Calibration of Sonic Flowmeters for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).
NAVAL COASTAL SYSTEMS CENTER PANAMA CITY FL
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Scientists at the Naval Coastal Systems Center NCSC at Panama City, Florida, have used a commercially available acoustic flowmeter to monitor critical flow conditions during an OTEC Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion funded study of the effects of biofouling on the efficiency of a prototype heat transfer system. Flowmeters of this type are particularly useful in applications requiring unimpeded flow i.e., no sensor projecting into the moving fluid. Unfortunately, sonic flowmeters are somewhat difficult to calibrate and may be subject to drift. A method of calibration devised by NCSC may thus be of some interest to other users. It is the purpose of this report to document the special procedures used by test personnel to calibrate the flowmeters. Briefly, the calibration consisted of pumping sea water through the flowmeter into a tank suspended beneath a special load cell which provided an output voltage proportional to the weight of water in the tank. A programmable desktop calculator system was used to monitor changes in voltage as a function of time, and convert these changes into flow rates for direct comparison with values read from the sonic flowmeters digital display. Calibration checks were made at metered flows of 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 gallons per minute gpm. It was found that computed flows were essentially linear but differed from metered values by as much as 9.0 percent.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods