Non-intrusive Gas Flow Measurement Using Thermal Signatures with Online Dynamic Parameter Estimation Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2017 American Automatic Control Council (AACC). Fluid flow in pipes is a key component in many industrial systems, including process heating & cooling, building space conditioning, oil & gas production, and steam systems. When evaluating these systems for potential energy savings or health diagnostics, one of the critical measurements is the flow rate of the working fluid. Current methods for non-intrusive, non-invasive methods are expensive and often require time-consuming calibration. Research in the literature on potential low-cost flow rate measurement relies on knowledge of pipe parameters, pipe dimensions and fluid properties. This paper presents work on using dynamic parameter estimation using the gradient descent method with the thermal response of a pipe to measure flow. Using a constant heat flux and derived analytical model, the thermal conductivity, heat capacity, and internal flow rate are estimated online during data collection. Initial parameter estimates are dynamically determined to improve convergence by leveraging unique relationships in the thermal response. Simulation results show the potential of the method, along with preliminary experimental results from air flow in a steel pipe.

name of conference

  • 2017 American Control Conference (ACC)

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Terrill, T. J., & Rasmussen, B. P.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Terrill, Trevor J||Rasmussen, Bryan P

publication date

  • January 2017