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Chapter 6

Universidad de Oviedo
rea de Mecnica de Fluidos

Fluid transport Escuela Politcnica de Ingeniera (EPI) de Gijn

2 curso Grados en Ingeniera



- Between flat plates
- In pipes



Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 2

12. Laminar and turbulent flow

The flow of a fluid in a duct comes with an energy loss, usually expressed in
terms of energy per unit weight of fluid flow, called head losses with
dimensions of length (height of fluid column) [m].

Consider the energy equation in an integral form applied to a control volume

with a fluid flow in an unsteady regimen. Taking into account the power
generated by the viscous forces and the power exchanged between the
machines inside the control volume and the fluid:


Q WV WM e d e vR dS


with: e u gz
Assuming the following simplifications:

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 3

12. Laminar and turbulent flow

Simplifications (I):
1. inertial reference system (without acceleration)
2. Steady flow
3. Fixed and non-deformable control volume

p p


e v d S u gz vd S ;

Simplifications (II):
4. VC with a single inlet (1) and exit (2)
5. Uniform flow at inlet and exit Q WV WM
q ; w V ; w M ;
2 m m m
v2 p
q w V w M u gz ; where:
2 1 m 1 v1S1 2 v2 S 2
Variation of the energy height between inlet and exit of the CV:

v2 2 p2 v12 p1 q w V w M u1 u2
H 2 H1 z2
z ;
2g 2 g 2 g 1
1 g g

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 4

12. Laminar and turbulent flow

Simplifications (III):
6. Flow in an adiabatic duct :

v2 2 p2 v12 p1 w M u1 u2 u
H 2 H1 z2 z1 HM ;
2 g 2
g 2 g 1
g g g

where: H M = machines energy height

u = internal energy variation, with reversible and irreversible parts
Simplifications (IV):
7. Incompressible flow
u u2 u1 cV
u = irreversible head losses: hP T2 T1 ;
g g g
Simplified energy equation (conditions 1-7), between the system inlet and
outlet, including head losses and the work done or extracted by machines:

v2 2 p2 v12 p1
H 2 H1 z2
z H M hP
2 g g 2 g

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 5

12. Laminar and turbulent flow

The head losses hp depend on the type of flow: laminar or turbulent.

Reynolds experiment With mean velocity increasing

(from top to bottom)

Laminar flow = steady

Any disturbance is damped.
It happens if the viscous stresses are "big".
Turbulent flow = unsteady
Any disturbance is amplified to affect the entire flow, leading to a
succession of eddies traveling with the flow as they are falling apart
into smaller eddies.
It happens if the viscous stresses are "small".

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 6

12. Laminar and turbulent flow

Flows are laminar or turbulent in function of the value of the REYNOLDS

NUMBER (non-dimensional):

: density
U L U : characteristic velocity of the flow
L : characteristic length of the domain
: dynamic viscosity

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 7

13. Laminar flow

Laminar flow between flat plates

Consider a laminar flow between two parallel flat plates very long (without
border effects), with a separation between them of height h, one of the plates
with a velocity vP.
Other assumptions: 0 (continuity)
- Incompressible flow
- Steady flow v u y i f ( x, t )
- 2D flow, unidirectional ( h small)
Condition for laminar flow: gx
vh gy
Re 1400 g

Cauchy equation:

g p

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 8

13. Laminar flow

Considering the case of newtonian incompressible flow: 2 v


v v g p 2 v

- Direction y:

p p (Hydrostatic distribution
0 g y g y of the pressure)
y y

- Direction x: Reduced Pressure, p*

u z p 2u 2 u p gz
u g 2 2 p*x
x x x y y x

Reduced pressure gradient

(cnst. If the geometry
doesnt change)

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 9

13. Laminar flow

The above expression can be integrated two times to obtain the velocity

du p*x p*x p*x p*x 2

dy y C1 u y y C1 dy y C1 y C2
dy 2

The constants C1 y C2 are defined by the boundary conditions:

u y 0 0 C2 0 Velocity profile for newtonian fluid

p*x Vp
u y y y h
Vp p
u y h Vp C1 x
h 2 h
h 2

Pressure gradient Viscous drag

contribution contribution

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 10

13. Laminar flow

favorable zero adverse

p*x 0 p*x 0 p*x 0

Also remember that:

2u u The tangential stress change

2 px px
* *
p*x with the gradient.
y y y y

p*x L
Head loss: hp where L is the length traveled.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 11

13. Laminar flow

Particular case: Couette flow

Couette flow = flow in the case pX*=0 flow generated by pure viscous
drag, induced by the mobile surface with velocity vP:

p*x Vp Vp
u y y y h y y
2 h h

0 cte.

