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Lecture No.

8
COMPRESSIBLE FLUID FLOW

8.1 Energy Balance


In compressible fluid flow, the specific volume or density of the fluid
varies with pressure changes, which makes the solution of the energy
balance complicated.

u2 udu z2 g
P2
F -w

dz VdP

g
g
P1
c z1 c
u1

(8.1)

Friction term, F:

4fFu2
dL
L1 2gcD

L2

(8.2)

Substituting 8.2 to 8.1:

u2 udu z2 g
2
P2
L2
4fFu dL w

dz VdP

P1
L1 2gcD
u1 gc z1 gc

(8.3)

Notes:

Knowledge of PVT relationship for the gas is required to evaluate


the third term of equation 8.3. Often, this relationship may be
obtained by use of the ideal gas equation of state.

The friction form (fourth term of equation 8.3) is difficult to evaluate


because there is no analytical expression that relates fu2 with L.
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At steady-state, the mass velocity of the fluid is constant for a pipe of


uniform cross-section.

G u

(8.4)

where
G

mass velocity, kg s-1 m-2

average linear velocity, m s-1

fluid density, kg m-3

specific volume, m3 kg-1

From equation 8.4,

u GdV

du GdV

(8.5)

Substituting equations 8.4 and 8.5 into equation 8.3,

2 2
2
2
2 g
G2VdV
4fF G V dL w

dz VdP
gc
2gcD
1 gc
1
1

(8.6)

8.2 Isothermal Flow


As suggested by the continuity equation, G is constant; therefore, for
isothermal flow of compressible gas in a pipeline:

P
4fFL

P12 P22 1 2 ln 2
D
P1G
P1

In terms of mass velocity:


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(8.7)


G 1
P1
2

P12 P22 MW
P12 P22

P2 RT 4fFL P
2
4fFL
ln

ln

D
D
P2
P
2

(8.8)

P
Since ln 2 is relatively small, equation 8.8 reduces to the Weymount
P1
equation:

MWD P12 P22

(8.9)

4fFLRT

):
Heat transfer in isothermal flow ( Q

2
G 1 1
Q
2gc 22 12

(8.10)

8.3 Mach number (Ma)

Mach number is defined as the ratio of fluid velocity (u) at a point to the

velocity of sound

P in the same fluid. It is a quantity which is more

fundamental than Re in describing flow of compressible fluid. For ideal gas


flow,

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Ma u

MW
u
P
RT

where

Cp
Cv

1.40

(8.11)

To evaluate the velocity at one point in terms of the velocity at other point
using Mach numbers:

1 Ma12 2
Ma2
2Ma12 1

(8.12)

Characteristics of compressible fluid flow:


Ma < 1

subsonic flow

Ma = 1

sonic flow

Ma > 1

supersonic flow

The change in velocity and Mach number caused by area (A) changes can be
determined from

du
dA
1 Ma2
0

u
A

(8.13)

where A is the cross-sectional area.

8.4 Steady-state flow in a horizontal pipe of constant cross-sectional


area

u2
1

Cp
dP
T
dS

Pressure gradient:
2
dx
V 1 Ma dx

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(8.14)

Velocity gradient:

u2
2
C Ma
du
p
dS
u
T
2

dx
1 Ma dx

(8.15)

where dP/dx and du/dx are the pressure gradient and velocity gradient,
respectively, T is the absolute temperature, V is the specific volume, is the
volume expansivity, S is the entropy, and C p is the heat capacity of the fluid.
For subsonic flow (Ma2 < 1):

dP
0
dx

du
0
dx

(8.16)

8.5 Flow in nozzles

Pressure gradient:

dP
u2
1 dA

dx VA 1 Ma2 dx

(8.17)

Velocity gradient:

du
u
1 dA

dx
A 1 Ma2 dx

(8.18)

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