Title of Invention

COMPACT VIBRATORY FLOWMETER FOR MEASURING FLOW CHARACTERISTICS OF A CEMENT FLOW MATERIAL

Abstract A compact vibratory flowmeter (200) for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) is provided according to an embodiment of the invention. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) includes at least two pickofif sensors (308) and a driver (309). The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) further includes one or more flow conduits (301). The at least two pickoff sensors (308) are affixed to the one or more flow conduits (301) and the driver (309) is configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits (301). The one or more flow conduits (301) include a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material is less than about 0,8,
Full Text COMPACT VIBRATORY FLOWMETER FOR MEASURING FLOW CHARACTERISTICS OF A CEMENT FLOW MATERIAL
Baclt^ound of the Invention
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a compact vibratory flovraieter, and more particularly, to a compact vibratory flowmeter for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material.
2. Statement of the Problem
Vibrating conduit sensors, such as Coriolis mass flow meters, typically operate by detecting motion of a vibrating conduit that contains a flowing material. Properties associated with the material in the conduit, such as mass flow, density and the like, can be determined by processing measurement signals received from motion transducers associated with the conduit. The vibration modes of the vibrating material-filled system generally are affected by the combined mass, stiffiiess, and damping characteristics of the containing conduit and the material contained therein.
A typical Coriolis mass flow meter includes one or more conduits that are connected inline in a pipeline or other transport system and convey material, e.g., fluids, slurries and the like, in the system. Each conduit may be viewed as havmg a set of natural vibration modes including, for example, simple bending, torsional, radial, and coupled modes. In a typical Coriolis mass flow measurement application, a conduit is excited in one or more vibration modes as a material flows through the conduit, and motion of the conduit is measured at points spaced along the conduit. Excitation is typically provided by an actuator, e.g., an electromechanical device, such as a voice coil-type driver, that perturbs the conduit in a periodic fashion. Mass flow rate may be determined by measuring time delay or phase differences between motions at the transducer locations. Two such transducers (or pickoff sensors) are typically employed in order to measure a vibrational response of the flow conduit or conduits, and are typically located at positions upstream and downstream of the actuator. The two pickoff sensors are connected to electronic instrumentation by cabling. The instrumentation receives signals from the two pickoff sensors and processes the signals in order to derive a mass flow rate measurement.

One difficulty in using a flowmeter to measure a flow material is when the flow material is non-uniform, such as in a multi-phase flow condition. In a multi-phase flow condition, the flow material includes two or more of a gas phase, a liquid phase, and a solid phase. For example, a common flow measurement scenario is where the flow material includes gas entrained in a liquid. Air is a commonly entrained gas. Because gas is compressible, the properties of the flow material can vary and therefore the entrained gas can cause erroneous readings in the flowmeter. Entrained gas can degrade the accuracy of mass flow rate and density measurements, and therefore can indirecfly affect a volume measurement.
FIG. 1 shows a U-shaped vibratory flowmeter of the prior art. This prior art U-shaped vibratory flowmeter has a very low aspect ratio, where the aspect ratio comprises a meter overall length (L) divided by a meter overall height (H), i.e., the aspect ratio = L/H. It can be seen &om this figure that the prior art aspect ratio is typically much less than one, especially for a prior art U-shaped flowmeter. In applications where the conduit diameter is large, it can be seen that the small aspect ratio of this prior art flowmeter will require a large amount of vertical physical space for installation.
In many settings, the physical space that is available for a flowmeter is limited. For example, both the metei' overall length (L) and the meter overall height (H) may be dictated by the available installation space. Consequently, there is a need for a compact flowmeter that features both a reduced length (L) and a reduced height (H), and a high aspect ratio (L/H) (z.e., is compact). Furthermore, "ftiere is an mcreasing demand for smaller, more compact flowmeters that can provide a needed measurement capability and a high level of measurement accuracy and reliability.
In the prior art, attempts to produce a compact vibratory flowmeter have comprised scaling down existing flowmeters for such applications and/or using bowed or straight flow conduits. However, this has been met with unexpected complications and with unsatisfactory flowmeter accuracy. One result of scaling down an existing flowmeter design is that the stiffiiess of a flow conduit can increase by a large amount. This increased stiffiiess characteristic results in an increase in the drive frequency of the flowmeter. Problematically, this relatively high drive frequency results in a degraded performance and/or accuracy for multi-phase flow materials. When gas is entrained in the flow material (such as air bubbles, for example), the flow material resonant

