Air flow data scaling has benefitted scientists, engineers and architects for decades as a practical means of testing scaled down models for aerodynamic properties using wind tunnels. Since building and testing a full sized model may not be practical, scale model testing provides valuable data that can be used to estimate full scale data. While a full power flow bench can be expensive, big, loud and require huge amounts of energy, virtually anyone can enjoy the benefits from flow data scaling using a lower powered flow bench. The Flow Performance FP1 flow data processor can estimate your low power flow bench data up to a higher test pressure in real time, as you flow test (you don't need a chalk board).
Flow data scaling for low power flow benches is not new or a gimmick. Several flow bench companies (even the bench-mark brand) offer low power flow bench models with some means to scale the data to a higher test pressure. We believe that in most cases the resolution and accuracy of the Flow Performance FP1 and the sensitivity of the Flow Performance FE2.0 flow element can give you data that can be surprising comparable to full power flow testing.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed on November 7, 1940, due to a physical phenomenon known as aeroelastic flutter caused by a 42 mph wind. The cause of failure was determined using a small scale model of the original bridge in a wind tunnel. The new bridge became the first suspension bridge ever studied using both small scale visual observation and wind tunnel testing [before construction].
Small scale testing of aircraft and race cars is almost standard practice these days, despite computer flow dynamic software that may replace the wind tunnel in the future.
Wind tunnel testing of large structures is common. This model city is built on a rotating disk. This allows the test subject to be studied from all possible wind directions.
In the same way that wind tunnels can provide valuable data that can be scaled-up to full size, a low power flow bench can provide effective flow data that can be scaled up to a higher test pressure. The Flow Performance FP1 processor can scale your flow data up to higher test pressures in real time, as you test.
This bridge was not tested in a wind tunnel before construction
Flow Bench Small Scale Data Example
The flow data above demonstrates an example of flow bench data scaling. This data was obtained from a Flow Performance 2.0 flow bench powered by a 5 HP shop vacuum.
The data line in blue is the original "real" cfm that was collected by the Flow Performance FP1 processor. Looking at the blue line, you do not see any real changes in cfm once the valve is lifted past .3 inches. This is what an operator of a low power flow bench would see if they were not employing an Flow Performance FP1 flow rate processor to scale the data to a higher test pressure. If this data were collected from a fluid manometer, the data line would appear even flatter. This is because the Flow Performance FP1 flow rate processor has .001 resolution. It is at least 10 times more sensitive than most high quality fluid manometers that would be suitable for flow bench duty, or any other digital manometer with a resolution of .01.
But, the pink line is the original "real" cfm data scaled up to 28"wc test pressure in real time by the FP1 processor. Now you can easily see that there will be a dip in flow after .5 inches valve height, and that the flow begins to drop off again at .7 inches lift. The user has gained valuable information from this example, there is probably no point in lifting the valve higher than .5 inches.
It takes very sensitive equipment to perform the degree of data scaling shown above. The Flow Performance flow elements and FP1 flow rate processor have the sensitivity to perform effective flow data scaling for low power flow bench duty. This provides amateurs as well as professionals with an inexpensive, small size, low power solution to flow testing that can be surprisingly comparable to high pressure testing.