Development and Operation of the Flow Measurement Accuracy Assessment Tool

The following report documents the generation of a tool developed by the author over the course of an awarded fellowship by the Hydro Research Foundation. The Appendix of this report contains operational instructions for the use of the tool. The purpose of this tool is to provide the user with an established, rigorous technique to determine the accuracy associated with the application of a user specified number of flow measurement instruments. This tool specifically simulates the application of Current Meters and Acoustic Time of Flight Meters. The tool has been extensively tested and demonstrated consistent operation while being utilized within stated operational constraints. Case studies of both Current Meters and Acoustic Time of Flight Meters demonstrate that the recorded flow rate accuracy changes significantly as a function of: the number of sensors applied; the location of the sensors within the flow path; and overall flow rate itself. Demonstration of this variance acts to validate the need for further research into the effectiveness of flow measurement across the range of hydroelectric facilities given the influence of flow measurement accuracy on plant efficiency and revenue. It should be noted by the reader that the presented work along with the developed tool is preliminarily in nature. Therefore the findings and methodologies developed over the course of this research will be subjected to further peer review via: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Technical Manuscript Report, University of Tennessee Energy Science and Engineering Thesis or Journal Publication. This work is a subsection of the research the author is performing to attain a Doctorate in Energy Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee which will establish scaling relations between hydroelectric plant characteristics and the value of flow measurement accuracy.