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Extended Lee model for the turbine meter & calibrations with surrogate fluids



Jodie G. Pope, John D. Wright, Aaron N. Johnson, Michael R. Moldover


We developed a physical model termed the “extended Lee model” for calibrating turbine meters to account for 1) fluid drag on the rotor, 2) bearing static drag and 3) bearing viscous drag. We tested the extended Lee model using a dual rotor, 2.5 cm diameter turbine meter and accurate flow measurements spanning a 200:1 flow range (50  Re  109,000) with liquid mixtures spanning a 42:1 kinematic viscosity range (1.2 × 106 m2/s  ν  50 × 106 m2/s). For Re > 3500, the model correlates the volumetric flow data within 0.2 %. For Re  3500, deviations from the model increase, reaching 3.6 % at the lowest flows. The same data has a maximum deviation of 17 % from the commonly used Strouhal versus Roshko (or Re) correlation. For all the mixtures tested, the static bearing friction dominates the rotor’s behavior when Re ~ 7700), where the Strouhal versus Roshko correlation works well, the PG+W calibrations had an RMS deviation of 0.056 % from the Stoddard solvent calibration; this is well within the long-term reproducibility of the meter. We confirmed this result in the viscosity independent range of a 1.25 cm diameter turbine meter using Stoddard solvent and a 1.2 × 106 m2/s ν PG+W mixture; these two calibrations agreed within 0.02 %. Therefore, turbine meters can be calibrated with environmentally benign solutions of PG+W and used with more hazardous fluids without an increased uncertainty. The present results also show that using turbine meters at Re below the viscosity independent range of the calibration curve will lead to large errors, unless one accounts for the temperature
Flow Measurement and Instrumentation


Turbine meter, calibration, physical


Pope, J. , Wright, J. , Johnson, A. and Moldover, M. (2012), Extended Lee model for the turbine meter & calibrations with surrogate fluids, Flow Measurement and Instrumentation, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017