This study is concerned with understanding and improvement of mass flow rate measurement uncertainty and errors encountered at low flow rates and start-up in commercially available flow rate measurement devices, such as orifice flow meters. The flow through a typical cylindrical flange-tapped orifice flow meter is modeled computationally so the actual mass flow rate is known a-priori. Empirical predictions from the reading of “virtual” pressure sensors are compared with the actual flow rate and the measurement errors are quantified and analyzed. Commercial code ANSYS-Fluent is compared in this study to the in-house high-fidelity spectral-element solver Nek5000, so that conclusions about the applicability of a commercial code to the calculations of measurement uncertainty in the orifice flow meters can be made.

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