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Title: A Turbine Flow Meter That Is Insensitive To Changes In Fluid Viscosity
Author: Paul D. Olivier
Source: 2002 International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement
Year Published: 2002
Abstract: Turbine meters are often used as the volumetric meter, but are very sensitive to viscosity, temperature and Reynolds Number. Figure 1 shows the classical correlation of a standard turbine meter. The ?so called? Universal Viscosity Curve shows that the meter frequency divided by the fluid kinematic viscosity is a function of the meter frequency divided by the volumetric flow rate. If the meter is operated at varying temperatures, thus, varying viscosity, the flow rate cannot be determined without knowing the viscosity. When operating at constant temperature on a specific fluid, it is not necessary to determine the viscosity so long as the meter was calibrated at the same condition. This special case is not commonly experienced. In most cases the temperature does vary. As a result, the viscosity changes, requiring the need to determine the exact viscosity of the fluid at the operating condition. While it is possible to use text book values of viscosity as a function of temperature as an input to the computations, the value of viscosity from one batch of most fluids to another change sufficiently to negate the value of the input. As a result of this limitation, shortcuts to the need to measure the viscosity are often taken by the users. Of course, all such shortcuts lead to errors in the measurement. Sometimes they are small, but at other times they are very significant. Users often don?t realize the significance of the errors. While the users are ?happy? with their results, the results could be significantly improved once the potential errors are realized.

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