Characterization of Chimney Flue Gas Flows : Flow Rate Measurements with Averaging Pitot Probes

Sammanfattning: Performance testing methods of boilers in transient operating conditions (start, stop and combustion power modulation sequences) need the combustion rate quantified to allow for the emissions to be quantified. One way of quantifying the combustion rate of a boiler during transient operating conditions is by measuring the flue gas flow rate. The flow conditions in chimneys of single family house boilers pose a challenge however, mainly because of the low flow velocity. The main objectives of the work were to characterize the flow conditions in residential chimneys, to evaluate the use of the Pitot-static method and the averaging Pitot method, and to develop and test a calibration method for averaging Pitot probes for low ????.A literature survey and a theoretical study were performed to characterize the flow conditions in in single family house boiler chimneys. The flow velocities under normal boiler operating conditions are often below the requirements for the assumptions of non-viscous fluid justifying the use of the quadratic Bernoulli equation. A non-linear calibration coefficient is required to correct for these viscous effects in order to avoid significant measurement errors. The flow type in the studied conditions changes from laminar, across the transition regime, to fully turbulent flow, resulting in significant changes of the velocity profile during transient boiler operation. Due to geometrical settings occurring in practice measurements are often done in the hydrodynamic entrance region, where the velocity profiles are neither fully developed nor symmetrical. The predicted changes in velocity profiles are also confirmed experimentally in two chimneys.Several requirements set in ISO 10780 and ISO 3966 for Pitot-static probes are either met questionably or not met at all, meaning that the methods cannot be used as such. The main issues are the low flow velocity, viscous effects, and velocity profiles that change significantly during normal boiler operation. The Pitot-static probe can be calibrated for low ????, but is not reliable because of the changing velocity profiles.The pressure averaging probe is a simple remedy to overcome the problems with asymmetric and changing velocity profiles, but still keeping low the irrecoverable pressure drop caused by the probe. However, commercial averaging probes are not calibrated for the characterized chimney conditions and the information available on the performance of averaging probes at low ???? is scarce. A literature survey and a theoretical study were done to develop a method for calibrating pressure averaging probes for low ??? flue gas flows in residential chimneys.The experimental part consists of constructing a calibration rig, testing the performance of differential pressure transducers, and testing a prototype pressure averaging probe. The results show good correlation over a wide operation range, but the low ???? characteristics of the probe could not be identified due to instability in the chosen pressure transducer, and temperature correlation for one of the probes while not for the other. The differential pressures produced are close to the performance limitations of readily available transducers and it should be possible to improve the method by focusing on finding or building a suitable pressure transducer. The performance of the averaging method can be improved further by optimizing the geometry of the probe. Another way of reducing the uncertainty would be to increase the probe size relative to the conduit diameter to produce a higher differential pressure, at the expense of increasing the irrecoverable pressure drop.