Imaging Water Velocity and Volume Fraction Distributions in Water Continuous Multiphase Flows Using Inductive Flow Tomography and Electrical Resistance Tomography

Yiqing Meng, Gary Lucas

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents the design and implementation of an inductive flow tomography (IFT) system, employing a multi-electrode electromagnetic flow meter (EMFM) and novel reconstruction techniques, for measuring the local water velocity distribution in water continuous single and multiphase flows. A series of experiments were carried out in vertical-upward and upward-inclined single phase water flows and 'water continuous' gas–water and oil–gas–water flows in which the velocity profiles ranged from axisymmetric (single phase and vertical-upward multiphase flows) to highly asymmetric (upward-inclined multiphase flows). Using potential difference measurements obtained from the electrode array of the EMFM, local axial velocity distributions of the continuous water phase were reconstructed using two different IFT reconstruction algorithms denoted RT#1, which assumes that the overall water velocity profile comprises the sum of a series of polynomial velocity components, and RT#2, which is similar to RT#1 but which assumes that the zero'th order velocity component may be replaced by an axisymmetric 'power law' velocity distribution. During each experiment, measurement of the local water volume fraction distribution was also made using the well-established technique of electrical resistance tomography (ERT). By integrating the product of the local axial water velocity and the local water volume fraction in the cross section an estimate of the water volumetric flow rate was made which was compared with a reference measurement of the water volumetric flow rate.

In vertical upward flows RT#2 was found to give rise to water velocity profiles which are consistent with the previous literature although the profiles obtained in the multiphase flows had relatively higher central velocity peaks than was observed for the single phase profiles. This observation was almost certainly a result of the transfer of axial momentum from the less dense dispersed phases to the water, which occurred preferentially at the pipe centre. For upward inclined multiphase flows RT#1 was found to give rise to water velocity profiles which are more consistent with results in the previous literature than was the case for RT#2—which leads to the tentative conclusion that the upward inclined multiphase flows investigated in the present study did not contain significant axisymmetric velocity components.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2017

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