Application: viscometers

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 12

13. Laminar flow

Laminar flow in pipes

v D
Laminar flow Condition : Re

Applying the Cauchy equation to a newtonian fluid in the flow direction, under
the assumptions 2D, incompressible and steady flow, it is possible to find the
velocity profile. Due to the axial geometry, it is convenient to use cylindrical
coordinates (r,,x):

gx v 0r 0 u x v u r x f ( x, , t )
Momentum eq. in cylindrical coordinates,
component x:


v v v v v
x vr x x vx x
t r r x

z p 1 vx 1 vx vx
2 2
With vr=v=0 and vx=u: g
x x r r r 2 2 x 2
r r
Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 13
13. Laminar flow

1 u 1 p g z p*x
Then: r
r r r x
Parabolic profile

This eq. can be integrated to obtain the velocity

profile, with the boundary condition u(r=R)=0:

p*x 2 Velocity profile for newtonian

u (r ) (r R 2 ) fluid in a circular section duct

u r
Also: p*x
r 2

Knowing the velocity profile, it can be integrates to

obtain the flow rate:

R p*x
Q u d S u (r ) dS R4
0 8 Lineal Distribution of
shear stresses

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 14

13. Laminar flow

Ultimately, an analitical expression can be obtained to calculate the head


Q R4
8 128 L
hp Q Hagen-Poiseuille
p L g D 4 equation
hp x

For a newtonian fluid with a laminar flow in a circular pipe of constant

section, the head loss is:
- Directly proportional to the flow rate, the viscosity and the pipe length.
- Inversely proportional to the diameter of the pipe to the fourth power.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 15

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

With a turbulent flow it isnt possible to analytically solve the Cauchy equation,
due to the unsteady character of the flow.
Condition for turbulent flow:

v D (If 2300<Re<4000 we have

Re 4000
a transition regime)

Definition: the relation between the head losses per unit length and the kinetic
energy divided by the diameter is known as f, which leads to the
Darcy-Weisbach equation:
hp / L L v2 8f L
f hp f 2 5 Q2
v2 1 D 2g g D
2g D
f is a non-dimensional parameter (without units), known as friction factor.

In a turbulent flow, the friction factor depends on the Reynolds number and
the relative roughness r = /D, where the roughness of the pipe represents
the mean height of the irregularities of the interior surface of the pipe.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 16

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

NOTE: In laminar flow the Darcy-Weisbach equation is also valid if we use a

friction factor depending exclusively on the Reynolds number:

f lam

Colebrook and White (1939) proposed a single expression that can be used for
the whole turbulent regime:

1 2.51
2 log r
Colebrook-White equation:
3.7 Re f

It has the inconvenient that the friction factor doesnt appear explicitly, and an
iterative procedure has to be employed to solve the equation. From this
equation, Moody developed a diagram showing a family of curves of relative
iso-roughness, with which the friction factor can be determined at the
intersection of a vertical line from the Reynolds number with the corresponding

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 17

14. Turbulent flow in pipes


Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 18

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

Other authors adjusted the experimental data to express the friction factor in
function of the Reynolds number and the relative roughness in a less precise but
explicit equation.
For example, the correlation of Barr:

1 5.1286
2 log r
f 3.7 Re0.89

For non circular ducts it is possible to use the expressions deduced for circular
ducts, substituting the diameter D by the hydraulic diameter (Dh):

4 Transversal section
Wet perimeter

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 19

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

Minor losses (or singular losses)

