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Title: A Multipath Ultrasonic Meter With Reducing Nozzle For Improved Performance In The LAMINAR/TURBULENT Transition Region
Author: Gregor J Brown Terry Cousins Donald R Augenstein Herbert Estrada
Source: 2009 North Sea Flow Measurement Workshop
Year Published: 2009
Abstract: With rising worldwide energy demands and depletion of existing conventional oil reserves the production of heavy oil is becoming increasingly common. The high viscosity of heavy oils presents measurement challenges for most types of flow meter. For example it limits the maximum flow of PD meters, reduces the turndown of turbine meters and can result in measurement errors in Coriolis meters. Ultrasonic meters can be used for measurement of high viscosity oils. However, in order to do so with high accuracy they have to cope with increased signal attenuation and changing velocity profiles through the transition from turbulent to laminar flow. This paper explains the technical challenges faced when using ultrasonic meters for high viscosity/low Reynolds number flows and shows how these conditions can adversely affect the performance of some designs of ultrasonic meter. Modelling using velocity profile data and analysis of meter diagnostic data is presented in order to illustrate the physical processes that are at work. Test data is presented to demonstrate the performance of conventional and improved ultrasonic meter designs. The improved ultrasonic meter design incorporates a reducing nozzle to flatten and stabilise the velocity profile in the transition region. The impact of this design feature on permanent pressure loss is also evaluated.

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