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Fluid Mechanics Lab Report
Fluid Mechanics Lab Report

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Published by: whoelse_i on Mar 13, 2010
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Objectives 1. To use the pitot static to determine the volumetric flow in small wind tunnel. 2.

To get the static pressure drop of a centrifugal fan as a function of applied impedence. 3. To plot the centrifugal fan performance graph (Static pressure difference vs Volumetric flow)

Introduction The Pitot Static tube measures the total pressure (or impact pressure) at the nose of the Pitot tube and the static pressure of the gas stream at side ports. The difference of these pressures, i.e. the dynamic or velocity pressure (Pdynamic) varies with the square of the gas velocity. Thus the gas velocity may be expressed as:

where r is the gas density and C is a correction constant dependent on the design of the Pitot Static tube. Assumption: The flow is incompressible A centrifugal fan is provided with an inlet cone that serves to measure air flow through the fan. The inlet cone has a flared inlet for receiving air, a narrow throat, and a flared outlet for expelling air into the center of a rotating fan wheel. Pressure taps are provided to measure the static pressure at the inlet and the throat. The difference between these pressures, adjusted for the empirically determined characteristics of the inlet cone, can be used as an indication of air flow. In one aspect of the invention, a controller monitors the pressure differential, calculates a flow rate based on the characteristics of the cone, and adjusts the fan speed to maintain a desired air flow.

Procedures 1. The equipment is set up so that the airflow circuit includes that conical inlet measuring unit, inlet straightener, bench mounted fan unit and output flow straightener and outlet air control valve. 2. The exit valve is adjusted like in Table 1 and for each measurement the 3-tranverse velocity pressure and the static pressure. Data is recorded in Table 3.
3. Upright manometer tube scaled 0.5kPa is connected to measure the static pressure

difference between the fan outlet and inlet pressure tapping.

Results Air temperatre, Tair,1 = 25 °C; Tair,2 = 273 + Tair,1 = 298 K Atmosphere pressure, Patm = 1013.25 mmBar # Control valve position Pitot tube position Local velocity pressure, Pv [kPa] Top 1 Almost open Centre Bottom Top 2 Partially open Centre Bottom Top 3 Centre Centre Bottom Top 4 Partially closed Centre Bottom Top 5 Almost closed Centre Bottom Table 3 2.10 2.58 1.70 1.10 2.50 2.20 1.39 2.30 1.80 1.30 1.95 1.45 0.45 0.70 0.60 Local Static pressure, Ps [kPa] 3.20 3.20 3.18 3.25 3.45 3.84 4.35 -

# Control valve position

Static pressure difference, Ps [kPa]

1 Almost open 2 Partially open 3 Centre 4 Partially closed 5 Almost closed

3.19 3.25 3.45 3.84 4.35

Table 4

# Control valve position

Effective Velocity pressure Pv, eff [kPa] 2.13

Effective Absolute static pressure Ps,abs [kPa] 104.515

Air density, ρ [kg/m3] 1.222

Average Reynolds #, velocity, Re V [m/s] (dimensionless)

Mass Flow Rate, M [kg/s] 1.208

Volumetric flow, Q [m3/s]

1 Almost open




2 Partially open 3 Centre

1.93 1.83

104.575 104.775

1.223 1.225

56.18 54.66

5.422 x105 5.276 x105

1.150 1.121

0.9405 0.9150

4 Partially closed 5 Almost closed

1.57 0.58

105.165 105.675

1.230 1.236

50.53 30.64

4.905 x105 2.989 x105

1.040 0.634

0.8459 0.5129



Effective velocity pressure, PV,eff [kPa] = (2.10 + 2.58 + 1.70) / 3

= 2.13kPa


Effective absolute static pressure, PS,abs [kPa] From data given, 1 m bar = 100 [kPa]

Patm = 1013.25mm x


x 100 kPa 1mBar

1000 mm = 101.325 kPa

PS,abs = Patm + PS

= 101.325 + 3.19

= 104.515 kPa


Air density, ρ From the equation, air density ρ is given by: ρ = PS,abs RTair,2 with R is gas constant, R = 287 [m2/s2.K] Therefore, ρ = PS,abs RTair,2 = 104.515 kPa 287 x 298 = 1.222 kg/m3


Average velocity, V [m/s] V = (2 PV,eff / ρ )1/2

= (2 x 2.13k / 1.222)1/2

= 59.04 m/s


Reynold number, Re (dimensionless)

Re = VD ρ / μ Thus, V as the average velocity of the air, D is the diameter of the duct, ρ is the air’s density at the taken point, and μ is the air’s viscosity, measured in the value related to the temperature in taken. The value of μ at 25ºC is 1.85x10-5.

Therefore; Re = VD ρ / μ

= 59.04 x 0.146 x 1.222 / 1.85x10-5

≅ 5.694x105.


Volumetric flow, Q Q = AcV

with Ac is the area of the duct. Computing Ac, we get:

Ac = πr2

= π (0.146 / 2)2

= 16.74x10-3 m2. Thus; Q = 16.74x10-3 x 59.04

= 0.9883 m3/s.


Mass flow rate, m [kg/s] m = Qρ

= (0.9883) (1.222)

= 1.208 kg / s

Discussion Theoretically, the Pitot tube will be connected to the pressure transducer to measure total pressure and fluid velocity. Total pressure is defined as pressure at point in an airstreams existing by virtue of the air density and the degree of compression and rate of motion of the air; hence it is the sum of static and velocity pressure while static pressure is the pressure at a point in an airstreams existing by virtue of the air density and its degree of compression, and it is independent of the rate of motion of the air. Meanwhile, the velocity pressure defined as the pressure at a point in an air streams existing by virtue of the air density and its rate of motion . Before we do the experiment we should know that result for traverse location at the center point should be higher compared to top or bottom point. This is because accuracy of reading increase with the increase of traverse pitot tube location in the wind tunnel and this is true with our result. We also get almost same result for the local static pressure for aech condition and this is because local static pressure is constant due to actual thermodynamic pressure of fluid that does not incorporate with any dynamic effects. There are things that we need to take precaution of in this experiment. It is required not to stand in front of the inlet air intake because this will greatly cause error in the experment. We also must be alert all the time while taking the reading because the reading keep changing and we required o take reading for the lowest reading when doing the experiment. Member of the group must be able to cooperate with each other so that the experiment will be smoothly and easily.

Conclusion In conclusion, the objectives of the experiment have been achieved. We managed to measure the volumetric flow using the Pitot static tube and obtained the Static pressure drop of a centrifugal fan as a function of applied impedance and plot a graph of it. The graph also

agrees with the theory that the pressure is decreasing with increasing volumetric flow. Overall the objectives is achieved.

References: 1. Syed Noh, Fluid Mechanics Lab Manual, pp 1-8, IIUM Press, 2007 2. Yunus A. Cengel, John M. Cimbala, pp 174 – 178, McGraw Hill

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