Design of helical capacitance sensor for holdup measurement in two-phase stratified flow: A sinusoidal function approach

Lam Ghai Lim, William K. S. Pao, Nor Hisham Hamid, Tong Boon Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A 360° twisted helical capacitance sensor was developed for holdup measurement in horizontal two-phase stratified flow. Instead of suppressing nonlinear response, the sensor was optimized in such a way that a ‘sine-like’ function was displayed on top of the linear function. This concept of design had been implemented and verified in both software and hardware. A good agreement was achieved between the finite element model of proposed design and the approximation model (pure sinusoidal function), with a maximum difference of ±1.2%. In addition, the design parameters of the sensor were analysed and investigated. It was found that the error in symmetry of the sinusoidal function could be minimized by adjusting the pitch of helix. The experiments of air-water and oil-water stratified flows were carried out and validated the sinusoidal relationship with a maximum difference of ±1.2% and ±1.3% for the range of water holdup from 0.15 to 0.85. The proposed design concept therefore may pose a promising alternative for the optimization of capacitance sensor design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1032
Number of pages15
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Finite element method
  • Helical capacitance sensor
  • Holdup measurement
  • Sinusoidal
  • Stratified flow
  • Two-phase flow

Cite this