An Algorithm to Minimize the Zero-Flow Error in Transit-Time Ultrasonic Flow Meters

Douwe M. van Willigen, Paul L.M.J. van Neer, Jack Massaad, Nico de Jong, Martin D. Verweij, Michiel A.P. Pertijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
261 Downloads (Pure)


Transit-time ultrasonic flow meters are widely used in industry to measure fluid flow. In practice ultrasonic flow meters either show a zero-flow error or suffer from a significant random error due to a limited signal-to-noise ratio, requiring a significant amount of averaging to achieve good precision. This work presents a method that minimizes the zero-flow error whilst keeping the random error low, independent of the hardware used. The proposed algorithm can adjust to changing zero-flow errors while a flow is present. The technique combines the benefits of two common methods of determining the transit-time difference between the upstream and downstream ultrasonic waves: cross-correlation and zero-crossing detection. The algorithm is verified experimentally using a flow-loop. It is shown that the zero-flow error can be greatly reduced without compromising the random error or increasing circuit complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9136765
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cross correlation
  • flow measurement
  • reciprocity
  • transit time
  • ultrasonic flowmeter
  • zero crossings
  • zero-flow error


Dive into the research topics of 'An Algorithm to Minimize the Zero-Flow Error in Transit-Time Ultrasonic Flow Meters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this