation with relevant Cd factor.

Note that (p1 - p2) in the equation refers to Venturi Reading (Manometer 1 minus Manometer 2),

and NOT Loss In Venturi (Manometer 1 minus Manometer 3). Similarly for Orifice Plate, use

Orifice Plate Reading.

Calculate the actual flow rate using the volume and time measured.

Don't forget to change the manometer column readings from mm to m.

Compare these calculated values and the reading on the variable area meter with the actual flow

rate. Use same units.

Calculate the velocity at point 2 (venturi meter) and 7 (orifice plate) (Use formula: velocity=volume

flow rate/cross section area) and discuss.

Also calculate the Reynolds number at these two points. Re d = Dv/,,where = absolute

viscosity = 8.937 x l0-4 Pa.s and D is the diameter of the holes.

Question for discussion

When calculating (p1 - p2) for the venturi meter, why is the reading for p2 is taken at the venturi

throat and not at the tapping after the throat?

How does the variable area meter work?

How to calculate the volume flow rate using stop watch?

What sort of losses do you think occur on the venturi meter and the orifice plate?

Why the heights should different in relation to the others in the manometer?

Why velocity at P2 and P7 are different?

Jun 2002 53

MESB 203 Lab No.6

Variable Conversion Venturi Oriface Flowrate

Meter to Flowrate Flowrate using

Flow rate stopwatch

(Liter/min) m3/s m3/s m3/s m3/s

2

5

10

12

15

18

20

22

Variable Venturi Oriface Stopwatch

Meter % % %

Flow rate

(Liter/min)

2

5

10

12

15

18

20

22

Variable Velocity at Velocity at Reynolds Reynolds

Meter P2 P7 Number Number

Flow rate m/s m/s at at

(Liter/min) P2 P7

2

5

10

12

15

18

20

22

Jun 2002 54

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