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School of Civil and

Building Engineering

CVA002
FLUID MECHANICS

LABORATORY EXPERIMENT - FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT


VENTURI METER
Introduction
The venturimeter consists of a temporary reduction in the diameter of a pipe. The smaller pipe diameter is
called the Throat. The reduction in diameter forces the velocity to increase (continuity equation) which leads
to a corresponding lowering in pressure (Bernoulli equation).
It is mainly used for measuring the flow of fluids in pipes running full. It is also sometimes used to inject fluids
into the pipe. The venturimeter has a number of advantages over other flow measuring devices namely:
there is no obstruction to the fluid flow; and there are no moving parts so maintenance is minimal.

Theory:
The discharge through a venturimeter is given by:

Q1 CdA1

2( P1 P 2)
A12
2 1
A2

(Eq. 1)

or, in terms of piezometric head,

Q1 CdA1

where

2 g ( H 1 H 2)
A12
2 1
A2

Q = flow rate in m /s

(Eq. 2)

Cd = coefficient of discharge

A1 = main pipe area (Point 1 on Figure 2 and 4)


A2 = area of throat (Point 4 in Fig 2 / Point 3 in Fig 4)
P1 = pressure in pipe

P2 = pressure in throat

H1 = piezometer reading in main pipe at entrance

H2 = piezometer reading in throat.

or

This can be written as


where

K CdA1

2g
A12
2 1
A2

Dr Ian Pattison

(Eq. 3)

(Eq. 4)

Nov-14

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

VENTURIMETER

Experiment
You will conduct a series of experiments at different flow rates to evaluate the performance of the
Venturimeter to measure discharge. The whole group should get experience of using the flow measurement
apparatus.

Objectives:
i)

To determine the overall value of Cd.

ii)

To examine the variation of Cd with discharge.

iii)

To compare measured pressure profile along the meter with the theoretical profile (for the
maximum and minimum flows only).

Apparatus:
You will be using the Venturimeter to measure the flow through the pipe. There are two different pieces of
equipment, but they both work on the same principles. However, the two equipment benches have slightly
different operating procedures.

Procedure:
Bench with ELEVEN manometer tapping points
Manometer manifold
Manifold air bleed
Manifold air inlet &
pump
Manometer tubes
Venturimeter
Flow control valve

Figure 1 Alternative manometer unit with eleven tappings

10

11

Direction of flow

Position

10

11

Distance (mm)

20.5

33.2

47.4

61.6

74.3

87.0

99.7

112.4

125.1

147.3

Diameter (mm)

25.4

23.3

18.5

15.9

16.5

17.9

19.2

20.6

21.9

23.3

25.4

Figure 2
Cross section through the venturimeter with 11 manometer tapping points.

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

VENTURIMETER

Open the ON/OFF valve and close the control valve. Switch on the pump.
Gradually open the control valve until water starts to rise up the manometer tubes. Wait for all the air
bubbles to be evacuated from the system. Continue opening the control valve until the water level in one of
the tubes is near to the top of the measuring scale.
EITHER pump air into the top manifold using the cycle pump provided OR release air from the manifold by
loosening the manifold air bleed to depress/raise the surface levels in the tubes. Continue opening the valve
until the maximum range of manometer readings is reached. This corresponds with the maximum flow that
can be measured by the unit.
Take three sets of readings of all the water levels in the manometer tubes, each set being taken by a
different member of the group and write your results in Table 1. Compare the results to see if they agree. If
they dont agree take further sets until agreement is reached.
Calculate the actual flow rate through the venturimeter by measuring the time taken to collect a fixed volume
of water. Follow these steps:

Close the measuring tank outlet valve


Allow the water level in the measuring tank to rise to about 20 litres
Using the stopwatch provided measure the time (in seconds) to collect a fixed quantity of water. The
volume collected should take at least 60 seconds to collect. Write your results in the Table.
For very low flows, use the measuring jug.
Repeat the measurement at least three times or until you have three readings within one second of
each other.
Remember to empty the measuring tank periodically or your equipment will stop working.

Slightly reduce the flow rate and take another set of measurements. Continue until the flow is almost zero.
Take FIVE sets of reading between the maximum and zero.
You may have to add or remove air from the top of the manometer from time to time to keep the readings
within the range of the measuring scales but do not do this whilst taking a set of measurements

Bench with SIX manometer tapping points

Figure 3 Standard experimental bench with six manometer tappings

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

Position
2

Area (mm )

VENTURIMETER

338.6

233.5

84.6

170.2

255.2

338.6

Figure 4
Cross section through the venturimeter with 6 manometer tapping points.

The following procedure is required for starting the venturimeter prior to taking readings:

CLOSE the ON/OFF valve


Switch on the water pump
Make sure the flow control valve is OPEN SLIGHTLY
OPEN the ON/OFF valve fully
OPEN the BLACK air bleed valve
Allow water to flow through the system until all the air is removed
CLOSE the BLACK air bleed valve
CLOSE the ON/OFF valve
OPEN the WHITE air bleed valve and allow the water levels in the manometer tubes to drop to the
zero mark
CLOSE the WHITE air bleed valve
OPEN the ON/OFF valve fully
Adjust the control valve until the maximum flow reading is achieved on the manometer.