frequency is affected and is lower than a resonant frequency of a pure fluid flow material. As a result, a drive frequency employed by a prior art flowmeter may be at or near a flow material resonant frequency. It has been found through research that the accuracy of a flowmeter decreases as the flow material resonant frequency of a multiphase flow approaches the drive frequency of the flowmeter. Consequently, the entrained gas results in an inability of the flowmeter to accurately measure flow characteristics of the flow material and to measure non-flow characteristics.
One flow material that is desired to be measure is liquid cement, for example. One or more of the mass, volume, and density of the liquid cement can be measured as the Uquid cement is being mixed and created. In particular, the density of the liquid cement is needed. Density is an invaluable measure of the quality of the liquid cement, and can be used to measure and control the desired proportions of cement, water, and any aggregate in order to create the liquid cement mixture.
Air is typically entrained in the liquid cement as the cement, water, and aggregate are mixed. The fluid resonant frequency of liquid cement having no entrained air is about 170 Hz at a pressure of 15 pounds-per-square-inch (psi). This frequency is given for a flowmeter having predetermined flow conduit characteristics such as a predetermined inside diameter, a predetermined wall thickness, etc. In contrast, the cement flow material resonant frequency where the liquid cement includes a void fraction of air of 15 percent by volume is typically about 165 Hz at 15 psi for the same flowmeter. As can be seen from these frequencies, the presence of entrained air in the liquid cement decreases the drive frequency and indicates an increase in density in the liquid cement As a result, the entrained air will cause erroneous or inaccurate density measurements in a prior art Coriolis flowmeter. The error occurs because the drive frequency of the prior art flowmeter is at or near a cement flow material resonant frequency of the liquid cement When the meter fundamental frequency is at or near the cement flow material resonant frequency, then the flowmeter measurement is negatively affected. Summary of the Solution
The above and other problems are solved and an advance in the art is achieved through the provision of a compact vibratory flowmeter for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material.

A compact vibratory flowmeter for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) is provided according to an embodiment of the invention. The compact vibratory flowmeter comprises at least two pickoff sensors and a driver. The compact vibratory flowmeter further comprises one or more flow conduits. The at least two pickoff sensors are affixed to the one or more flow conduits and the driver is configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits. The one or more flow conduits include a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material that is less than about 0.8.
A compact vibratory flowmeter for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) is provided according to an embodiment of the invention. The compact vibratory flowmeter comprises at least two pickoff sensors and a driver. The compact vibratory flowmeter further comprises one or more flow conduits. The at least two pickoff sensors are affixed to the one or more flow conduits and the driver is configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits. The one or more flow conduits are substantially self-draining and include a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material that is less than about 0.8.
A compact vibratory flowmeter for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) is provided according to an embodiment of the invention. The compact vibratory flowmeter comprises at least two pickoff sensors and a driver. The compact vibratory flowmeter further comprises one or more flow conduits. Tlie at least two pickoflT sensors are affixed to the one or more flow conduits and the driver is configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits. A flow conduit of the one or more flow conduits includes a bowed portion formed from at least two end bend portions and a central bend portion. The two end bend portions each comprise end bend angles G between about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees. The one or more flow conduits include a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of

