Abstract

In many areas of the world water distribution systems are operated intermittently. The alternate filling and emptying of the pipe network leads to effects, which have negative impacts on water meter accuracy. For example, air that is present in the pipe network due to the emptying process must exit the network during the subsequent filling process. A part of this air is discharged through service connections and, thus, through water meters. In this paper, a study is presented in which the measurement error of single-jet and multi-jet water meters due to the filling process of an empty pipe is investigated experimentally. From the start of air flow to the steady-state flow of water, several causes of measurement errors can be distinguished, such as pure air flow, the impact of the water front on the impeller, the existence of two-phase flow or unsteady flow conditions. For both meter types, it has been discovered that the measurement error is mainly caused by the air flow. The experimental results show that up to 93% of the air volume in the pipe is registered by the water meters. Based on these results, an approach for estimating the measurement error for both meter types is presented.

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