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Bernoulli's Equation

The basic approach to all piping systems is to write the Bernoulli

equation between two points, connected by a streamline, where the
conditions are known. For example, between the surface of a reservoir
and a pipe outlet.

The total head at point 0 must match with the total head at point 1,
adjusted for any increase in head due to pumps, losses due to pipe
friction and so-called "minor losses" due to entries, exits, fittings, etc.
Pump head developed is generally a function of the flow through the

Compressible Flow

Friction Losses in Pipes

Friction losses are a complex function of the system geometry, the fluid
properties and the flow rate in the system. By observation, the head
loss is roughly proportional to the square of the flow rate in most
engineering flows (fully developed, turbulent pipe flow). This
observation leads to the Darcy-Weisbach equation for head loss due to

which defines the friction factor, f. f is insensitive to moderate changes

in the flow and is constant for fully turbulent flow. Thus, it is often
useful to estimate the relationship as the head being directly
proportional to the square of the flow rate to simplify calculations.
Reynolds Number is the fundamental dimensionless group in viscous flow.
Velocity times Length Scale divided by Kinematic Viscosity.

Relative Roughness relates the height of a typical roughness element to

the scale of the flow,
represented by the pipe
diameter, D.

Pipe Cross-section is important, as deviations from circular cross-section will

cause secondary flows that increase the pressure drop. Non-circular pipes
and ducts are generally treated by using the hydraulic diameter, in place of
the diameter and treating the pipe as if it were round

For laminar flow, the head loss is proportional to velocity rather than
velocity squared, thus the friction factor is inversely proportional to

Turbulent flow

For turbulent flow, Colebrook (1939) found an implicit correlation for

the friction factor in round pipes. This correlation converges well in few
iterations. Convergence can be optimized by slight under-relaxation.

The familiar Moody Diagram is a log-log plot of the Colebrook correlation on

axes of friction factor and Reynolds number, combined with the f=64/Re
result from laminar flow. The plot below was produced in an Excel
An explicit approximation

Calculating Flow for a Known Head

Obtain the allowable head loss from the Bernoulli equation, then start
by guessing a friction factor. (0.02 is a good guess if you have nothing
better.) Calculate the velocity from the Darcy-Weisbach equation. From this
velocity and the piping characteristics, calculate Reynolds Number, relative
roughness and thus friction factor.

Repeat the calculation with the new friction factor until sufficient
convergence is obtained.

Q = VA

"Minor Losses"

Although they often account for a major portion of the head loss,
especially in process piping, the additional losses due to entries and exits,
fittings and valves are traditionally referred to as minor losses. These losses
represent additional energy dissipation in the flow, usually caused by
secondary flows induced by curvature or recirculation. The minor losses are
any head loss present in addition to the head loss for the same length of
straight pipe.

Like pipe friction, these losses are roughly proportional to the square of
the flow rate. Defining K, the loss coefficient, by

. K is the sum of all of the loss coefficients in the length of pipe, each
contributing to the overall head loss

Although K appears to be a constant coefficient, it varies with different

flow conditions



hE K E
V22 A2
1 hE K E
V1 V2 2
2 g A1 2g
o Head Loss due to Gradual
Expansion (Diffuser)

o Sudden Contraction
A 1 V22
Cc c hc 1
A2 Cc 2 g

he K e
o Entrance Losses

o Head Loss in Bends

Head loss is a function of the ratio of the bend radius to the pipe
diameter (R/D)
hb K b
Velocity distribution returns to normal several pipe
diameters downstream

Kb varies from 0.6 - 0.9

o Head Loss in Valves

hv K v
The complex flow path through valves can result in high
head loss (of course, one of the purposes of a valve is to create
head loss when it is not fully open)

To calculate losses in piping systems with both pipe friction and

minor losses use

Solution Technique: Head Loss

8Q 2 V2
hminor K hminor K
g 2 D 4 2g
Can be solved directly

f 2
5.74 4Q
log 3.7 D Re 0.9 Re

8 LQ 2
hf f
g 2 D 5
hl h f hminor

Solution Technique: Discharge or Pipe Diameter

Iterative technique

Set up simultaneous equations in Excel

f 2
8 LQ 2 5.74 4Q
hf f log 3.7 D Re 0.9 Re
g 2 D 5 D

8Q 2
hminor K
g 2 D 4

hl h f hminor