CEE 410: Hydraulic Engineering Lab 2 Flow Measurement Test at Unit Well 30 November 26 th Tyler Gates Bill Hussey Megan Long Senn Mettel

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1 CEE 410: Hydraulic Engineering Lab 2 Flow Measurement Test at Unit Well 30 November 26 th 2014 Tyler Gates Bill Hussey Megan Long Senn Mettel

2 Introduction This laboratory experiment involved the collecting collection of field data from Unit Well 30 of the Madison Water Utility (UW30). Additionally, a literature review of various water level sensors, pressure sensors, and flow meters was conducted. The purpose of these exercises and analysis were to increase understanding of flow meter principles and operation, as well as to compare accuracy of several different flow meter types used to measure discharge into the system. Flows were recorded under varying steady flow rates in order to evaluate the effects of measurement and data analysis errors on the calibration and operation of these devices. Results from this analysis comprise the basis of recommendations presented for flow meter maintenance or replacement in Unit Well 30. Literature Review In order to maintain a water distribution system it is important to be able to measure certain properties in the hydraulic system. This report will look at instruments used to measure the three following properties: water level in a tank, pressure, and flow in a pipe. These three properties can be measured by several different instruments which are described below. Commented [g1]: Good. Nice to see a purpose and nice to see it portrays the actual intent. Commented [g2]: Overall, a good job but make sure you insert citations into the text. You have a reference list at the end of the document, but you need to point out where those references are actually used. Level sensors Level sensors are used to detect the water level in a tank, or reservoir to maintain the level necessary for use. These instruments include floats, displacers, and admittance probes. Floats are fairly simplistic as they only require a buoyant material tethered to a rod with an electric switch. Figure 1 below is an image from the pumping station manual that depicts what a typical flotation sensor would look like. Floats are a common way to measure the level in a reservoir at a relatively cheap cost. The flotation sensor does have several drawbacks to its use, namely the necessity to replace these floats every two to three years due to wearing caused by the flexing wire. The floats can be used in either water storage or wastewater applications with careful design to ensure the floats are not hindered by debris floating in the water. This sensor can be a reliable way to measure when pumps should be turned on or off when reaching the minimum or maximum elevation in the reservoir. There is no need to calibrate these sensors as they are only on when the water lifts the buoy up or lets the buoy fall as the level changes. The floatation sensors are a popular choice because of both the simplicity and reliability. Commented [g3]: No need to tell the reader where to find the figure. Just list the number and it will be easy to find. Commented [g4]: Engineers are often encouraged to avoid this word because it can often be perceived as an indicator of quality in addition to cost. Low is a better word.

3 Figure 1. Float level sensors installed on a rod in a reservoir. Another mechanical level sensor is a displacer that uses an object that is denser than the liquid being measured. As the level rises the object loses apparent weight which will compress a spring activated switch that can trigger pumps to turn on or off. These sensors can be used in a reservoir to maintain the minimum and maximum tank elevations allowing the pump to turn on and off when needed. An admittance probe is essentially a rod that experiences a low power and high frequency voltage. A current then flows between the rod and the ground reference which can be the fluid itself or the ground plane on the wall of the tank. As the level of the liquid in the tank changes the current also varies and the water level can then be measured. These probes have no moving parts which make them great for transmitting a signal to a receiver. As they are electrical in nature they do have a mechanical readout, rather an electronic indicator is needed to display the water level. Pressure sensors: Bourdon Tube Bourdon Tube pressure sensors were used in this lab to calculate the head delivered to the flow by the pump. Bourdon tubes are very common, and they consist of a cleverly simple mechanism. When fluid pressure is allowed to enter the curved Bourdon Tube, the curved tube deforms. The more pressure, the more deformation. This deformation can be mechanically linked to an indicator needle mounted to a dial with pressure readings, or it could deliver varying voltages to a processor via a strain gauge. Either way, the deformation is correlated to a pressure in the tube. A basic schematic is shown in Figure 2.

