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Fluid Flow in a Closed Conduit for M.Sc.

Renewable Energy EG802ME


The following review notes state the concepts and equations necessary to solve potential
final examination questions in this subject. The following basic topics and their
corresponding equations and charts are covered in these notes:

• Application of Bernoulli’s Equation with Friction Losses


• Major and Minor Friction Losses
• Energy Gains and Losses due to Pumps and Turbines
• Hydraulic Grade Lines and Energy Grade Lines

Application of Bernoulli Equation with Friction Losses

The Bernoulli Equation:

It is important to note that is this version of the equation, the unit for each term is a unit
of length. This length is what is referred to as “head”, with the first term representing
“pressure head”, the second term representing “velocity head”, and the third term
representing “elevation head”. For the remainder of these notes, all fluid energy terms
used will have the units of length and they will be referred to as “head”

The Bernoulli Equation for two points:

This equation is valid for steady state, frictionless, incompressible fluid flow, along a
streamline. Of these requirements, some can be assumed for the practical purposes of
using this equation. Below is a review of each condition, how it is met, and what
situations are not valid to meet it’s condition

Steady State – in our analysis, we will assume a period of time has elapsed for the fluid
flow to reach steady state. Some example problems where this condition is not met are:
startup of a pump, initial filling of a pipeline, and fluid flow with fast cycling inputs.

Frictionless – this condition is not met in most fluid flow in a closed conduit situations.
Additionally the head losses due to friction are often too large to be considered
negligible. In the next section, we will classify different types of friction losses and give
equations for the quantification of the head lost.
Incompressible – this condition is not met in fluid flow in a closed conduit. However, for
most liquids, including water, the errors generated by fluid compressibility are small
enough to be considered negligible. The most common situations where the errors
generated are too significant to be ignored, are the fluid flow of gasses and vapors.

Streamline – this condition is met in fluid flow in a closed conduit, so long as there is
only one conduit that is being analyzed. If the conduit splits into multiple closed conduits
in parallel, then the equations are no longer valid and different analysis techniques must
be used.

Using the conditions previously stated, we must assure that the situation we are analyzing
and the resulting equation meets the following requirements:

• The fluid flow is at steady state

• A mathematical term is added to the equation to represent friction losses

• The fluid is a liquid, such as water, that has negligible compressibility

• There is only one conduit in the analysis

Taking these into account, we arrive at the following Modified Bernoulli Equation, where
hf is the summation of all of the friction losses.

In the next section we will quantify the values for different friction losses for the purpose
of using them in the Modified Bernoulli Equation.

Major and Minor Friction Losses

As previously stated, there are two categories of friction losses used in the analysis of
fluid flow in a closed conduit.

Major Losses – These are frictional losses created by fluid motion over the pipe walls.
For the purpose of these notes, we will not cover concepts such as boundary layers. We
will only state that these head losses are inherent in all pipes and they are dependent on
properties of both the pipe and the fluid.

Minor Losses – These are frictional losses created by fluid motion through outlets, inlets,
expansions, contractions, valves, and any other geometrical obstructions in the fluid flow.
The head losses in these cases are mostly caused by disturbances in the fluid flow that
result in increased turbulence and motion in other directions than the prevailing general
direction of fluid flow.
Below are the two equations used for the major losses is head. Please note that they are
separated by a range of values for the Reynolds Number (Re) that defines their validity.
For all cases, the Reynolds Number must first be determined.

Reynolds Number for Fluid Flow in a Circular Pipe

Major 1 (where friction factor f is taken from the Moody Diagram using Re > 2000):

Major 1 (where Re < 2000 there is no need to use the Moody Diagram):

There are two widely used methods for quantifying minor losses. The first method
shown below uses a loss factor K and multiplies by the velocity head. In a separate
equation, the summation of all minor losses is added to the major loss to get the total
friction head loss. This is most common in undergraduate academic work, and table for
common values of K are used.

Typical Values for K include:

For sudden contraction ( K = 0.5 ), the velocity in the smaller pipe is used.
The second method, shown below, defines an equivalent length of pipe that would
generate the same friction loss as the particular component. This method is more
common in professional field work, where it is simpler to add the length of the pipe to the
summation of equivalent lengths of all minor losses, and then use one equation to find the
total friction head loss.

For the practical purposes of this course, you should be familiar with the equivalent
length method. However, most problems are easier to solve using the loss factor K
method.

Energy Gains and Losses due to Pumps and Turbines

In addition to friction losses, there are also two other methods for changing the head in a
fluid.

Pump – A device which converts mechanical energy into fluid energy.

Turbine – A device which converts fluid energy into mechanical energy.

To account for head gains or losses from these devices, the Bernoulli Equation may be
further modified.

It should be noted that when using the equation above, the values for pump and turbine
energy given must be converted into the proper units of length that match the other terms
in the equation. Additionally, if the energy of the pump or turbine is given in terms of
mechanical energy, the efficiency of the devices must be account for. Often times,
electrical energy will be given. In this case both the efficiencies for the pump or turbine
as well as the efficiencies for the motor or generator must be included in the analysis.

For the practical purposes of this course, the above Modified Bernoulli Equation is the
equation that should be used. If there are no pumps or turbines in the conduit, then these
terms are taken as zero.

Hydraulic Grade Lines and Energy Grade Lines

One common and convenient way of visually depicting fluid energy, is with hydraulic
grade lines (HGL) and energy grade lines (EGL). Each of these two lines is a graphical
representation of some of the terms in the Bernoulli Equation.
Hydraulic Grade Line (HGL)

Energy Grade Line (EGL)

Difference Between Hydraulic and Energy Grade Lines

It is clear from the final equation, that the difference between these two lines is always
equal to the velocity head. If there is no velocity, then both lines have the same value.

Typically, the grade lines are graphed over a visual depiction of the system, with the
horizontal direction denoting the position in the system, and the vertical direction noting
the energy. In this method, the two grade lines are abbreviated as HGL and EGL, and
there are typically no quantifiable values labeled on the diagram. An example is given
below.