NORDTEST METHOD
NT VVS 131
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Approved 200411
NT VVS 131
1(8)
UNCERTAINTY CALCULATIONS FOR CALIBRATION OF WATER AND HEAT FLOW METERS
Key words: Intercomparison, uncertainty, water and heat flow, test method
1 SCOPE
The aim of this method is to provide a basis for uncertainty calculations for testing/calibrating/verifying the flow measurement part of water and heat meters.
The method is designed for being used as a guideline in combination with existing standards for flow measurement and uncertainty calculations.
2 FIELD OF APPLICATION
The method is based on knowledge and experience from 4 national water flow laboratories covering flow measurements from 5 to 500.000 l/h and at temperatures ranging from 15 to 80 °C. The re commended values of uncertainties are however based on experience and comparisons only at a flow range of 60–2000 l/h and at temperatures in the range 20 ± 3 °C.
3 REFERENCES
European cooperation for Accreditation including Example S12 Calibration of a household water meter.
ISO/CD 5168: Statistics – Vocabulary and Symbols. Part I: Probability and General Statistical Terms, 1st edition, 1993, International Organisation for Standardisation.
ISO 4185:1980/Cor 1:1993: Measurement of liquid flow in closed conduits – Weighing method (with description of diverters and the determination of the uncertainty of the diverter), 1993, International Organisation for Standardisation.
Various
working groups.
documents from standardisation
working
4
DEFINITIONS
Terms in relation to general uncertainty distribution and calculation: EA4/02.
Standing start/stop calibration:
A shut off valve is used to start and stop the
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Flying start/stop calibration:
The flowing liquid is shifted (diverted) from bypass to volume reference and visa versa by a diverter system or valve arrangement. This gives a constant flowrate during the entire calibration. The meter reading is controlled by the diverter system.
5 SAMPLING
This method does not include specific sampling guidelines. The samples can be selected meters for test/calibration/ verification.
6 
TEST METHOD 
6.1 
Principle 
This method for uncertainty calculation can be used when testing / calibrating / verifying flow meters using test rigs according to the following principles:
– static weighing
– volume tank
– comparing with reference flow meters.
Figure 1. Static weighing.
The volume tank principle is shown in Figure 2. It can be used both for the standing start/stop and the flying start/stop method with a diverter system.
Diverter/
Figure 2. Volume tank.
The reference flow meter(s) principle is shown in Figure 3. The principle can be used both for the standing start/stop
and the flying start/stop method with a diverter system.
Pump
Figure 3. Reference flow meters.
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6.2 
Equipment 
6.7 
Uncertainty 
6.2.1 Volume determination 
6.7.1 
Uncertainty contributions 
The volume can be determined by usingeither of following equipment:
– Weighing on a scale
– Using a volume tank
– Reference flow meter.
6.2.2
Other equipment
Depending on the actual test rig and flow meter to be tested the following equipment can be necessary:
– Temperature sensor
– Pressure sensor
– Timer
– Environmental parameters in laboratory (temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity)
– Equipment for reading the meter under test e.g. counter, multimeter.
6.3 Testing environment
The environment for the test has to be within the limits stated in the laboratory’s quality system.
If
the
uncertainty
requires
special
limits
for
the
environmental parameters it has to be fulfilled.
6.4 Preconditioning of test samples
The stated preconditions from the manufacture of the meters have to be fulfilled. If it is not possible to fulfil these requirements the reason(s) why must be documented.
6.5 Test procedure and data processing
The procedures for performing the calibration/verification of the meters are not a part of this method. This should be done according the normal procedure for the laboratory.
6.6 Applicability
The method has been developed on the assumption that measurements will be taken at a water temperature of 20 ± 3°C and validated in an intercomparison between 4 different water flow laboratories.
Contributions to the overall uncertainty are shown in Tables 1–6, where number definition 0,0 (comma) has been used as decimal divider:
Table 1. Uncertainty from the meter (U _{m} ).
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 

