Design Project 4 Report

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Team Foxtrot Flora Vinson, Jason Ressler, Kathryn Chinn, Sandra Nakasone, Dimple Patel

Measuring Flow rate: Discrete vs. Continuous flow meters in a hydrometer1

Table of Contents Table of ContentsAbstract....4 Introduction.4 Problem Statement...5 A. Process Scheme...5 Figure 1.6 B. Preliminary Device...7 C. Prototype Device..8 Figure 2........10 Figure 3.10 Figure 4.11 D. Head Tank and Piping......11 E. Solenoid valves...........12 F. Continuous flowmeter.....12 Figure 5.12 G. Discrete flowmeter...13 Figure 6.........13 H. Circuit Board.14 Figure 7.14 I. 1208LS USB computer control........15 J. Computer Programming.......15 K. Materials and Costs..........16 Table 1.......16 Table 2......17 L. Results.......18 Figure 8 .............192

M. Limitations........20 N. Appendix... ..22 Operating Instructions....22 Programming...23 O. References.. 26


Abstract The flow meters This project's primary objective was to compare the efficacies between two types of flow meters: a continuous flow meter and a discrete flow meter. To pump water throughout the system, a 12-V pump was used in conjunction with solenoid valves and a -inch piping system. In the project, the preliminary device was slightly adjusted to create the prototype device. In the prototype device, a 2-step gear/DC motor system was used to measure the volumetric flow rate of the continuous flow meter, and an infrared emitter detector was utilized to measure the volumetric flow rate of the discrete flow meter. In the simulation of the prototype device, Microsoft Visual programming was used to gauge the volumetric flow rates. Although the simulation was intended for 1000 seconds, the simulation ran for only 60 seconds, which yielded a volumetric flow rate of 4.6 ml/sec for the discrete flow meter. Likewise, the head tanks reference volumetric flow rate was 6.0 ml/sec. However, because of excess friction and unsteady motion of the turbine flow meter, results were not obtained for the continuous flow meter. In future device modifications, a different two-step gear should be implemented in order to reduce the resistive forces against the turbine flow meter; also, the turbine flow meter should be made out of clear material in order to ease the use of an infrared emitter detector. Under the assumption that the device worked, the cost of a large-scale version of the device turned out to be $5044.24. If a water bottle company used this device, then it would take 5.6 days to offset the devices cost, which is an entirely reasonable price and time to pay for an efficient machine.

Introduction Water is an integral and peripheral part of many industrial operations throughout the world. In order to properly and efficiently utilize an invaluable source like water, a flow meter system needs to be implemented to successfully measure key components of the liquid at hand. For instance, flow meters are used in measuring the rate of flow in fish farms throughout the world; at the correct speed, water in fish tank can be adjusted such that there is an adequate dispersion of feed to the fish stock1. In another application, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measures stream flow of various rivers in North America in order to compile data for studies on climate change, weather patterns, oceanic flows, water levels, ecosystems, and natural hazards2. Flow meters are imperative for processing and handling liquids other than water. For example, in a more local application of flow meters, a tailored flow meter is used in the processing of the highly viscous orange juice, whose pulp interferes with measurements of sugar concentration without proper data on flow3. In terms of another liquid like alcohol, the Auper flow meter was developed in such a way that the turbine within the device helped prevent foam from developing on top of the beer4.


In this project, a prototype device was constructed in order to compare the efficacies between two types of flow meters: a continuous flow meter and a discrete flow meter. This comparison will help in providing data for industries (e.g. such as the aforementioned fish farm, USGS, orange juice factory, and beer company) purchasing the optimal, most accurate flow meters for handling their specific liquids. Although there are other types of flow meters in industrial use, the focus of this project was on the discrete flow meter and continuous flow meter because they were commercially available.

