Effect of Flow Velocity and Geometry on the Signal from a Piezoelectric Flow Rate Sensor

Jad Gerges Aboud, University of Texas at El Paso


One of the essential sources of energy that powers our modern society is electricity. Electricity lights buildings and streets, run computers and telephones, drives trains and subways and runs various motors and machines. For this reason, power consumption has increased more than three times over the past 70 years, as shown in Figure 1-1 [Illustration omitted]. The power demand has increased for assorted reasons, including economic, political, and residential and commercial growth. As shown in Figure 1-2 [Illustration omitted], this dependence requires a stable and consistent power supply. Fluctuations of parameters can create events that interrupt power flow and damage critical system components. Therefore, many systems are operated below their design thresholds to ensure stable operation and minimize fluctuations, resulting in less than optimal efficiency for many devices. Increasing electricity usage is accompanied by environmental concerns, including emissions and pollution, depletion of natural resources, deforestation, and soil degradation. Each power generation type has benefits and disadvantages. For example, fossil fuel power plants deliver on-demand, consistent and reliable energy; nuclear power provides significant quantities of reliable power with low greenhouse gas emissions but may not be sustainable over a long time. Renewable electricity sources like solar and wind produce zero direct carbon emissions but generate electricity on an intermediate or inconsistent basis. Depending on the electricity source, they are associated with environmental challenges. Air pollutants can cause significant harmful and negative health impacts, which include greenhouse emissions. Emissions Carbon dioxide (CO2) In 2019, by the U.S. electric power sector, it was 1,619 million metric tons (MMmt), or about 32% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 5,131 (MMmt). Uchino et al., Kim et al., and Li et al. have recommended reducing greenhouse emissions by energy harvesting from wasted or unused power. Cost-efficiency improvements and demand for methods to avoid climate change will increase technologies to improve overall efficiency. Besides, using sensors in energy systems will allow for operation closer to or at optimum design parameters leading to enhanced efficiency, safety, and reduced emissions. Constant monitoring via sensors is essential for optimal functioning and security of energy systems. Some of the main operating parameters for power plants are pressure, temperature, and flow rate. These parameters are usually measured using a variety of sensors that have specific operational ranges and limitations. This study focuses on the measurement of flow rate using a sensor that has not been used before.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Aboud, Jad Gerges, "Effect of Flow Velocity and Geometry on the Signal from a Piezoelectric Flow Rate Sensor" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28262512.