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Title: Validation Of The CFD Method For Determining The Measurement Error In Flare Gas Ultrasonic Meter Installations
Author: Jeff Gibson
Source: 2009 North Sea Flow Measurement Workshop
Year Published: 2009
Abstract: This paper discusses the results of an ongoing project assessing the effectiveness of using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling to predict the installation error on a singlepath flare gas ultrasonic flowmeter. The work is being funded through the National Measurement Offices (NMO) Engineering and Flow Programme ( and will be detailed in TUV NEL report 2008/301 1. The CFD simulations were compared with experiments undertaken in TUV NELs National Standard Atmospheric Flow Measurement Facility. Tests were performed using a 1.5D-radius single bend placed at various pipe diameters (D) from the inlet flange of the meter. The experimental work was conducted using ultrasonic transducers supplied by GE Sensing. The transducers were installed in a specially-made 12- inch meter spool to allow the error to be assessed at the commonly used diametric and midradius positions. The meter was tested from 0.25 m/s to 30 m/s corresponding to a range of Reynolds numbers of 5,000 to 600,000, the Reynolds numbers at the lower end being such that the flow was likely to be in laminar-turbulent transition. Such flows are not uncommon in emergency flare systems during routine day-to-day flaring. The flow simulations were undertaken using the commercial CFD package FluentTM. The work described in this paper demonstrates the capabilities of the TUV NEL low-pressure test facility for determining the installation error in flare gas ultrasonic meters. In addition, CFD modelling has proved to be a very useful tool for determining the installation errors, also helping to interpret and rationalise the experimental data. A follow-up project is underway to further investigate the issues raised by the initial phase of work and this will be briefly discussed in this paper.

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