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Special Ultrasonic Flowmeters for In-Situ Diagnosis of Swirl and Cross Flow



Tsyh Tyan Yeh, Pedro I. Espina


The presence of non-ideal flow profiles is known to cause significant metering inaccuracies in conventional pipelines. The characteristics of secondary flows are also important for mixer design where flow non-ideality is highly desired. Advances in ultrasonic technology and computing capabilities offer prospects for detecting secondary flows in pipelines and improving flow meter performance. This paper describes ultrasonic flow measurements made using dual-sensor, travel-time techniques. Multi-reflection flow meters in circular pipe are discussed in detail. Depending on the sensor and acoustic path arrangements, ultrasonic flow meters can be designed to measure different flow velocity components.Conventional ultrasonic flow meters, having sensors located at both downstream and upstream positions, are used to measure the flow. This work evaluates the prospects of performing non-ideal secondary flow measurement. The sensors and the acoustic path lie on a plane normal to the pipe, and thus, no axial flow component contaminates the measured signal. Direct mode is used to measure the cross flow component, while multi-reflection mode is used to detect the swirl intensity. The performance characteristics of ultrasonic flow meters are investigated numerically using both analytical velocity profiles and CFD results for the flows downstream from the single elbow and double elbows out-of-plane. Results show that specially designed dual sensor ultrasonic flow meters could be useful in calibration facilities for in-situ diagnosis of swirl and cross flow in non-ideal installations.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of ASME FEDSM'01
Conference Dates
May 29-June 1, 2001
Conference Location
New Orleans, LA
Conference Title
2001 ASME Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting


flow meter, sensors, ultrasonic


, T. and Espina, P. (2001), Special Ultrasonic Flowmeters for In-Situ Diagnosis of Swirl and Cross Flow, Proceedings of ASME FEDSM'01, New Orleans, LA (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2001, Updated February 19, 2017