Demonstration of electrical resistance, capacitance and capacitance tomography for multiphase flow parameter measurements in a large diameter pipe


Enita Okodiko

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: Robert J. Wilkens


Modeling multiphase flow and heat transfer requires the use of select closure models based on empirical values. Being able to truly know the multiphase properties under a transient condition can help alleviate some of the complexities of a multiphase model. In doing so, predicting the behavior of multiphase flow and heat transfer will be more accurate. The overall objective of this research is to characterize select features in multiphase flow. While multiphase characteristics can be visually determined in transparent piping they are not so easily identified for opaque pipes. Further, visual observations are known to be inherently subjective. The use of electrical resistance and electrical capacitance was used to distinguish these multiphase characteristics. The electrical resistance sensor and electrical capacitance sensor have been evaluated to be successful for air/water flow. An electrical capacitance tomography sensor has been evaluated as well. The sensors tested have been successful for identifying the multiphase flow characteristics of slug translational velocity, slug hold up, film thickness, and slug frequency, across a range of superficial liquid and gas velocities. Some sensors were more reliable at certain ranges than others.


Flow meters Testing, Detectors Industrial applications Testing, Pipe Fluid dynamics

Rights Statement

Copyright 2012, author