4 Figure 2. Bourdon Tube with mechanical connection to indicating needle. Bourdon Tubes generally incorporate a diaphragm seal to keep corrosive fluids out of the gauge itself. The diaphragm seal transfers pressure to the guagegauge, which is typically filled with glycerin. Bourdon Tubes are very common in water and wastewater systems for pressures greater than 15 psi. Performance of a Bourdon Tube could be evaluated by connecting it to a known depth of a known fluid and comparing the gauge pressure to the known pressure calculated from the depth and density of the fluid. Flow sensors Commented [g5]: It would have been nice to see something on pressure transducers, which can also act as level indicators. Magmeter An electromagnetic flowmeter, also called a magmeter, uses Farraday s Law of Induction to determine changing velocities of the fluid in a pipe by measuring a voltage drop. Magnets sit above and below the tube of the magmeter and induce a uniform electromagnetic field in the cross section of the pipe (See Figure 3). A conductive liquid, such as water or wastewater, flowing perpendicular to the magnetic field induces a voltage drop, which is measured by electrodes in the side of the tube. The measured voltage drop is directly proportional to the velocity of the fluid, which, using the known cross sectional area of the tube, can be converted to a volumetric flow rate.

5 Figure 3: Electromagnetic field perpendicular to flow through pipe in a magnetic flowmeter Electromagnetic flowmeters are one of the most accurate flow meter types, with an error range of 0.5% to 1% because it is relatively easy to measure small voltage drops precisely, and there are no moving parts to create disturbance or variability in measurement. Magmeters are ideal for many different liquids, including wastewater because there are no internal parts that can be damaged by wastes, and they are accurate with any viscosity of a conductive liquid. They can cost up to two times more than other flow meters because of the intricate electrical equipment, but their precision, minimal headloss, and low required maintenance make them a sound investment for measuring flow in wastewater or drinking water applications. Acoustic Flowmeter Acoustic flow meters, also known as ultrasonic flow meters, use an ultrasonic pressure wave to determine average velocity of a pipe flow. Multiplying by the cross sectional area of the pipe then gives the flow rate. Doppler meters are only useful in wastewater applications, as they require particles in the fluid to function. Therefore, they will not be discussed further. Transittime ultrasonic flowmeters, such as the one used in this lab, are very accurate in clear water applications. Transit time ultrasonic flowmeters, such as the one used in this lab, are very accurate in clear water applications. Transit time ultrasonic flowmeters are essentially pairs of transducers mounted on opposite sides of a pipeline, offset at a 30 to 45 angle to the pipe centerline, which send ultrasonic signals back and forth. Figure 4 displays the general setup. The pulse which travels downstream moves slightly faster than the pulse which travels in the opposite direction. The difference between these two travel times is directly proportional to the velocity of the flow.

6 Figure 4. Transit time ultrasonic flowmeter installed in a pipe section. Orifice Plate Flowmeter The orifice plate flow meter works based on the Law of Conservation of Energy and a measured differential pressure across the plates in a pipeline. The plates are arranged to create a smaller diameter in the pipe which causes an increase in velocity. An increase in velocity is caused by a decrease in pressure over the plate. Figure 5 shows the streamlines in the pipe and what happens when they enter the plate. The stream lines diameter entering the plate is larger than the streamline leaving the plate (known as the Vena Contracta) and needs to be corrected for in the measuring device. The device used to measure the velocity is actually a form of pressure meter known as a pitot tube (the loop below the pipe). Using Bernoulli s principle the difference in pressure is proportional to the square of the velocity which allows for a computer to calculate the velocity based off of the differential pressure. The major advantage of the orifice meter is the ability to determine flow without fluid flow calibration. The methods used to determine the flow are well established and the measured values are easy since it is only two pressures. The simplicity and reliability of this meter make it a widely used meter choice. One drawback is that the meter induces a pressure loss over the plates and restricts flow, which increases the head loss in the system. Commented [g6]: I would think the increase in velocity is caused by the small area to travel through and the need to maintain constant flow for an incompressible fluid. The increase in velocity would cause the pressure drop to maintain constant energy. Commented [g7]: Good. What were the drawbacks of the other flow meters? Figure 5. Orifice plate meter installed in a pipe section.