Contribution 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 

incl. alternatives 
from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Meter 
Alt. 1 
1 
pulse out of 
Rectangular 
0,001% 
0,001% 
resolution 
100.000 pulses 

Alt. 2 
0,01 dm ^{3} out of 100 dm ^{3} 
Rectangular 
0,0006% 
0,001% 

Alt. 3 
1 
pulse out of 
Rectangular 
0,01% 
0,01% 

10.000 pulses 

Influences 
0,04% 
Rectangular 
0,023% 

from water 

Vibration and 
0,05% 
Rectangular 
0,029% 
0,03% 

flow pulsation 
(summation) 

Compress 
0,01% 
Rectangular 
0,006% 

ibility 

Meter 
0,08% 
Normal 
0,04% 
Standard 

repeatability 
deviation 

and Student 

t; or 

Value from 

experience; 

or 

Stipulated 

value. 

0,05% 
U _{m} : The contribution to the uncertainty from meter under test consists of:
– Resolution of the meter in the range 0,0006% to 0,01%, depending on the volume collected under test
– Repeatability of the meter in the range 0,0% to 0,04%. This can be calculated or stipulated
– Influence from the flowing medium, stipulated values in the range 0,006% to 0,029%.
Overall the standard uncertainty from these types of meters is in the range 0,0006% to 0,041%. The figure can vary considerably for other types of meters, e.g. mechanical meters with low resolution, and meters with poor repeatability.
For determining the reference value of the volume two different methods are used:
– Volume standard, with calibration uncertainty, reading error and Standard Deviation for filling the standard
– Weighing system, uncertainty of the scale including calibration, reading, repeatability and drift, buoyancy correction, water density calculation.
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Table 2A. Uncertainty of reference volume using the weighing standard (U _{r}_{w} ).
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 

incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 

from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Water mass 
0,004 kg 
Normal 
0,002% 

100 kg 

Scale 
0,001 kg 
Rectangular 
0,001% 

resolution 

Water 
1,5 kPa 
Rectangular 
0,000005% 

pressure 

Mass of 
2,5E05 
Normal 
0,0012% 

weights 

Drift of 
2,5E06 
Rectangular 
0,0001% 

weights 
0,02% (summation) 

Density of weights 
0,0E+00 
Normal 
0,0% 

Reading of 
1,67E05 
Rectangular 
0,001% 

scale 

Internal 
1,7E06 
Rectangular 
0,0001% 

resolution 

of scale 

Repeatability 
6,6E05 
Normal 
0,003% 

of scale 

Drift of 
3,3E04 
Rectangular 
0,02% 

scale 

Buoyancy 
Alt. 1 
0,00055% 
Rectangular 
0,00032% 

correction 
0,01% (summation) 

Correction factor for 
Alt. 2 
0,00015 
Rectangular 
0,01% 

buoyancy 

Density of 
Alt. 1 
7,0E09 
Rectangular 
0,00004% 

water 
0,05% 

Alt. 2 
0,0009 kg/dm ^{3} 
Rectangular 
0,05% 
(summation) 
U _{r}_{w} : The contribution to the uncertainty when using a weighing system consists of:
– Scale: (calibration, resolution, repeatability, drift) in the range 0,002% to 0,02%
– Buoyancy corrections in the range 0,00032% to 0,01%
– Water density determination in the range 0,00004% to
0,05%.
Overall the standard uncertainty when using weighing standard reference is in the range 0,021% to 0,051%.
Table 2B1. Uncertainty of reference volume using the volume standard (U _{r}_{v} ).
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 

incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 

from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Calibration of 
Alt. 1 
0,02% 
k=2 
0,01% 
0,01% 
volume 

