Licentiate seminar

Flow Measuring Techniques in Steady and Pulsating Compressible Flows

Defendant Main Advisor Extra Advisor Date
Fredrik Laurantzon Henrik Alfredsson 2010-12-17

Björn Lindgren, Scania CV, Södertälje

Evaluation committee


This thesis deals with flow measuring techniques applied on steady and pulsatingflows. Specifically, it is focused on gas flows where density changes canbe significant, i.e. compressible flows. In such flows only the mass flow ratehas a significance and not the volume flow rate since the latter depends onthe pressure. The motivation for the present study is found in the use of flowmeters for various purposes in the gas exchange system for internal combustionengines. Applications can be found for instance regarding measurements of airflow to the engine, or measurements of the amount of exhaust gas recirculation.However the scope of thesis is wider than this, since the thesis aims toinvestigate the response of flow meters to pulsating flows. The study is mainlyexperimental, but it also includes an introduction and discussion of several inindustry, common flow measuring techniques.The flow meters were studied using a newly developed flow rig, designedfor measurement of steady and pulsating air flow of mass flow rates and pulsefrequencies typically found in the gas exchange system of cars and smallertrucks. Flow rates are up to about 200 g/s and pulsation frequencies from 0 Hz(i.e. steady flow) up to 80 Hz. The study included the following flow meters:hot-film mass flow meter, venturi flowmeter, Pitot tube, vortex flowmeter andturbine flowmeter. The performance of these meters were evaluated at bothsteady and pulsating conditions. Furthermore, the flow under both steady andpulsating conditions were characterized by means of a resistance-wire basedmass flow meter, with the ability to perform time resolved measurements ofboth the mass flux ρu, and the stagnation temperature T0.Experiments shows that, for certain flow meters, a quasi-steady assumptionis fairly well justified at pulsating flow conditions. This means that thefundamental equations describing the steady flow, for each instant of time,is applicable also in the pulsating flow. In the set-up, back-flow occurred atcertain pulse frequencies, which can result in highly inaccurate output fromcertain flow meters, depending on the measurement principle. For the purposeof finding means to determine when back flow prevails, LDV measurementswere also carried out. These measurements were compared with measurementsusing a vortex flow meter together with a new signal processing technique basedon wavelet analysis. The comparison showed that this technique may have apotential to measure pulsating flow rates accurately.Descriptors: Flow measuring, compressible flow, steady flow, pulsating flow,hot-wire anemometry, cold-wire anemometry.
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