Listening to the water

Using acoustic signals to improve flow measurements

Placing a flow meter close to a flow obstruction in a pipe (such as downstream of an elbow or T-junction) often results in inaccurate flow rate measurements. Unlike a straight pipe, these areas of pipes are asymmetric and contain vortices, resulting in high errors. As such, the placement of flow meter devices is currently restricted to positions with an undisturbed flow field. However, such positions can be difficult to find. To address this problem, we worked with HydroVision GmbH to develop a new acoustic flow meter using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling. With the help of acoustic signals, the new device can deliver accurate flow measurements even in disturbed flow fields. This allows for more flexibility when constructing pipe systems as long, straight sections are no longer required. Customisable, it can be adapted to the specific needs of the user. In addition, it allows for real-time processing of information, permitting users to determine exactly how much water is flowing through their pipes.

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