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# A STUDY OF GAS TANK DICHSRGING

## Author: Marian Nedelcu

Email:
ned_marian@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
The problem of discharging of a pressurized tank is studied. A model was eveloped to
predict the pressure and temperature of the air in the tank during discharging process. The
model incorporates compressible flow in both sonic and subsonic flow regimes, and models
the gas as undergoing a general polytropic process.
INTRODUCTION
The objectives of the analysis are to predict the pressure, temperature, and density of
the gas in the tank and the mass flow rate out of the tank as functions of time during the
discharge process.
The model incorporates compressible flow in both choked and subsonic flow, and
models the air as a general polytropic process of power n.
DEVELOPEMENT OF PHENOMENOLOGICAL MODEL
A model for the charging or discharging process of a vessel filled with air is applied to the
control volumes depicted in Fig. 1. The air is assumed to behave as an ideal gas, and the flow
through the thoat (exit, in the case of discharging tank) will be approximated as isentropic.
However, because of the possibility of heat transfer to or from the surroundings, the air inside
the tank is assumed to undergo a more general polytropic process, as shown in Eqn. (1). The
model will also allow for the polytropic constant n to vary with time, as will be considered
later in this work. Allowing for a general, time-varying polytropic exponent n precludes a
closed-form solution; therefore a numerical solution is developed.

## Figure 1. Gas tank discharging model

The model of gas tank comprises the two main element: an enough large reservoir that
allow to assume contant density, pressure and temperature in the entire volume, and a
convergent-divergent nozzle through which the gas is released to the athmosphere. For

evolution of parameters of state three important layers are considered. Layer 1 is a section
through the gas tank where the gas is considered in stagnation state (velocity is very small and
is considere zero). Layer 2 is the a vertical to the throat (the smallest section of the nozzle)
where the gas can reaches the speed of under specifric conditions. Layer 3 is the exist
section of the nozzle.
To accomplish these objectives the control volume shown in Fig. 1, which lies just inside the
vessel walls, is used. In addition, the following assumptions are made:
1. Properties of the gas in the tank are spatially uniform at any instant of time (i.e.,
quasi-steady or uniform state assumption);
2. Average velocity of the gas in the tank is zero;
3. Opening modeled as an ideal converging or converging-diverging nozzle with
isentropic flow to the nozzle throat;
4. One-dimensional flow and properties in the nozzle;
5. Neglect gravitational potential energy;
6. No shear or shaft work for the control volume;
7. Gas is thermally and calorically perfect;
8. Thermodynamic process is politropic.
If we choose the adiabatic process this would be expected to be a good model for very
rapid discharge processes in which case there would be little time for significant heat transfer
between the tank walls and the gas. On the other hand, the isothermal process is expected to
be appropriate for slow vessel discharge processes whereby there is sufficient time for heat
transfer to maintain the temperature of the gas in the vessel constant.
A polytropic process is a quasiequilibrium process described by 

p
const.
n

(1)

## Processes are sometime modeled as an idealized type of process called a

quasiequilibrium (or quasistatic) process. A quasiequilibrium process is one in which the
departure from thermodynamic equilibrium is at most infinitesimal. All states through which
the system passes in a quasiequilibrium process may be considered equilibrium states.

obain:

p2 2

p1 1

(2)

## Conservation of mass to control volume can be written as:

dm0
1u1 A1 2u2 A2
dt

(3)

where m0 is mass inside the tank volume V, which can be expressed as V, u and are
velocity and density of the gas. It is assumed uniform properties within the tank, a rigid
control volume, and uniform properties along throat and exit surface.
Before developing the compresibble flow equations, the ideal gas properties are
evaluated. The equation of state is:

p RT

(4)

## where R is the ideal gas constant.

For an ideal gas, internal energy

(
u

is expressed as:

(
du cv dT

(5)

## and entalpy is defined as:

( p
hu

(6)

The entalpy as internal energy is a function of temperature and can be expressed as:

dh c p dT

(7)

where cv, and cp are specific heats at constant volume and pressure. Having definitions
of internal energy and entalpy and equation of state (4) the following relationship can be
derived:

c p cv R

(8)

cp
cv

(9)

cp

R
1

(10)

cv

1
R
1

(11)

## For compressible flows , changes in the thermodynamic property entropy, s, are

important because they are related to loss of available energy.
For any pure substance include ideal gases, the first Tds equationis

1
(
Tds du pd

(12)

## and the second Tds equation is

Tds dh

dp

(13)

The second law of thermodynamics requires that the adiabatic and frictionless flow of
any fluid results ds=0. Constant entropy flow is called isentropic flow.
For an isentropic flow the most useful relationship is:

p
const.

(14)

Which is similar as form with the polytropic flow which can include even a possible
loss of energy.
Mach number is defined as the ratio of the value of the local flow velocity, u,, to the
local speed of sound c.

u
c

(15)

## For an isentropic flow the speed of sound can be calculated using:

c
or

dp
d

(16)

(17)

c RT

The main equation which guverns the one dimensional compressible flow in steady
state are:

Mass conservation

d du dA

u
A

(18)

dp udu 0

(19)

c p dT udu 0

(20)

Momentum conservation

Energy conservation

## For an isentropic process the equations of momentum and energy conservation

becomes similar.
If we apply the energy equation (20) betwenn the layers of study yealds:

RT0
RT1 u12
RT2 u22
1
1
1

(21)

Rearaging the threms amd using the mach number in above relationships yelds

T0
1 2
1
M
T
2

(22)

Using the adiabatic process relationship followings formulas can be derived 
1

(23)

(24)

0
1 2 n 1
1
M

2

p0
1 2 n 1
1
M
p
2

In order to calculate the mass flow we have to consider the energy equation (19)
between layer 1 and ambient layer. The ambient layer is an imaginary layer where the gas
reach the ambient pressure.

ub2 2c pTb T0 Tb 1

(25)

The mass flux per unit of area is obtained from equation (25) by substituting

Tb T0 pb p0

and

b 0 pb p0

p0 RT0 pb p0

m&
2 pb
G p0

A
RT0 1 p0

p
b
1
p0

pb p0 0.528

as:
(26)

2
pb p0

. For air

1.4

## To determine the parameters at exit we have to solve a nonlinear equation which

derives from mass conservation and energy conservation written between relative to the

ue
ucr

1

T A 1 1
f v e cr
Tcr Ae v

## and from energy conservation:

(27)

Te
ucr2
g v
1
1 v2

Tcr
2c pTcr
Solving the equation

f v g v 0

## then we can calculate the exit velociy as

(28)

ue ucr v

References
[1 M. J. Michael, S. N. Howard, B. D. Daisie and B. B. Margaret, Fundamentals of
] Engineering Thermodynamics, 7th ed., Wiley, 2011.
[2 B. R. Muson, T. H. Okiishi, W. W. Huebsch and A. P. Rothmayer, Fundamentals
] of fluid Mechanics, Seventh ed., Wiley, 2013.
[3 F. P. Incropera and P. D. Dewitt, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer,
] Seventh ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2011.
[4 M. A. Saad , Compressible Fluid Flow, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1985.
]