Minor losses are produced by any element in the pipe implying a greater or
lesser obstruction on the flow (inlets and outlets, bends, valves, section
variations, etc.).
They can be calculated as a fraction (some times bigger than one) of the kinetic

v2 8 hps: minor losses

hps Q2
2 g g 2 D4 : minor losses coefficient

In the literature there are tables giving the typical

coefficients for the most common elements.
Other possibility is to consider the effect of the
minor losses as an additional length of pipe and
use only the Darcy-Weisbach equation for the
calculations. The equivalent length is related
with the minor losses coefficient by the equation:

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 20

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

There are nomograms to

calculate the equivalent lengths
for the most common elements in
function of the diameter of the
pipe. These nomograms do not
take into account the effect of the
friction coefficient, and the
calculation is only approximate.

Nomogram for the calculation

of the equivalent length

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 21

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

In summary 64 128 L
f hp Q
Re g D 4

(Hagen-Poiseuille eq.)
L v2
hp f
D 2g
1 2.51
2 log r
3.7 Re f

HEAD 1 5.1286
2 log r 0.89
LOSSES f 3.7 Re

- Moody diagram

hps Q2 8f L 2
g D
2 4 hp Q
g D
2 5

(Darcy-Weisbach eq.)

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 22

14. Turbulent flow in pipes

Pipes in series and parallel

Pipes in series The circulating Pipes in parallel The total flow is

flow is the same in all the pipes; the sum of the individual flows, but the
the total head losses are the sum head losses between the ends is the
of each one: same for all the pipes:

8f L
k hp hp ki Q2
g 2 D5 total
i Qtotal Qi
hp k1 Q12 k2 Q22 ... ki Qi2

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 23

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

The fluid machines are mechanical devices design to achieve an energy

exchange between a fluid and a rotating axis.
The fundamental variables characterizing the behavior of the machines are
the flow and the energy height. The product of these variables is the
hydraulic power extracted (turbines) or supplied (pumps).
The energy of the flow includes the internal energy, the kinetic energy
and the potential energy. Also, considering the thermodynamic state of the
fluid (pressure, density, temperature), the pressure is introduced as an
additional energy term relating the internal energy and the enthalpy.
There are several fundamental classifications of the machines:
In function of the working principle
In function of the direction of the energy transfer
In function of the energy term modified
In function of the geometric characteristics
In function of other characteristics: fluid, regimen

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 24

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Classification (I): Working principle

1) Working

Volumetric Turbomachines

Creation/destruction Kinetic momentum

of volumes. exchange.
Pulsating flow (as in a Continuous flow.
bicycle pump). Pressure function
Unrestricted of the flow (and
pressure, independent restricted).
of the flow. FLUID

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 25

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Classification (I): Working principle

Volumetric machines Turbomachines

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 26

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Classification (II): Direction of the energy transfer

Generating (or 2) Direction of the Extracting (or

supplying) fluid energy transfer receiving) fluid
power power
Supply energy to the fluid. Extracting energy from the fluid.
Pumps, fans, ventilators, propellers, Hydraulic turbines, wind turbines,
compressors hydraulic and turbo engines

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 27

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines


The volumetric machines main object is power transmission, while

the turbomachines main object is fluid transport.
Application fields of the fluid machines:
Transport: turbo-reactors (compressors, gas turbines), marine propellers
aeronautic propellers, internal combustion engines
Civil engineering: cranes, tunnel boring machines, platforms, caterpillars,
dump trucks
Industry: pumping facilities, industrial ventilation systems
Electricity generation: hydroelectric plants (hydraulic turbines), power
plants (gas turbines, steam turbines), wind farms
Domestic: fans, dryers, appliances (compressors, pumps)

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 28

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Energy balance in a turbomachine V2

eu gz
Q Applying the energy conservation equation to
the rotor:


e d

vR dS
Assuming there is no heat transfer to the system,
VC the work supplied by the system is:

as a black box 2

W W M W P W M p v dS

Substituting the energy by its terms and bringing together the pressure energy
of the system at the control surfaces with the energy flows at the inlets and
outlets (assuming steady flow):
p V2 V2 p