the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material that is less
than about 0.8.
Aspects of the Invention
In one aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter, the drive frequency is less than
about 170 Hz on a cement flow material.
In another aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter, the drive frequency is based on a predetermined minimum acceptable density accuracy of the compact vibratory flowmeter for the cement flow material.
In yet another aspect of the compact vibratory flovmieter, the one or more flow conduits include an aspect ratio (L/H) that is greater than about 2.5.
In yet another expect of the compact vibratory flowmeter, the one or more flow conduits include a height-to-bore ratio (H/B) that is less than about 10.
In yet another aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter, the one or more flow conduits comprise one or more substantially self-draining flow conduits.
In yet anotiier aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter, a flow conduit of the one or more flow conduits includes a bowed portion formed from at least two end bend portions and a central bend portion and with the two end bend portions each comprising end bend angles 8 between about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees. Description of the Drawings
The same reference number represents the same element on all drawings,
FIG, 1 shows a U-shaped vibratory flowmeter of the prior art.
FIG. 2 shows a compact vibratory flowmeter according to an embodiment of the invention.
FIG, 3 shows components of the compact vibratory flowmeter according to an embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 4 is a graph of frequency difference (i.e., frequency error) of actual frequency versus measured frequency over a range of void fractions.
FIG. 5 is a graph of density error over a range of void fractions.
FIGS. 6A-6B show a self-draining aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter.

FIG. 7 is a flowchart of a method for constructing a compact vibratory flowmeter for measuring flow characteristics of a multi-phase flow material according to an embodiment of the invention. Detailed Description of the Invention
FIGS. 2-7 and the following description depict specific examples to teach those skilled in the art how to make and use the best mode of the invention. For the purpose of teaching inventive principles, some conventional aspects have been simplified or omitted. Those skilled in the art will appreciate variations fi-om these examples that fall within the scope of the invention. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the features described below can be combined in various ways to form multiple variations of the invention. As a result, the invention is not limited to the specific examples described below, but only by the claims and their equivalents.
FIG. 2 shows a compact vibratory flowmeter 200 according to an embodiment of the invention. The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 includes manifolds 104, flanges 105, a casing 102, and a conduit portion 106. The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 includes one or more flow conduits 301 (see FIG. 3) as part of the conduit portion 106 inside the casing 102. In some embodiments, the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can include two flow conduits 301. The one or more flow conduits 301 can comprise bowed flow conduits.
The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 in one embodiment comprises a Coriolis flowmeter. In another embodiment, the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 comprises a vibrating densitometer.
The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can be designed to achieve a desu'ed minimum measurement accuracy. The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can be designed to achieve a minimum density measurement accuracy. The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can be designed to achieve a minimum density measurement accuracy for a multi-phase flow material. The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can measure both flow and non-flow characteristics of the flow material.
Many factors can affect the operation (and therefore accuracy) of a vibratory flowmeter. Three of the most important factors that affect operation are a drive frequency that is used to vibrate the one or more flow conduits, a flow material pressure, and a flow conduit geometry. Proper design of a compact vibratory flowmeter can

generally be accomplished through appropriate selection of these three factors, even for use with a multi-phase flow material.
A compact vibratory flowmeter according to the invention includes a drive frequency of less than about 250 Hertz (Hz) on any fluid that includes water, such as a cement flow material, for example. In some embodiments, the drive frequency is less than about 200 Hz. The drive frequency can be based on an effective length LE of the one or more flow conduits 301, a moment of inertia (I) of the one or more flow conduits 301, and the geometry of the one or more flow conduits 301. In addition, the drive frequency can be further affected by one or more balance masses that can optionally be affixed to the one or more flow conduits 301, as needed. The effective length LE can depend on the flow conduit geometry. The flow conduit wall thickness can depend on the flow material pressure. The moment of inertia (I) can depend on the flow conduit inner diameter and the flow conduit wall thickness, among other things. In addition, the drive frequency can be based on a predetermined minimum acceptable density accuracy (see FIG. 4 and the accompanying discussion),
A compact vibratory flowmeter according to the invention includes a flow material pressure that is greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi). In some embodiments, the flow material pressure is between about 10 psi and about 475 psi. In some embodiments, the flow material pressure is greater than about 15 psi. The flow material pressure can be selected according to a desired application or can be specified by an end user.
A compact vibratory flowmeter according to the invention includes a predetermined compact geometry. The predetermined compact geometr}^ can include one or more of a predetermined aspect ratio (L/H), a predetermined height-to-bore ratio (H/B), or a bowed flow conduit geometry. The predetermined aspect ratio (L/H) is greats than about 2.5. The predetermined height-to-bore ratio (H/B) is less than aboiit 10. The bowed flow conduit geometry can hiclude end bend angles G of between 120 degrees and about 170 degrees. The bowed flow conduit geometry can be substantially self-draining.
The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can further include a predetermined pressure drop (AP) in the one or more flow conduits 301. The predetermined pressure drop (AP) can be based on a predetermined total flow path length LT (see FIG. 3), a