7 Flowmeter Selection Process There are a lot of considerations to take into account when selecting a meter to use. First would be the actual fluid to be flowing through the meter and anything that might be inside the water like particulates. The viscosity of the fluid is a very important parameter to consider as it may influence the accuracy of some meters such as the turbine meter. The second consideration would be the conditions the fluid will be under while flowing through the pipe. The temperature, pressure, and the variability of the system all affect the meters ability to accurately read flow. Which leads directly to the third consideration being the accuracy of the meter itself. Depending on how accurate of a measurement is needed there are meters capable of providing very accurate to moderately accurate measurements. In the case of a turbine meter the accuracy is 0.25% of the actual rate. Finally the installation process and special enclosures for the meter must be considered in the design of the system and selection. This overview on meter selection was found from the Emerson Electric Companies website on flowmeters. Commented [g8]: How would one select pressure and level sensors? Commented [g9]: I assume cost is a factor in selection, too. Experimental Methods Madison Water Utility s UW30 is located at 1133 Moorland Rd., Madison, WI. The experimental data was were collected on site between 1:30pm and 4:30pm on Wednesday, October 15, At this time, five different steady flow (discharge) rates were established by a City of Madison Water Utility employee. Flow rates were reduced by changing the speed at which the booster pump operated. This was done by reducing the frequency of electricity supplied to the motor from its maximum 60Hz to 59Hz, 55Hz, 52Hz, and 47Hz. Flow rates were measured using two different methods: (1) an electromagnetic (EM) flow meter built in to the piping inside UW30 (See Figure 3), and (2) an acoustic flow meter which was attached to the discharge pipe immediately before the EM meter. Each flow condition was maintained long enough for at least 3 data points to be recorded (ZTank, QEM, QA). The goal of this analysis was to evaluate measurement errors of two different flow meters used to record discharge from UW30 storage tank to the grid. In order to determine these errors, water elevation in the storage tank was recorded for the duration of the test. True discharge (Q T) was then calculated based on the elevation change in the tank (ΔZ Tank) over a given time (See equation [1] in Appendix B). This actual discharge was then compared to the values measured by both flow meters in order to properly calibrate both flow meters. Measurement errors for both flow meters were also estimated using the repeated measurements for each flow rate. Commented [g10]: The word data is usually plural. Commented [g11]: So, this is a third method for measuring flow rate.

8 Area of the storage tank at UW30 (A Tank) was estimated using areas taken from as built drawings (see Figure 9 in Appendix A). Square footage was found to be approximately square feet. This number constitutes the basis for calculation of true flow rates used throughout this report. Commented [g12]: Be careful in reporting precision in your numbers. Figure 6. Unit Well control panel showing configuration of MWU UW30 including storage tank and location of flow meter. Commented [g13]: Nice figure. Just be sure to reference figures in your text so that the reader understands why it is there.

9 Experimental Results Average true flow rates (QT) were calculated using ΔZTank, Δt, and area of the unit well tank (A Tank) as described in the methods section and Appendix B. Results are displayed in Table 1: Flow Conditions (Hz to motor) Time Interval Z tank (ft) Q EM (gpm) Q A (gpm) Q T (gpm) average Q T (gpm) Percent Error Magmeter % Acoustic % 1: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Formatted: Subscript Formatted: Subscript Formatted: Subscript Formatted: Subscript Formatted: Subscript Table 1. Results of experiment in order to compare flow rates from two flow meter types to calculated flow rate. Flow conditions were altered for purposes outside of the scope of this report. Time intervals were determined for reasons not related to flow meter analysis. Values highlighted in red were not included in average calculations due to their uncharacteristic nature which is likely due to errors in timekeeping or data collection. Commented [g14]: Ok. Commented [g15]: I wonder if the 47 Hz test has the same problem.

