Geometry Refinement of Venturi Flow Meters to Reduce Energy Losses in Water and Air Applications

Wells, Keith (2022) Geometry Refinement of Venturi Flow Meters to Reduce Energy Losses in Water and Air Applications. [USQ Project]

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The Venturi flow meter provides various measurement options in piped systems for liquids, gas, steam and slurries. Measuring fluid flow with a Venturi flow meter results in permanent pressure loss due to the friction on the walls of the meter, cone angles, geometry transition points and mounting orientations. The permanent pressure drop leads to an energy loss and increases the power requirements of the system. In some industries, measurement accuracy is a priority, which means that the discharge coefficient (Cd) is the crucial value for consideration. In other industries, where flow measurement accuracy is not as critical or the focus is on reducing energy loss, the relative pressure loss coefficient (ζ) becomes the primary value of concern. This research proposes an evaluation tool, the Venturi Performance Index (VPI), to identify geometries that reduce energy loss and improve flow measurement accuracy.

The design of a Venturi meter, with respect to flow measurement accuracy and energy loss, is well established and comprehensively documented. However, past literature does not provide an evaluation tool that considers the relationship between Cd and ζ or the effect of mounting orientation in selecting suitable geometries. The scope of most of the previous research is narrow due to the unavailability of Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulation for verification. This research aims to develop geometries to reduce energy losses and improve flow measurement accuracy compared to the classical Venturi flow meter design described in ISO 5167. The research will identify improved Venturi meter geometry for water for common industrial mounting orientations and air for horizontal applications. Eleven 50 mm internal diameter 3D Venturi models are created using beta ratio (β) values of 0.4, 0.55 and 0.7 with various convergent and divergent cone angles using Autodesk Fusion 360 software. CFD simulations are performed on each model using ANSYS Fluent software. The models are 3D printed using a resin, and experiments are performed using similar parameters to the simulation. The simulation results are validated with experimental data and verified with the ISO 5167 standard and reputable literature.

The research suggests suitable Venturi meter designs for water and air applications relative to the VPI ranking. The key findings from the research indicate that the Venturi meter with the largest β value and the lowest divergent cone angle achieved the highest ranking according to the VPI for all inclination angles for water. The study also demonstrated that higher β values and low divergent cone angles result in higher ranking with respect to the VPI for air applications. The analysis of the considered geometries indicated that the meter with a β of 0.7 and cone angles of 10° achieved the highest VPI ranking for all mounting orientations for water and was the highest performing Venturi for horizontally mounted air applications. The results demonstrate that the highest-ranking Venturi meter reduced energy consumption by approximately 72% compared to the ISO 5167 for water and air applications. This research will benefit the industry by reducing the power requirement while providing suitable flow measurement accuracy in fluid transportation systems.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Supervisors: Sharifian-Barforoush, Ahmad
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 23:57
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2023 22:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: beta ratio (β); cone angles; convergent; CFD, divergent; pressure loss; relative pressure loss coefficient (ζ); Venturi flow meter; Venturi Performance Index (VPI)

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