Cover Image

Investigation of Slug Flow Characteristics for Energy Harvesting Applications

Umar Alhaji Mukhtar, Abubakar Sahabo, Baba Musa Abbagoni


The purpose of this research work is to study the characteristics of air-water slug flow for energy harvesting applications. It involves an investigation and analysis of the liquid hold-up, slug frequency and the translational velocity from conductivity rings. The experimental test was carried out with a different flow rate of the air-water slug flow in 2-inch rig horizontal pipe using a ring type conductance probe. The conductivity rings were used to obtain the slug flow characteristics. Forces were generated as a result of the fluctuating pressure of the slug flow on the entire cross-sectional area of the pipe. The acquired signal of the pressure fluctuation was used to simulate the expected outcome. The result shows that a maximum forward slug force of 30N per cross-sectional area of the pipe was obtained and 26N force of the fluctuating pressure through the cross-section was generated at the flange-end. The obtained forces can be applied to using electromagnetic or piezoelectric harvester to generate the electrical output in order to energize electro-mechanical devices.


pressure fluctuation, liquid hold-up, slug flow, slug frequency superficial liquid and gas velocity

Full Text:



P. M. Ujang, C. J. Lawrence, C. P. Hale, and G. F. Hewitt, “Slug initiation and evolution in two-phase horizontal flow,” International Journal of Multiphase Flow, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 527-552, May 2006.

S. Al-Lababidi, “Multiphase flow measurement in the slug regime using ultrasonic measurement techniques and slug closure model,” PhD. Dissertation, Dept. Process and System Engineering, Cranfield Univ., June 2006.

D. Choi, D. Lee, and D. S. Kim, “A simple approach to characterize gas-aqueous liquid two-phase flow configuration based on discrete solid-liquid contact electrification,” Pohang Univ. Science and Technology, Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Scientific reports 15172, October 14, 2015.

H. Shaban and S. Tavoularis, “The wire-mesh sensor as a two-phase flow meter,” Measurement Science and Technology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 015-306, December 2014.

A. M. Sarciada, “Energy harvesting and storage method for use in residential electronic water meter,” MSc thesis. Dept. of Process and System Engineering, Cranfield Univ., 2011.

T. F. Wnek, “Pressure pulsations generated by centrifugal pumps,”, May 1987.

K. McConnell and Y. Park, “The frequency components of fluid-lift forces acting on a cylinder oscillating in still water,” Experimental Mechanics, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 216-222, June 1982.

A. Carver and C. Brunson, “Fluidic oscillation measurement proves a cost-effective solution,” Pipeline & Gas journal, vol. 228, no. 7, pp. 26-28, 2001.

J. W. Gregory and M. N. Tomac, “A review of fluidic oscillator development and application for flow control,” 43rd Fluid Dynamics Conference, Fluid Dynamics and Co-located Conferences, 2013.

G. Raman, S. Packiarajan, G. Papadopoulos, C. Weissman, and S. Raghu, “Jet thrust vectoring using a miniature fluidic oscillator,” Aeronautical Journal, vol. 109, no. 1093, pp. 129-138, March 2005.

W. B. Zimmerman, V. Tesař, and H. Bandulasena, “Towards energy efficient nanobubble generation with fluidic oscillation,” Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 350-356, August 2011.

G. H. Kim, “Study of fluidic oscillator as an alternative pulse vortex generating jet actuator for flow separation control,” MPhil thesis, Univ. Manchester, 2011.

L. A. Weinstein, M. R. Cacan, P. M. So, and P. K. Wright, “Vortex shedding induced energy harvesting from piezoelectric materials in heating, ventilation and air conditioning flows,” Smart Materials and Structures. vol. 21, no. 4, March 2012.

P. W. Bearman, “Vortex shedding from oscillating bluff bodies,” Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 195-222, 1984.

T. Sarpkaya and R. L. Schoaff, “Inviscid model of two-dimensional vortex shedding by a circular cylinder,” AIAA Journal, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1193-1200, November 1979.

B. M. Sumer, N. Christiansen, and J. Fredsøe, “The horseshoe vortex and vortex shedding around a vertical wall-mounted cylinder exposed to waves,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 332, pp. 41-70, February 1997.

K. Hayashi, F. Higaki, T. Shigemura, and J. R. Chaplin, “Vortex-excited vibration of a circular cylinder in planar oscillating flow,” International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering, vol. 13, no. 4, December 2003.

M. Chung, “Cartesian cut cell approach for simulating incompressible flows with rigid bodies of arbitrary shape,” Computers & Fluids, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 607-623, July 2006.

D. Wang, H. Pham, C. Chao, and J. M. Chen, “A piezoelectric energy harvester based on pressure fluctuations in Kármán Vortex Street,” Proc. World Renewable Energy Congress, May 2011, pp. 1456 - 1463.

D. Wang and K. Chang, “Electromagnetic energy harvesting from flow induced vibration,” Microelectronics Journal, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 356-364, June 2010.

A. M. Sarciada, “Energy harvesting and storage method for use in residential electronic water meter,” MSc thesis. Dept. of Process and System Engineering, Cranfield Univ., 2011.

S. Ozughalu “Feasibility of hold up measurement using ultrasonic techniques,” MSc. thesis, Dept. of Process and System Engineering. Cranfield Univ., June 2013.

E. Al-Safran, “Investigation and prediction of slug frequency in gas/liquid horizontal pipe flow,” Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. vol. 69, no. 1-2, pp. 143-155, November 2009.

M. Fossa, G. Guglielmini, and A. Marchitto, “Intermittent flow parameters from void fraction analysis,” Flow Measurement and Instrumentation, vol. 14, no. 4-5, pp. 161-168, August-October 2003.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.