You are now ready to start taking readings. Take three sets of readings of all the water levels in the
manometer tubes, each set being taken by a different member of the group and write your results in the
Table. Compare the results to see if they agree. If they dont agree take further sets until agreement is
reached.
Calculate the actual flow rate through the venturimeter by measuring the time taken to collect a fixed volume
of water. Follow these steps:

Close the measuring tank outlet valve


Allow the water level in the measuring tank to rise to about 20 litres
Using the stopwatch provided measure the time (in seconds) to collect a fixed quantity of water. The
volume collected should take at least 60 seconds to collect. Write your results in the Table.
For very low flows, use the measuring jug.
Repeat the measurement at least three times or until you have three readings within one second of
each other.
Remember to empty the measuring tank periodically or your equipment will stop working.

Slightly reduce the flow rate and take another set of measurements. Continue until the flow is almost zero.
Take FIVE sets of reading between the maximum and zero.

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

VENTURIMETER

Results
Enter all your readings in the appropriate table below. An electronic copy of the Tables can be downloaded
from LEARN.

Table 1
Volume
(Litres)

Venturimeter results table for 11 manometer apparatus


Time
(secs)

Avg

time

(m /s)

Manometer readings
1

10

11

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

Table 2
Volume
(Litres)

VENTURIMETER

Venturimeter results table for 6 manometer apparatus


Time
(Seconds)

Average
Time (s)

Discharge
3
(m /s)

Manometer Readings
1

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

VENTURIMETER

Analysis

Plot Q (discharge) by H (difference in head between inlet and throat of Venturimeter). What is the
shape of the graph? What does this mean?
Take log10 of both axes. What is the shape of the line graph now? Fit a line of best fit to your data.
What type of relationship is it? What value of n did you expect?
HINT See Equation 3 in theory section of this handout, a plot of log10 Q vs log10 H should be a
straight line of slope n and intercept log K, i.e:
Log10 Q = log10 K + n log10 H
Log Q

Gradient = n
0
Log H
Intercept = Log K

Using Equation 4 in the theory section of this handout, calculate the average value of Cd

Calculate the value of Cd for each of the 5 discharges that you used using the value of n = 1/2 and
plot against Q.

The actual pressure at each piezometer tapping is not simply equal to gh, as the pressure above the
piezometers is not atmospheric. Comparative pressure is thus used, i.e., from Bernoulli,

Where the suffix n denotes the piezometer positions from 1 to 11, or 1 to 6 depending on the apparatus you
used
Reducing to dimensionless terms by dividing by the velocity head in the throat,

Using this equation, the dimensionless pressure head


OR
is derived for each piezometer position along the venturimeter.

Plot the observed values of H along the length of the venturimeter tube for the maximum and
minimum discharges. (Both lines should on same axes)

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

Also on the same graph plot the theoretical value

VENTURIMETER

( )

( )

or

for comparison.

Important Note:
Tabulate all your calculations before plotting each graph and present a full specimen calculation of each
element of the analysis.
An accurate analysis requires accurate data (itself subject to observational error) and accurate plots.

Discussion
1. Comment on your original data, do you think it was accurate, how might you improve it if you were to
repeat the experiment?
2. What is your calculated value of n and how does it compare with what you expected?
3. What is your average Cd value and how does it compare with published values. Provide references
for your sources of information.
4. How does Cd vary with discharge? Is this what you would expect? If not, what should you have
expected? Provide references for your information.
5. Compare the dimensionless pressure heads plotted on the same graph and explain what they mean.
Explain any deviation between the theoretical and the two observed values.

Evaluation
-

Were the projects aims and objectives achieved?


Discuss the limitations of your experiment and any errors these may have caused.
How could your series of experiments be improved?

Report Presentation
The report must be structured. Be sure to include:

Title page (title, authors and date);

Methods

Results and Analysis;

Discussion, references and appendices.

The report must be typed using Arial 10 or Times Roman 12 fonts. Lines should be single spaced with a
single line space between paragraphs. Pages should have 2.5 cm margins all round. Graphical items should
be generated using a spreadsheet and electronically pasted into the report.
All pages should be numbered except the title page. All tables, figures and graphs must be properly labelled
and referred to in the text.
All units must follow the MKS system.
Calculations may be done by hand, computer or programmable calculator. If programs are used a sample
hand calculation must be presented. This allows the reader to check for errors.
Numbers should be displayed to three significant figures.
Any information obtained from other sources must be referenced in the text at the point where it is used and
given in full at the end in a reference section.
Marks will be deducted for poor spelling and poor grammar. Use the spell checker!
The original hand written data must be included as appendices.
8

CVA002 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

VENTURIMETER

Assessment

Group Report = 100%

Group Report
-

Method = 10%
Outline method used, justify decisions made and assumptions included.

Quality of Results = 20%


Data collected from the whole range of flow in uniform spacing, no anomalies, and sufficient
iterations to obtain good averages.

Analysis = 30%
Tables clearly presented for each analysis, specimen calculations provided, graphs drawn
accurately

Discussion/Evaluation = 30%
All parts of the experiment and analysis discussed, results of analysis summarised, expected values
presented

Report Presentation / References = 10%


Presentation of figures/graphs, structure of report, use of references

Further reading:
Douglas, Gasiorek and Swaffield: Fluid Mechanics. Ch.6.10.
Douglas and Matthews: Solving Problems in Fluid Mechanics, Vol 1, Ch. 6.1.
British Standard 5167 4:2003