predetermined meter friction factor (f), a predetermined conduit inner diameter (ID), a predetermined fluid density (pi), and a predetermined flow velocity (V). In one embodiment, the predetermined pressure drop (AP) can be calculated according to the formula:

The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can further include a predetermined pressure rating in the one or more flow conduits 301. The predetermined pressure rating can be selected accordmg to a particular application or by an end user.
The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 in some embodiments is constructed to have a high aspect ratio. In one embodiment, the meter overall length (L) is substantially the distance between manifolds 104 of the flowmeter (see FIG. 2), while the meter overall height (H) is substantially the distance between a centerline of the inlet/outlet manifolds and the farthest away centerline (i.e., the center of the peak of the bowed portion). The aspect ratio is therefore an approximate quantification of the overall shape and size of the flowmeter. A high aspect ratio (L/H) connotes that the flowmeter has a low height compared to its length. Therefore^ the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 according to the invention is relatively small and therefore easy to accommodate in most metering applications. The high aspect ratio enables the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 to be installed in small spaces. The high aspect ratio enables the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 to be used in more applications. In one embodiment, the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can be used in a cement casing operation, including in machinery for mixing and/or pumping liquid cement Other uses and other flow materials are contemplated and are within the scope of the description and claims.
The height-to-bore ratio (H/B) comprises a ratio of the height (defined above) to an inner diameter of an inlet/outlet manifold. The height-to-bore ratio (H/B) reflects the relationship between vertical height of the compact vibratory flowmeter to the inlet/outlet bores and therefore a flow conduit size. The bore therefore influences the flow velocity (V) and the meter friction factor (f) for a given flow material pressure. In a single flow conduit flowmeter, the bore (B) generally is the same diameter as the flow

conduit. However, the bore does not have to be the same as the inside diameter of a
flow conduit.
The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 features a low drive frequency for a flow material, including for a cement flow material, for example. This low drive frequency is achieved even while achieving a high aspect ratio and therefore a compact overall design. In the prior art, a design engineer could choose from either a low drive frequency flowmeter design or a compact flovraieter design, but not both.
The drive frequency is the frequency at which the one or more flow conduits 301 are vibrated in order to measure flow characteristics of the flow material. The drive frequency is typically selected to be at or below a flow material resonant frequency. Therefore, the drive frequency can vary according to the makeup of the flow material. In addition, the drive frequency is affected by the stiffiiess. characteristic of the flowmeter. As the stiffeess characteristic increases, the drive frequency also typically increases. The basic difficulty in providing a compact flowmeter featuring a low drive frequency is that reductions in aspect ratio/overall size increase Ihe stif&iess characteristic. For example, one design featui'e is the meter overall length (L). Without any other changes being made to a flowmeter, the stif&iess characteristic increases as the meter overall length (L) decreases. Another design feature that affects the stiffiiess characteristic is the effective length LE of a vibrating portion of a flow conduit 301 (see FIG. 3). The effective length LE is less than the total flow path length LT for a straight or bowed conduit flowmeter. The effective length LE can be shortened by shortening the total flow path length L7 or by the addition of brace bars, brackets, etc., that restrict the ends of the flow conduits. In addition, the effective length LE can be shortened by changes in the configuration of a flowmeter. For example, a U-shaped floMHibe has a much greater effective length LE than a straight conduit flowmeter (see FIGS. 1 and 3). As a result, by shifting to a straight flow conduit or a moderately bowed flow conduit, the stiffiiess characteristic and the drive frequency of the flowmeter will be greatly increased.
The flowmeter according to the embodiments of the invention is not merely a scaled-down prior art flowmeter. The flovraieter according to the embodiments of the invention is designed so that the drive frequency is less, or even much less, than the flow material resonant frequency. Ideally, the meter drive frequency should be a