standard 

Alt. 2 
0,022 dm ^{3} out of 500 l volume 
Normal 
0,002% 

Reading of 
Alt. 1 
0,005% 
Rectangular 
0,002% 
0,05% 
water level 

Alt. 2 
0,124% 
Norm al 
0,062% 

STDV for 
0,357 dm ^{3} 
k=1 
0,07% 
0,05% 

filling the 

volume 
U _{r}_{v} : The contribution to the uncertainty when using a volume standard consists of:
– Calibration of the volume standard in the range 0,002% to 0,01%
– Reading of the volume standard in the range 0,002% to
0,062%
– Repeatability of the volume standard in the range 0,0% to 0,07%.
Overall the standard uncertainty when using volume standard reference is in the range 0,01% to 0,09%.
Table 2B2. Uncertainty of volume standard temperature
(U vst ).
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 
incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 
from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Calibration of 
±0,14°C 
k=2 
0,0004% 
0,002% 
temperature 
(summation) 

sensor 

Uncertainty 
±0,5°C 
Rectangular 
0,0016% 

in wall 

temperature 
U _{v}_{s}_{t} : The contribution to the uncertainty from the determination of the volume standard temperature is due to:
– Calibration of the temperature sensor and in measuring the actual wall temperature.
With the uncertainty of the determination of the wall temperature of 0,5°C and a calibration uncertainty of 0,14°C, there will be an overall standard uncertainty from wall temperature of 0,0017%.
Table 3. Uncertainty of water temperature (U _{w}_{t} ).
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 

incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 

from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Temperature 
±0,05°C 
Triangular 
0,0009% 

difference 

sensor 

to water 

in standard 

Repre 
±0,8°C 
Rectangular 
0,014% 
Using 

sentative 
volume 

of sensor 
standard 

position 
0,02% 

in standard 
(summation) 

Calibration of 
±0,14°C 
k=2 
0,0021% 

temperature 

sensor 

Resolution 
±0,1°C 
Rectangular 
0,0009% 

of sensor 

Temperature 
Alt. 1 
±0,3°C 
Rectangular 
0,0009% 
Using scale 0,02% 
of water 

Alt. 2 
±0,5°C 
Rectangular 
0,019% 
the
U _{w}_{t} :
determination of the water temperature is due to:
– Calibration of the temperature sensor and in measuring the actual water temperature
– The formula chosen to calculate the water density.
The
contribution
to
the
uncertainty
from
With the uncertainty of the determination of the water temperature in the range from 0,3°C to 0,8°C, there will be an overall standard uncertainty from water temperature in the range from 0,0009% to 0,019%.
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Table 4. Uncertainty in water volume between meter and standard (U _{w}_{v}_{d}_{i}_{f}_{f} ).
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 

incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 

from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Leakage 
±0,01 litre 
Triangular 
0,008% 
0,01% 

between 

meter and 

volume 

standard 

Undetected 
k=1 
0,0018% 
0,002% 

air 

Change in 
±0,5°C 
Rectangular 
0,009% 
0,01% 

buffer volume 
(summation) 

due to 

temperature 

Temperature drop in test line 
0,005% 
k=1 
0,005% 

Correction 
0,01 dm ^{3} 
Rectangular 
0,006% 

for water 

evaporation 
0,01% 

and splashing 
(summation) 

Evaporation 
Alt. 1 
0,001% 
Rectangular 
0,0007% 

Alt. 2 
k=1 
0,0001% 
U _{w}_{v}_{d}_{i}_{f}_{f} : The contribution to the uncertainty from the determination of the difference in water volume between meter and volume standard is due to:
–
Leakage, undetected air, change in buffer volume, evaporation and splashing.
All these contributions can be stipulated, and there will be an overall standard uncertainty from difference in water volume between meter and volume standard in the range 0,005% to
0,012%.
Table 5. Uncertainty from diverter and time measurement
^{(}^{U} diverter ^{)}^{.}
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 
incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 
from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Valve: 
0,11 dm ^{3} 
Rectangular 
0,063% 
0,1% 
Instability in 

operation 

Diverter: 
0,01% 

– Time 
±2,0E05 s 
Rectangular 
0,00001% 
(summarised) 
measure 

ment 

(timer) 

