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Head Loss

Head loss is defined as the loss of energy per unit mass of the fluid. It represents the irreversible
conversion of mechanical energy to an unwanted thermal energy and loss of this energy via heat
transfer. Head loss can be regarded as a sum of ‘major losses’, which are due to frictional effects in
fully developed flow in constant area tubes and minor losses due to entrances, fittings, area
changes and so on.

Fluid Hammer
When a valve in a pipe with a flowing fluid is suddenly closed, a fluid hammer pressure wave is set
up. The very high pressures generated by such waves can damage the pipe. The maximum
pressure generated by the fluid hammer p h is a function of the fluid density r , initial flow speed u 0
and the velocity of the pressure wave set up in the pipe c p.
ph = f (r , u0, cp ).
The fluid hammer causes pressure fluctuations in the fluid in the pipe because of which the pipe
expands and contracts. This is a critical problem in case of power plants, where the flow of water
must be varied rapidly in proportion to the load changes on the turbine. Incidentally, the pressure
wave is always set up as a result of abrupt decrease in velocity.