Research being undertaken as part of the EngD programme run by Coventry University and NEL has shown that ambient temperature has an effect on the performance of certain types of meters. This initial finding highlights the relevance of the research to industry and to the wider flow metrology community.
“In many installations meters can face extreme ambient temperatures, for example when they are sited in hot deserts or near furnaces or molten metal,” says Gordon Lindsay, who is undertaking the research. “I started this project in September 2015, so far I have shown that ambient temperature fluctuations do cause data drift in the output of meters and that this effect is repeatable and numerically quantifiable. This indicates that ambient temperature effects can have undesirable effects on process systems out in the field.”
Gordon is a Control Systems and Software Developer at NEL. He started his research because the effect of ambient temperature has been an area of concern for industry and meter manufacturers for some time, with existing data showing that there is a direct link between ambient temperature and data quality. His work has so far involved a single type of flow meter. His next step will be to assess multiple systems where he already has industry support to do so.
Gordon is making use of the Very Low Flow Facility at NEL. This allows the necessary extreme ambient conditions to be replicated. It also allows for fine control over all variables. It is hoped that his research will lead to meter sensor improvements, internal software corrections and the full thermal characterisation of small-bore metering technology.
The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) that Gordon is following is delivered by in-house experts from Coventry University and NEL. Each researcher in the programme is supported by a dedicated supervisor.