– Diverter 
±7,0E03 s 
Rectangular 
0,006% 

error 
U _{d}_{i}_{v}_{e}_{r}_{t}_{e}_{r} : The contribution to the uncertainty from the diverter operation and time measurement.
All these contributions can be calculated or stipulated, and there will be an overall standard uncertainty from these parts in the range 0,006% to 0,063%.
Table 6. Uncertainty from test rig, environment and operator
^{(}^{U} misc ^{)}^{.}
Contribution 
Contributions/ 
Uncertainty 
Standard 
Standard 
incl. alternatives 
Assumptions 
distribution 
uncertainty 
uncertainty 
from 
from 
recom 

laboratories 
laboratories 
mended 

Flow due to layers of different temperature 
0,005% 

Grounding, 
0,05% 
Rectangular 
0,029% 
0,05% 
voltage 
(summarised) 

differences, 

transients 

Reading 
0,03% 
Rectangular 
0,017% 

error 
U _{m}_{i}_{s}_{c} : The contribution to the uncertainty from the test rig, environment and operator are due to:
– Flow due to layers of different temperature, grounding, voltage differences, transients, reading errors.
All these contributions can be calculated or stipulated, and there will be an overall standard uncertainty from these parts in the range from 0,005% to 0,029%.
6.7.2 Uncertainty calculation
The calculation of the overall uncertainties are made according to the formulas (1) and (2) given here:
Overall Standard uncertainty
U standard
=
Overall Expanded uncertainty
^{U} expanded ^{=} ^{2} ^{⋅}
^{U} standard ^{f}^{o}^{r} ^{k} ^{=} ^{2}
(1)
^{(}^{2}^{)}
6.7.3 Examples of uncertainty calculations
In the following values of uncertainty are calculated according to Formulas (1) and (2) for the values given in Tables 1–6. This has been done for both the recommended values and the laboratory examples.
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Recommended values:
When using a volume standard with a good diverter system:
U _{s}_{t}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{a}_{r}_{d} =
=
0,1%
U _{e}_{x}_{p}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{e}_{d} = 2 ⋅ 0,1% = 0,2% for k = 2
The main contributions are from the meter itself (0,06%), the volume standard (0,05%) and from the miscellaneous contributions (0,05%).
When using a volume standard with a not so good diverter or valve system:
U _{s}_{t}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{a}_{r}_{d} =
=
0,15%
U _{e}_{x}_{p}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{e}_{d} = 2 ⋅ 0,15% = 0,3% for k = 2
The main contributions are from the meter itself (0,06%) and the valve/diverter system (0,1%).
When using a weighing machine with a good diverter system:
U _{s}_{t}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{a}_{r}_{d} =
=
0,1%
U _{e}_{x}_{p}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{e}_{d} = 2 ⋅ 0,1% = 0,2% for k = 2
The main contributions are from the meter itself (0,06%), the weighing system (0,06%), and the miscellaneous con tributions (0,05%).
When using a weighing machine with a good diverter system and poor resolution or repeatability from the meter under test:
U _{s}_{t}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{a}_{r}_{d} =
=
0,26%
U _{e}_{x}_{p}_{a}_{n}_{d}_{e}_{d} = 2 ⋅ 0,26% = 0,52% for k = 2
The main contribution is from the meter itself (0,25%).
Overall: 
Standard uncertainty 
Expanded uncertainty 

Recommended: 

When using a volume standard or weighing machine with a good diverter system: 
k=1 
0,1% 
K=2 
0,2% 
Recommended: 

When using a volume standard or weighing machine with a not so good diverter or valve system: 
k=1 
0,15% 
K=2 
0,3% 
Recommended: 

When using a weighing machine with a good diverter system and poor resolution or repeatability from the meter under test: 
k=1 
0,26% 
K=2 
0,52% 
6.8 Test report
When stating uncertainty in reports and certificates it has to fulfil the accreditation requirements given in EA LR2.
6.9 Acceptance or rejection of the results
Not relevant for this method.
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