Clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters (UFMs) are installed on the outside of the pipe wall. Typically, they consist of two single-element transducers mounted on angled wedges, which are acoustically coupled to the pipe wall. Before flow metering, the transducers are placed at the correct axial position by manually moving one transducer along the pipe wall until the maximum amplitude of the relevant acoustic pulse is obtained. This process is time-consuming and operator-dependent. Next to this, at least five parameters of the pipe and the liquid need to be provided manually to compute the flow speed. In this work, a method is proposed to obtain the five parameters of the pipe and the liquid required to compute the flow speed. The method consists of obtaining the optimal angles for different wave travel paths by varying the steering angle of the emitted acoustic beam systematically. Based on these optimal angles, a system of equations is built and solved to extract the desired parameters. The proposed method was tested experimentally with a custom-made clamp-on UFM consisting of two linear arrays placed on a water-filled stainless steel pipe. The obtained parameters of the pipe and the liquid correspond very well with the expected (nominal) values. Furthermore, the performed experiment also demonstrates that a clamp-on UFM based on transducer arrays can achieve self-alignment without the need to manually move the transducers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work is part of the research project FLOW+, which is financed by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW (project 15031) and industrial partners Bronkhorst and KROHNE. The APC was funded by Delft University of Technology.
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