discemable distance from the flow material resonant frequency. As a result, the flowmeter according to the embodiments of the invention provides a low-profile, self-draining, compact vibratory flovraieter while yet achieving a desired measurement accuracy, even in the presence of varying amounts of entrained gas.
FIG. 3 shows components of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 according to an embodiment of the invention. The compact vibratory flovraieter 200 includes, in addition to the components shown and discussed in FIG. 2, one or more flow conduits 301, brace bars 306, pickoff sensors 308, and a driver 309. Other components can also be included, such as pick-off sensors, temperature and/or pressure sensors, meter electronics, mass balances 316 as needed, etc.
The flow conduits 301 comprise bowed flow conduits and include a bowed portion formed from at least two end bend portions 314 and a central bend portion 312. The two end bend portions 314 each comprise end bend angles 0 between about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees. In the embodiment shown, the end bend angles Q comprise bends of about 145 degrees. The bowed portion can increase the effective length LE, as smaller end bend angles 0 can make the flow conduits more U-shaped and therefore can increase the effective length LE-
The compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can include brace bars 306. The brace bars 306 are employed to anchor the ends of the flow conduit 301, In an embodiment that includes two flow conduits 301, the brace bars 306 can additionally affix the flow conduits 301 to each other. The brace bars 306 can set an effective length LE of the flowmeter 200. Because the effective length LE can affect a stifftiess characteristic of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200, the effective length LE is modified in order to achieve the desired drive frequency. In some embodiments, the brace bars 306 are installed as far apart as possible in order to reduce the drive frequency of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200, while maintaiimg a desirable meter modal separation/performance. Alternatively, in some embodiments the brace bars 306 are left out in order to maximize the effective length LE.
Another characteristic that can affect the operation of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 is the internal bore (B) of the one or more flow conduits 301 (see FIG. 3). The bore is the inside diameter of the inlets and outiets of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200, such as at the manifolds 104. The cross-sectional area of the bore in one

embodiment is substantially equal to the cross-sectional area(s) of the flow conduit(s). A height-to-bore ratio therefore is an indicator of the amount of bow in the flowmeter per cross-sectional area. In one embodiment of the invention, the height-to-bore ratio (H/B) is less than about 10.
Another characteristic that can affect the operation of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 is the added presence of balance weights 316 attached to the one or more flow conduits 301. Added balance weights 316 affect the overall mass of the flow conduits 301 while not substantially affecting a stif&iess characteristic. Therefore, the balance weights 316 can affect the drive fi-equency. Increasing the mass of the flow conduits 301 reduces the drive frequency.
Yet another characteristic that can affect the operation of the compact vibratory flovraieter 200. is the wall thickness of the flow conduits 301. Wall thickness is generally chosen to accommodate the pressure of the flow material. However, a thicker conduit wall will increase the stif&iess characteristic of the flow conduit 301. Therefore, in the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 according to the invention, the wall thickness is chosen to be relatively thin in order to achieve a lower drive frequency. This is possible where the flow material is not at a high pressure.
FIG. 4 is a graph of frequency difference (z.e., frequency error) of actual frequency versus measured frequency over a range of void fractions. The graph represents measured values of a cement flow material at a pressure of 15 psi. The lower line comprises plotted frequency values for a prior art flowmeter operating at a drive frequency of 470 Hz. The middle line comprises plotted frequency values for a prior art flowmeter operating at a drive frequency of 340 Hz. In contrast, the upper line comprises plotted frequency values of the drive frequency of the compact vibratory flovraieter according to the invention, wherein the compact vibratoxy flowmeter according to the invention is operating a drive frequency of about 170 Hz. Each of the frequency responses is from a flowmeter having the same flow conduit geometry and differing only in terms of effective length LE and conduit wall thickness. It can be seen from the graph that the 170 Hz flowmeter drive frequency deviates from an actual response by no more than 0.5 Hz for any value of void fraction. Therefore, a compact vibratory flowmeter operating at a frequency below 250 Hz provides a high level of accuracy in frequency measurements. It can be seen from this graph that a desired level

