Flow MeasurementInstrumentation

Flow measurement using SONAR


Sonar flow technology is a new member to the industrial flow meters.sonar flow measurement principles is distinct from all conventional flow meter technologies. SONAR flow meters utilize sonar-based array processing techniques to listen to, and interpret pressure fields generated by turbulent pipe flows.


How Sonar Flow Meters Work

  • The first method is to monitor turbulent eddies in the process flow to measure volumetric flow.
  • The second method is to identify the speed at which the sound travels through the fluid to get compositional

Volumetric flow

Volumetric Flow Turbulent pipe flows are highly complex. However, much is known regarding the statistical properties of such flow. Turbulent pipe flows contain self-generating coherent vortical structures, called “turbulent eddies”. These eddies remain coherent for several pipe diameters as they convect down the flow line, breaking down into smaller and smaller eddies until their energy is dissipated.

SONAR flow meters use mature sonar array processing techniques, to measure the velocity of these turbulent eddies as they convect past an array of sensors.

By monitoring  the pressure fields associated with the movement of turbulent eddies, SONAR flow meters determine the speed at which these eddies travel past the array of sensors.

Volumetric flow rate is determined using a calibration procedure based on Reynolds number, which links the speed of the coherent turbulent structures to the volumetric flow rate.

Compositional Measurement

SONAR flow meters also offer the added capability of providing information on the composition of single phase and multiphase flows by detecting the speed at which sound waves propagate within the pipe. This approach is particularly synergistic with the SONAR volumetric flow meter in that the sound speed measurement and the phase fraction measurement can often be recorded using the same hardware required for the volumetric flow measurement.

For example, in a two-component mixture, with knowledge of the density and sound speed of the two components, the measured sound speed can be used to determine the volumetric fraction of the two components. Sound speed measurement can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as: entrained air in paper pulp slurries, polymer slurries, the wetness of saturated steam, the oil/water fraction in oil and gas production, and the mass loading of particles entrained in air. This combination of volumetric flow and composition measurement provides the operator with a new level of insight into the process.



  • No obstruction in the flow
  • No pressure loss
  • No clogging
  • Low Cost


  • Minerals Processing
  • Power Generation
  • Chemical Management
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Consumer Products
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Oil Sands Processing

To know more about flow meters like  Magnetic flowmeter ,Orifice Plates Flowmeters.

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