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Open Tank for Liquids

Hypotheses and Assumptions

Tank is open (atmospheric)
Hydrostatic conditions (negligible fluid velocities)
Incompressible liquid
Well stirred tank (homogeneous density and temperature)
High thermal conductivity of the liquid: no energy accumulation.
The velocity of the free surface is negligible
No heat transfer and no work: liquid is isothermal with metal walls and metal walls are
isolated from the environment
No pressure drop between entering and leaving ports ("capacitive" component)
High thermal conductivity of the liquid (instantaneous temperature transmission, flat
temperature profile)
Development of Model Equations
Inputs f
E
, f
L
, h
E

Outputs P
E
, P
L
, h
L
, H
Parameters A, P
atm
Conservation Equations
The mass conservation gives:
( )
( )
1
L E
L E
L E
dM
f f
dt
d AH
f f
dt
dH
f f
dt A

=
=
=

The momentum equation applied to the tank taken as a CV reduces to a forces
balance.
On the bottom of the tank this gives:
atm
P P gH = +
Where P
a
is the atmospheric pressure, and P is the absolute pressure.
Therefore
atm
P P
H
g

=
Moreover, by assuming no pressure losses over the tank (resistive hypothesis), on the
bottom of the tank the pressure is the same,
E
P P
L
= , and it is determined by the
hydrostatic height.

Substituting the expression for H in the mass conservation equation yields:
( )
( )
1
L atm
L E
L
L E
P P d
f f
dt g A
dP g
f f
dt A

=

=

The energy conservation equation with no work or heat transfer and no moving
boundary is given by:
1
E E L L
dh dM
f h f h h
dt M dt

=

The stirred tank approximation (flat enthalpy profile) gives:

1
L
E E L L L
dh dM
f h f h h
dt M dt

=

Substituting the continuity equation
L E
dM
f f
dt
=
for the mass derivative in the energy balance gives:
( )
[ ]
( )
1
1
1
L
E E L L L L E
L
E E E L
L
E E L
dh
f h f h h f f
dt M
dh
f h f h
dt M
dh
f h h
dt M
=

=
=

Because of the hypothesis of high thermal conductivity, there is no accumulation of
internal energy inside the tank, therefore

0
L
L E
dh
dt
h h
=
=

Constitutive Equations
The density can be calculated using a thermodynamic library as a function of
enthalpy and pressure. This way the slight temperature dependence of the density of
the liquid can be taken into account.
( ) ,
L L L
P h =
Of course for the hypothesis that there is no heat transfer to hold, the validity of this
model is limited to mild temperatures, therefore the density variation of the liquid is
very small.
Solving System of Equations
Inputs (3) f
E
, f
L
, h
E
Outputs (4) P
E
, P
L
, h
L
, H
Parameters (1) A
Initial conditions (1) P(t=0) = P(H
0
, h
E
)
4 Outputs (or unknowns) => independent equations are necessary:

( )
( ) ,
L
L E
E L
L E
L a
L L
dP g
f f
dt A
P P
h h
P P
H
P h g

Note that the initial condition for pressure can be rigorously calculated from initial
density and liquid height:
( )
0 0 0 0
,
a
P P P h g H = +
0

Therefore can be obtained by solving the equation:
( )
0 0 0 0 0
, 0
a
P P P h g H

+ =

for P
0
where:
( )
( )
0
0
0
0
E
h h t
H H t
= =
= =

Moreover a maximum liquid level should be introduced to deal with tank overflow in
simulations
Validation
For a 1 by 1 m tank the pressure on the bottom is 1.1 bar if the fluid is water
Dynamic Validation
If the entering mass flow is set to 10 kg/sec and the leaving mass flow to 20 kg/sec
the tank level decreases linearly.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0.88
0.9
0.92
0.94
0.96
0.98
1
time [sec]
H

[
m
]
A =1 m
2
H
0
=1 m
P
atm
=1.0135 bar
f
E
=10 kg/sec
f
L
=20 kg/sec