of frequency accuracy can be achieved, at least in part, by selecting an appropriately low
operating frequency.
FIG. 5 is a graph of density error over a range of void fractions. The density error graph is a complement to the frequency difference graph, as density is approximately equal to 1 over frequency squared (p = 1/f). The top line comprises plotted density values for a prior art flov^meter operating at a drive frequency of 470 Hz. The middle line comprises plotted density values for a prior art flowmeter operating at a drive frequency of 340 Hz. In contrast, the lower line comprises plotted density values of a compact vibratory fiovraieter according to the invention^ wherein the compact vibratory flowmeter according to the invention is operating a drive frequency of 170 Hz. It can be seen from the graph that the density values measured by the 170 Hz flowmeter deviate from actual densities by no more than about 2.1 percent for any value of void fraction. Therefore, a compact vibratory flovraieter operating at a frequency below 250 Hz provides a high level of accuracy in density measurements.
FIGS. 6A-6B show a self-draining aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200. In FIG. 6A, the flow conduit(s) 301 are vertically oriented. Because the flow conduit(s) 301 features a bowed configuration, including end bend angles 6 greater than 120 degrees, any flow material in the flow conduit(s) 301 will drain out due to gravity (see arrow). Likewise, iri FIG. 6B, even when the flow conduit(s) 301 is installed in a horizontal orientation, the flow material will drain out of the flow conduit(s) 301 (see two arrows). This self-draining aspect of the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 is a large improvement over U-shaped flowmeters, as the flow material (such as a cement flow matOTal, for example), will quickly build up on the inside of the flow conduit(s) 301 if it is not self-draining.
FIG. 7 is a flowchart 700 of a method for constructing a compact vibratory flovraieter for measuring flow characteristics of a multi-phase flow material according to an embodiment of the invention. In step 701, a pressure drop is provided in the compact vibratory flovmieter, as previously discussed. The pressure drop can be chosen for a desired application or can be specified by an end user.
In one embodiment, the pressure drop can be determined using several meter factors. For example, the pressure drop (AP) can be calculated according to equation (1). Given a fluid density value and an acceptable meter pressure drop (AP), the inner

diameter (ED) of the one or more flow conduits ^d the total flow path length Lr can be
determined from the equation.
In step 702, a predetermined compact geometry is provided, as previously
discussed.
In step 703, a predetermined pressure rating is provided in the compact vibratory flowmeter. The predetermmed pressure rating can specify an acceptable upper pressure limit for the compact vibratory flovraieter. In addition, the predetermined pressure rating can influence the wall thiclcness of the flow conduit(s).
In step 704, predetermined end bend angles 0 are provided in the compact vibratory flowmeter, as previously discussed. The end bend angles 9 can vary according to a flow conduit geometry and according to a desired flow conduit effective length LE- The end bend angles 9 in the compact vibratory flowmeter according to the invention range from about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees. The end bend angles 0 create the bowed shape of the flow conduit(s).
In step 705, a drive frequency is provided in the compact vibratory flovraieter. The drive frequency is less than about 250 Hz. In some embodiments, the drive frequency is less than about 200 Hz. The drive frequency can be determined as a ftmction of other flowmeter parameters, as previously discussed.
Referring again to FIG. 3, the compact vibratory flowmeter 200 can comprise a cement vibratory flowmeter optimized for a cement flow material application. One or more of the mass, volume, and density of the liquid cement can be measured as the liquid cement is being mixed and created. In particular, the density of the liquid cement is needed. Density is an invaluable measure of the quality of the liquid cement, and can be used to measure and control the desired proportions of cement, water, and any aggregate in order to create the liquid cement mixture.
Air is typically entrained in the liquid cement as the cement, water, and aggregate are mixed. The fluid resonant frequency of liquid cement having no entrained air is about 170 Hz at a pressure of 15 pounds-per-square-inch (psi). This frequency is given for a flowmeter having predetermined flow conduit characteristics such as a predetermined inside diameter, a predetermined wall thickness, etc. in contrast, the resonant frequency of liquid cement that includes a void fraction of air of 15 percent by volume is typically about 165 Hz at a pressure of 15 psi for the same flowmeter.

