Date of Award:

8-2020

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee

Michael C. Johnson

Committee

Zachary B. Sharp

Committee

Bethany Neilson

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to evaluate the influence of a tee junction on flow rate measurement of a Venturi flowmeter installed downstream of the branch of a tee. Accuracy in flow measurement is important to organizations where miscalculated flow rates can add up to be millions of dollars in either lost revenue, overcharges to the client, or improper system operation. This research used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to determine ratios by which the manufacturer’s straight-line calibrated 𝐶𝑑 (discharge coefficient) can be adjusted to improve the accuracy of the flow measurement when the Venturi is installed on the branch of a tee. Physical laboratory data was obtained for a 6-in. Venturi in a straight-line, followed by installation on the branch of a tee at zero pipe diameters and five pipe diameters downstream. CFD modeling was then used.

Results show the flow rate measurement was less affected when all flow was entering the tee branch and more affected when less flow was entering the tee branch. While physical laboratory calibration is still the best way to get the most accurate flow measurement performance for a Venturi, using CFD to create contour plots of 𝐶𝑑 ratios to adjust manufacturer given 𝐶𝑑s over a range of Reynolds numbers and flow splits entering the tee could be an option.

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