CTI Pitot Tube Blockage Study: Request for Proposals

HOUSTON, TX – January 31, 2022 - The Cooling Technology Institute is requesting proposals for the evaluation of blockage effects on water flow measurements using an elliptical pitot tube. This study will be funded and administered through the CTI Research & Development (R&D) Committee.


Accurate water flow rate measurements are critical to the CTI’s certification, thermal performance, and drift performance testing programs. To this end, the CTI conducted a successful Pitot Tube R&D Study in 2017 demonstrating the superiority of the elliptical pitot tube design, which has now replaced the original simplex design in the CTI’s testing programs. The objective of this follow-on study is to enhance CTI’s understanding of the effect of pipe blockage on flow measurements with the new elliptical design. The results will be used to suggest procedural, computational, and calibration techniques to assist test personnel in making more accurate measurements using Pitot tubes in both laboratory and field situations. The pitot tube used for this study will utilize the elliptical tip design as documented by the Pitot Tube R&D Study.


A Pitot tube that is of current calibration and part of the CTI STD-201 Program will be provided by the CTI to the successful contractor for use in this research, which will involve three main activities:


  • • Recalibration of the elliptical pitot in a facility where the volumetric flow rate is measured with a NIST traceable standard with an uncertainty of no more than 1.0%.

  • • Utilization of three pipe test sections with specified diameters and lengths. The test pipe diameters will be 6-inch (150 mm), 14-inch (350 mm), and 20-inch (500 mm) nominal diameters. The testing will cover five average pipe flow velocities for each of the specified diameters, ranging between 4 ft/s (1.2 m/s) and 20 ft/s (6.1 m/s).

  • • Procurement of blockage elements to the RFP specifications and introducing them at various degrees in the flow path, measuring the impact on the water flow rate for each condition.

Entities with access to facilities that can accommodate the flow calibration and test arrangement described above and are interested in conducting the CTI Pitot Tube Blockage Study should contact Virginia Manser, the CTI Administrator, at [email protected] or (281) 583-4087, as soon as possible to request an information packet. This packet will include complete details for the project including an expected schedule, along with a summary of the earlier pitot study for reference.


Completed proposals are due on or before April 22, 2022, at the CTI office. All interested parties, including test agencies, research firms, and universities, are strongly encouraged to apply.


Note that the CTI has an established process for receiving and evaluating project proposals, deciding on the award recipient(s), and supervising the research. All completed proposals received by the CTI will be kept confidential and reviewed only by the specific CTI Committee responsible for the project. Request for Proposals (RFPs) such as this one are made available to the public by press release on the CTI Website and other relevant publications and/or websites. The CTI makes a responsible effort to enable access to its RFPs by all qualified organizations.


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