However, the fluid resonant frequency varies with void fraction (z.e., with the percentage of entrained air), and therefore the fluid resonant frequency can be greater or less than 175 Hz. In one embodiment, the maximum drive frequency of the cement vibratory flowmeter is less than about 200 Hz. As can be seen from these frequencies, and from FIGS. 4 and 5, the presence of entrained air in the liquid cement decreases the drive frequency and indicates an increase in density in the liquid cement, even though entrained air will actually reduce the mixture density. As a result, the entrained air will cause erroneous or inaccurate mass flow and density readings in a prior art Coriolis flowmeter. The error occurs because a drive frequency of the prior art flowmeter is at or near a fluid resonant frequency of the liquid cement. When the meter drive frequency is at or near the cement flow material resonant frequency, then the flowmeter measurement is adversely affected.
The cement vibratoiy flowmeter 200 can be configured so that the drive frequency for a cement flow material is less than the fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material. In one embodiment, a ratio of the drive frequency to the fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material is less than about 0.8 for a flow material pressure of greater than 10 psi and for a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hz. By maintaining the ratio to be less than about 0.8, the drive frequency will never closely approach or exceed the fluid resonant frequency, and therefore the accuracy of the cement vibratoiy flowmeter 200 wdll achieve a desirable accuracy. In addition, the configuration can involve selection of a substantially self-draining geometry.
In one embodiment, the cement vibratory flowmeter 200 includes a drive frequency of less than about 200 Hz and a flow material pressure greater than about 10 psi. In one embodiment, the cement vibratory flowmeter 200 includes an aspect ratio (L/H) of greater than about 2.5 and a height-to-bore ratio (H/B) of less than 10. In one embodiment, the one or more flow conduits are substantially self-draining. In one embodiment, a flow conduit of the one or more flow conduits including a bowed portion foraied from at least two end bend portions and a central bend portion, with the two end bend portions each comprising end bend angles 0 between about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees. The drive frequency limitation can be achieved by a maximum pressure rating of 475 psi, a relatively thin conduit wall (such as about 0.036 inch, for example),

a relatively long effective length LE (such as by not including brace bars 306), and addition of one or more optional balance masses.
The compact vibratory flowmeter according to the invention can be employed according to any of the embodiments in order to provide several advantages, if desired. The invention provides a compact vibratory flowmeter that features a low profile and a high aspect ratio. The invention provides a compact vibratory flowmeter that advantageously offers a low maximum drive frequency. The invention provides a compact vibratory flowmeter that advantageously offers a low ratio of drive frequency to fluid resonant frequency for a cement flow material. The invention provides a compact vibratory flowmeter that advantageously offers a low maximum drive frequency that is much less than a drive frequency of a prior art flowmeter of a same overall size and profile. The invention provides a compact vibratory flowmeter that accurately measures flow characteristics of a cement flow material that includes entrained air.











We claim:
1. A compact vibratory flowmeter (200) for measuring flow characteristics of a cement
flow material at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-
square-inch (psi), the flowmeter comprising at least two pickoff sensors (308), a driver
(309); and one or more flow conduits (301), with the at least two pickoff sensors (308)
being affixed to the one or more flow conduits (301) and the driver (309) being
configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits (301), with the compact vibratory
flowmeter (200) being characterized by:
the one or more flow conduits (301) including a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material that is less than about 0.8.
2. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 1, wherein the drive frequency is less than about 170 Hz.
3. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 1, with the drive frequency bemg based on a predetermined minimum acceptable density accuracy of the compact vibratory flowmeter (200) for the cement flow material.
4. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 1, wth the one or more flow conduits (301) including an aspect ratio (L/H) that is greater than about 2.5.
5. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 1, with the one or more flow conduits (301) including a height-to-bore ratio (H/B) that is less than about 10.
6. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 1, with the one or more flow conduits (301) comprising one or more substantially self-draining flow conduits.

