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Research on collaborative control of double-plunger gas prover based on ethercat

Piston prover has been widely used as a gas flow standard for its advantages of high accuracy in standard volume, flow stability and repeatability. It has also been employed as the primary gas flow standard in many countries to calibrate meters. However, it is difficult to ensure the uniformity of the inside dimension of the piston, thus the application of conventional piston provers are limited by the maximum calibration flow generated by the piston cylinder volume. In this paper, an improved piston gas prover that mainly consists of two uniform plungers was proposed. Their external diameter constitutes the flow standard. The plungers are driven by servo motor, and the high speed fieldbus EtherCAT has been introduced as the control unit. Hence the two pistons could work collaboratively and operate in three modes: single-piston mode, double-pistons parallel mode and double-pistons reciprocating mode. Besides generating steady flow rate, the double-plunger prover can even produce an unsteady flow rate which could be used to research the dynamic characteristics of flow meters. The structure and working principle of the three modes were carefully introduced. Then experiments for calibrating critical nozzles were carried out, and the results show that the repeatability of the discharge coefficient could be better than 0.06%, and the pressure fluctuation during the process was less than 50 Pa.
PAPER REVISED: 2019-11-26
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2019-12-10
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