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

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Abstract

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
Volume70
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

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

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