7. The compact vibratoiy flowmeter (200) of claim 1, with a flow conduit of the one or more flow conduits (301) including a bowed portion formed from at least two end bend portions (314) and a central bend portion (312) and with the two end bend portions (314) each comprismg end bend angles 9 between about 120 degrees to about 170 degi'ees.
8. A compact vibratoiy flowmeter (200) for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow material at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi), the flowmeter comprising at least two pickoff sensors (308), a driver (309), and one or more flow conduits (301), with the at least two pickoff sensors (308) being affixed to the one or more flow conduits (301) and the driver (309) being configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits (301), with the compact vibratory flowmeter (200) being characterized by:
the one or more flow conduits (301) being substantially self-draining and including a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material that is less than about 0.8.
9. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 8, wherein the drive fi-equency is
less than about 170 Hz.
10. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 8, witb the drive frequency being based on a predetermined minimum acceptable density accuracy of the compact vibratory flovraieter (200) for the cement flow material.
11. The compact vibratory flovraieter (200) of claim 8, with the one or more flow conduits (301) including an aspect ratio (L/H) that is greater than about 2.5.
12. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 8, with the one or more flow conduits (301) including a height-to-bore ratio (H/B) that is less than about 10.

13. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 8, with a flow conduit of the one or more flow conduits (301) including a bowed portion formed from at least two end bend portions (314) and a central bend portion (312) and with the two end bend portions (314) each comprising end bend angles O between about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees.
"14. A compact vibratory flowmeter (200) for measuring flow characteristics of a cement flow matmal at a cement flow material pressure of greater than about 10 pounds-per-square-inch (psi), the flowmeter comprising at least two pickoff sensors (308), a driver (309), and one or more flow conduits (301), with the at least two pickoff sensors (308) being af&xed to the one or more flow conduits (301) and the driver (309) being configured to vibrate the one or more flow conduits (301), with the compact vibrator>^ flowmeter (200) being characterized by:
a flow conduit of the one or more flow conduits (301) including a bowed portion formed from at least two end bend portions (314) and a central bend portion (312) and with the two end bend portions (314) each comprising end bend angles G between about 120 degrees to about 170 degrees, with the one or more flow conduits (301) including a drive frequency that is less than about 200 Hertz (Hz) and a frequency ratio of the drive frequency to a fluid resonant frequency of the cement flow material that is less than about 0.8.
15. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 14, wherein the drive frequency is less than about 170 Hz.
16. The compact vibratory flovraieter (200) of claim 14, with the drive frequency being based on a predetermined minimum acceptable density accuracy of the compact vibratory flowmeter (200) for the cement flow material.
17. The compact vibratory flovraieter (200) of claim 14^ with the one or more flow conduits (301) including an aspect ratio (L/H) that is greater than about 2.5.

18. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 14, with the one or more flow
conduits (301) including a height-to-bore ratio (H/B) that is less than about 10.
19. The compact vibratory flowmeter (200) of claim 14, with the one or more flow
conduits (301) comprising one or more substantially self-draining flow conduits.

Documents:

http://ipindiaonline.gov.in/patentsearch/GrantedSearch/viewdoc.aspx?id=9Fn6zFdCU97Dz4IO9S9UlQ==&loc=egcICQiyoj82NGgGrC5ChA==


Patent Number 269289
Indian Patent Application Number 5002/CHENP/2007
PG Journal Number 42/2015
Publication Date 16-Oct-2015
Grant Date 14-Oct-2015
Date of Filing 06-Nov-2007
Name of Patentee MICRO MOTION, INC.
Applicant Address 7070 WINCHESTER CIRCLEBOULDERCOLORADO 80301
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 PANKRATZ, ANTHONY, WILLIAM 7614 MOORE COURT ARVADA COLORADO 80005
2 BELL, MARK, JAMES 15710 WEST 66TH PLACE ARVADA CO 80007
3 PATTEN, ANDREW, TIMOTHY 123 GREEN MEADOW LANE BOULDER COLORADO 80302
PCT International Classification Number G01F1/84
PCT International Application Number PCT/US05/11891
PCT International Filing date 2005-04-06
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 NA