Measurement of air distribution and void fraction of an upward air-water flow using electrical resistance tomography and wire-mesh sensor

Claudio Olerni, Jiabin Jia, Mi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Measurements on an upwards air–water flow are reported that were obtained simultaneously with a dual-plane electrical resistance tomograph (ERT) and a wire-mesh sensor (WMS). The ultimate measurement target of both ERT and WMS is the same, the electrical conductivity of the medium. The ERT is a non-intrusive device whereas the WMS requires a net of wires that physically crosses the flow. This paper presents comparisons between the results obtained simultaneously from the ERT and the WMS for evaluation and calibration of the ERT. The length of the vertical testing pipeline section is 3 m with an internal diameter of 50 mm. Two distinct sets of air–water flow rate scenarios, bubble and slug regimes, were produced in the experiments. The fast impedance camera ERT recorded the data at an approximate time resolution of 896 frames per second (fps) per plane in contrast with the 1024 fps of the wire-mesh sensor WMS200. The set-up of the experiment was based on well established knowledge of air–water upwards flow, particularly the specific flow regimes and wall peak effects. The local air void fraction profiles and the overall air void fraction were produced from two systems to establish consistency for comparison of the data accuracy. Conventional bulk flow measurements in air mass and electromagnetic flow metering, as well as pressure and temperature, were employed, which brought the necessary calibration to the flow measurements. The results show that the profiles generated from the two systems have a certain level of inconsistency, particularly in a wall peak and a core peak from the ERT and WMS respectively, whereas the two tomography instruments achieve good agreement on the overall air void fraction for bubble flow. For slug flow, when the void fraction is over 30%, the ERT underestimates the void fraction, but a linear relation between ERT and WMS is still observed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Electrical resistance tomography
  • Wire-mesh Sensor
  • Upwards air-water flow measurements
  • Local air void fraction profile


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