Problem Statement This project aimed at comparing the efficacies of two flow meters, a continuous flow meter and a discrete flow meter. An adjoining head tank provided the reference flow rate. To control water input into the aforementioned devices, a solenoid valve system was implemented adjacent to the girder containing the aforementioned head tank and two flow meters. Nonetheless, as with most practical applications, there were constraints on the materials available for this project; therefore, a broad-scheme comparison of many flow meters was not possible. Also, for this project, a 1208LS USB Computer control interface, a circuit board, and Microsoft Visual programming created automated control of the prototype device. Ancillary materials included infrared emitter detectors adjacent to the discrete flow meter; a two-step gear system for the continuous flow meter; a DC motor for the continuous flow meter; solenoid valves; an electric pump; a girder; and a network of -inch clear piping to transport the water from the solenoid valves to the various tank and flow meters.


Process Scheme

A plan of action, as illustrated in Figure 1, served as guideline for the engineering design team. Fortunately, enough time was allotted to adjust the preliminary design. However, problems encountered with its materials forced reworking the preliminary design such that measurements from the continuous flow meter were obtained in a different, albeit easier manner. Unfortunately, this reparative move did not stymie the subsequent problem encountered with rotating the continuous flow meter to yield flow rate results. Nonetheless, for future projects, the somewhat efficient prototype can be improved upon in order to obtain comparative data from both the continuous and discrete flow meter.


Figure 1: Process Scheme of Flow Meter ProjectPurpose: To design a device that will compare the efficacies of two different types of flow meters

Brainstorming Session Final idea: Only one emitter detector used in the tilt scale (i.e. continuous flow meter). The turbine flow meter was fixed to a two-step gear, DC motor system in order to ease rotation. Microsoft Visual programming redone.

Original idea: Build a hydrodynamic toy set that will have a turbine flow meter and a tilt scale.

Testing Process Testing Process SUCCESS: Test Simulation succeeded with 1 infrared emitter detector per flow meter. FAIL: Test simulation failed in adding the emitter detectors to the continuous flow meter (i. e. turbine flow meter). Another way of detecting flow changes needed.

Completed programming. Rerun the simulation to yield results. Brainstorming Session

SUCCESS: Tilt scale discretely moved, and turbine flow meter continuously rotated. Comparable results and repeatable simulations were developed.

FAIL: Turbine flow meter only budged slightly in its rotation. Tilt scale yielded verifiable results.

Final Presentation and a report.



Preliminary Device

A two-flow meter device was constructed in order to compare the efficacies of the continuous flow meter and the discrete flow meter. In order to ease the visualization of these aforementioned flow meters, the continuous flow meter may be referred to as a turbine flow meter, and the discrete flow meter may be referred to as a tilt scale. As indicated by Figure 1, the preliminary device had a solenoid valve system that was situated in a bigger, white base. The base also held a twelve-volt water pump that worked at 1.8 amperes. The solenoid valve system was placed adjacent to the girder. The girder held the head tank at a head of approximately 17.44 inches from the ground, given that the ground was a reference frame in which the white base was at a position of zero in the zenith direction (given that the zenith direction was orthogonal to the ground, or the horizontal axis). Moreover, the girder held the turbine flow meter and the tilt tank at approximately the same height in the zenith direction; both of these aforementioned flow meters were approximately five inches from the ground in the zenith direction. For the tilt scale flow meter, an infrared emitter detector system was situated such that the emitter was parallel to the left side of the triangular prism that makes up the tilt scale; the detector was parallel to the right side of the triangular prism. Another infrared emitter detector system was set up such that the emitter was parallel to the left side of the turbine tank and the detector was parallel to the right side of the turbine tank. Next, appropriate -inch plastic tubing was used at appropriate lengths in order to connect the water pump to the top of the head tank, the bottom of the head tank to the two top valves of the solenoid valve system, one bottom valve to the discrete flow meter, one bottom valve to the continuous flow meter, the continuous flow meter to the white base, and the discrete flow meter to the white base. For the trial simulation, the bottom base was filled half-way to the brim for the simulations. Filling the bottom tank helped cover the inlet of the electric pump at the bottom of the system. The water pump in the base powered the movement of the water to the top of the head tank. This water flowed down the head tank to the two top valves of the solenoid bank system. The head tanks volumetric flow rate was measured using