Cryogenic Flows Measurements

VKI Instrumentation Applications

Cryogenic Flow Measurements

Contact point: Senior Research Engineer Dr. Jean-Baptiste Gouriet

The Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics Department of VKI has been working on many programs related to multiphase flows and heat transfer, including cryogenic liquids.

The aim of the Cryogenic team is to accurately characterize, by means of several type of measurement techniques, fundamental phenomena involved in cryogenic systems. Typical applications are related to cryogenic propellants as well as LNG terminals or automotive industries (fuel cell vehicles). Generally, cryogenic fluids are highly sensitive from the thermodynamic equilibrium point of view, so they often experience a very complex thermo-fluid dynamics.

Both quantitate and qualitative measurements techniques in such conditions are extremely challenging, but nowadays of fundamental importance for the correct design of the mentioned systems.

Over the years, the VKI research group has developed and consolidated its expertise in using as best standard probes to be exploited in the precise measurements of challenging cold environments and multiphase fluid dynamic. Indeed, their knowledge of cryogenic flows associated to the capabilities offered by the sensors available in the market, assures the maximised accuracy in the results, the correction of unwanted spurious effects, the most elevate possible repeatability and reliability of the measured quantities.

Additionally, the VKI Cryogenic team is used to develop in-house and thanks to worldwide academic partnerships, particularly innovate instruments and new measurement methods to match the requirements of specific applications. For example, the quantitative detection by not-intrusive techniques of the flow topology or the reconstruction of a forced convective heat-transfer mechanism by multipoint temperature measurements.

Within the VKI-Instrumentation Service, the Cryogenic Team of the EA Department provides its expertise in the following fields:

Cryogenic Pressure Measurements

  • high time-resolved measurements and simultaneous flow visualizations
  • design and construction of customised sensor-mounting modules
  • particular care to temperature effects compensation
  • sensors calibration check at cold temperature when possible

Cryogenic Temperature Measurements

  • temperature sensors embedded in the wall thickness and in contact with the flow
  • heat-transfer reconstruction by wall temperature measurements
  • particular care to temperature effects compensation
  • sensors calibration check at cold temperature when possible

Cryogenic Mass Flow Rate and Density Measurements

Cryogenic Void Fraction measurements by capacitive methods*

  • high time-resolved measurements and simultaneous flow visualizations
*Academic Collaborations: Waseda University of Tokyo

Solid Mass Fraction Measurements by Capacitive Methods

  • high time-resolved measurements and simultaneous flow visualizations

Cryogenic Quantitative and Qualitative Optical Technique

  • Particle Image Velocimetry
  • Free surface tracking and reconstruction
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