On the effect of the mounting angle on single-path transit-time ultrasonic flow measurement of flare gas: a numerical analysis

  • Ramon Silva MartinsEmail author
  • João Rodrigo Andrade
  • Rogério Ramos
Technical Paper


The oil and gas industry needs accurate flow measurement since it is required by law, and so, considered as a field of legal metrology. Nevertheless, curves and other commonly found obstacles may affect the quality of flow measurements, due to disturbances to the flow, such as swirl and asymmetries in the velocity profile. Single-path ultrasonic flow meters are often used to measure the flow rate in flare gas installations, even though they are sensitive to such disturbances. The present paper uses numerical tools to obtain disturbed flow fields downstream from single- and double-elbow pipe installations, aiming to investigate the effects of the mounting angle on disturbed ultrasonic flow measurements, taking into consideration the contributions of all velocity components. Several transducer mounting angles from 0° to 180° are assessed varying the Reynolds numbers (based on the pipe diameter D) from \(10^{4}\) to \(2 \times 10^{6}\) and axial positions up to 80D downstream from the curve. Results indicate that the correction factors for installation effects are mostly greater than in the guidelines and regulations, which suggests that, in real situations, the flow rate is being underestimated. Moreover, badly located measuring installations may be upgraded just by changing the mounting angle of the ultrasonic transducers.


Ultrasonic flow meter Installation effects Flare gas Correction factor Computational fluid dynamics 



RSM is grateful to Dr. Márcio F. Martins for encouraging this publication and for the useful discussions. The authors would like to express their acknowledgement and gratitude to Laboratório de Fenômenos de Transporte Computacional for the use of its computational facilities, as well as to Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis, Brazil, for the financial support provided for the research project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramon Silva Martins
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • João Rodrigo Andrade
    • 3
  • Rogério Ramos
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversidade Vila VelhaVila VelhaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringInstituto Federal do Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics LaboratoryFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversidade Federal do Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil

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