10 Flowmeter Comparison Electromagnetic Acoustic Averate True (Calculated) 2250 Measured Flow Rate [gpm] :40 1:48 1:55 2:02 2:09 2:16 2:24 2:31 2:38 2:45 Figure 7. Flowmeter comparison showing readings recorded from EM/Acoustic flow meters, and their relationship to calculated (average) true flow rate under specific flow conditions (see table 1 for conditions). Time Figure 7 shows a strong correlation between all three flows compared, suggesting both of the flowmeters used in this exercise give a good approximation of actual flow rate. Based on data displayed in Figure 7, the electromagnetic reading is always slightly high, and the acoustic reading is always slightly low. For the last flow condition tested, both readings were significantly lower than true flow rate. The electromagnetic and acoustic flow meters may be calibrated to better reflect true conditions. Because observed flow rates for discrete points vary largely from the true average, a correction factor (Cf) was chosen for a more accurate calibration. Cf was calculated by taking the average ratio of measured to true flow for each data point collected. This was done for each flow meter used; C f close to one suggests that observed and calculated values are already fairly close in both cases: Electromagnetic: C f e = Q T C f e (Q E) Acoustic: Cf a = QT Cf a (QA) Commented [g16]: Correlations are best shown by plotting one variable against the other. In this case, plotting flow meter readings on the y axis versus volumetric change over time on the x axis would show a correlation. I can see they follow the same pattern as you ve drawn the figure, but the correlation approach would be an improvement. Commented [g17]: Always quantify when you have the ability to do so. Commented [g18]: Not sure what this means Commented [g19]: I agree with what you re doing here but I wouldn t call it a correction factor. It s really an average measure of performance. Based on the numbers you have, it looks like the magmeter was 1% high on average and the acoustic meter was 2% low on average. It s worth noting that the Public Service Commission has standards for flow meter performance. If the flow meter is outside the allowable range, it must be replaced. Commented [g20]: Again, be careful with the level of precision you report.

11 Conclusions & Recommendations Commented [g21]: Seems reasonable, although I think the low flow rate condition deserved a little more thought. In this lab, flow readings from an electromagnetic flow meter as well as an acoustic flow meter were compared to flows calculated from water levels in a large tank. Literature on various flow meters, pressure sensors, and level sensors was reviewed. Given our experimental results, both flow meters were shown to be operating in desirable manners, with the only problematic results occurring at very low flow rates (<500 gpm). Replacement is not necessary, and no maintenance is required beyond the manufacturer's standard requirements.

12 References [1] Madison Water Utility. (Unknown). Well 30 Booster Pump Data. Madison, WI, USA, [2] Differential Pressure Flow Elements. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from 9002ad52b/$file/ds_dp-en_e.pdf [3] Benfell, R. S., Vause, A., Babcock, R. H., Bradner, M., Gilman, H. D., Gottliebson, M.,... Bosserman, G. M. J. L. S. T. E. (2008). Chapter 20 - Instrumentation and Control Devices Pumping Station Design (Third Edition) (pp ). Burlington: Butterworth-Heinemann. [4] Electromagnetic Flow Measurement: Animation. (2009). Electromagnetic Flow Measurement: Animation. Retrieved from [5] Magnetic Flowmeter Principles. (2014): Thomas Publishing Company. [6] Fundamentals of Orifice Meter Measurement. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from daniel documents/fundamentalsof-orifice-measurement-techwpaper.pdf [7] FLOWMETER SELECTION GUIDE. (n.d.). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from us/brands/daniel/flow/pages/flowmeterselectionguide.aspx

13 Appendix A: Collected Data Figure 8. Pump data sheet for booster pump 1 in UW30 [1]

14 Figure 9. Overall site layout of Madison Water Utility Unit Well no. 30 reservoir and pumping station, taken from 2005 as built drawings (Strand). Storage tank area is outlined and shaded in blue.

15 Appendix B: Sample Calculations Include excel file and hand solution for each type of calculation [1] Calculation of Actual Flow (discharge to system) = Q T

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