WM u
gz v dS h
gz v dS


Finally, assuming unidimensional flow, bringing together the enthalpy and
velocity terms (total enthalpy), and disregarding the elevation differences, the
machine power is obtained in function of the total enthalpy variation:
1 2
h0e h0s m
W M m h0 h0 h V
Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 29
15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

In the simplest case of incompressible fluid machines, without heat

transfer, an expression for the power is obtained in function only of hydraulic
terms (non thermal) as the product of the total pressure increment and the
flow rate:
W M Q p0e p0s p0 p V

Or, expressed in terms of energy height:

p v2
W M g Q H e H s H
g 2 g

As can be observed, the variables WM Q y H are related. Also, due to the

losses at the interior of the machine, the efficiency appears as an additional

The relation between these four variables is actually obtained experimentally,

and its graphical representation is known as characteristic (or
performance) curves of the machine.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 30

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Performance curves of the machines (I)

Relation between the flow rate
and the head (or pressure) (H-Q)
or (P-Q)
Relation between the flow rate
and the power/efficiency (-Q;

Volumetric machines: the flow is

nearly constant, independent of
the required pressure (except for
Qth VM n
the losses:
HM f (Q)

Turbomachines: Univocal relation

between Q and H (one determine
the other). Usually with a negative
slope: the head decreases when
the flow rate increases:
HM f (Q)

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 31

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Performance curves of the machines (II)

Generating Turbomachines (pumps)

Flow power
Flow rate Head

Flow efficiency
BEP (BestEffic.Point)


Flow NPSHr


Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 32

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Machine coupled with a circuit (I) 3

The difference in energy in the flow between the inlet

and outlet of the pump define the Energy height (or
Head) given to the fluid: 0
2 V22 P
1 V12
HM H2 H1 z2 z1
g 2g g 2g

The energy between points 0 y 3, can be expressed 1 2
as: H3 H0 H3 H2 H2 H1 H1 H0

rearranging: Energy required by the system (SYSTEM
RESISTANCE CURVE): Energy difference
between ends (static value, piezometric
Energy supplied by the HM H3 H0 hp difference) + head losses (Darcy) .

machine (PERFORMANCE z p g f (Q) Defined by the circuit
CURVE). f (Q2 )
Defined by the machine

The system resistance curve goes through the axes origin if there are no difference of
height between the beginning and the end, only head losses (proportional to the flow
squared). If the machine works against an elevation or pressure difference, the resistance
curve is shifted upwards by that static value.
The operating point is the crossing point of the two curves: the machine supplying the
energy demanded by the circuit.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 33

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Machine coupled with a circuit (II)

The intersection of the two curves defines the operating point: operating
flow rate and head supplied by the pump.
If there is no crossing point, the pump has the wrong dimensions for the
energy requirements of the system. It cant provide the energy demanded by
the desired flow rate.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 34

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Simple regulation: impulsion valve

If the flow rate doesnt correspond with the desired one, or if different flow
rates are needed, the system has to be regulated: the resistance curve or the
pump performance curve have to be changed.

In the simplest regulation, by an

impulsion valve, the resistance curve
is modified to change the intersection
point with the performance curve.
The regulation is achieved by a valve in
series with the pump (at the exit of the
pump) causing an increase of the losses
of the circuit. These extra losses are
dissipated in the valve.
In function of the opening of the valve,
the flow rate can change from the
maximum (valve completely open) to zero
(valve completely closed).

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 35

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Operation limit in pumps: cavitation (I)

With liquids in movement, even for isothermal processes without temperature
increment, a local reduction of the pressure due to an increase of the
velocity (Bernoulli), can reach the point of phase change: cavitation.
The cavitation produces vapor bubbles, and when they collapse in a zone of
higher pressure, generates noise, blockage, erosion, etc. It is a phenomenon
that has to be avoided.
It appears in PUMPS AND HYDRAULIC TURBINES (incompressible flow of
water or other liquids), but also in unshrouded machines as marine propellers.
It develops at the suction side of blades (low pressure), tip regions (high local
velocities), high flow rates

Cavitation in Cavitation in p 1 V 2 cte V U R

blades (pump) profiles

Cavitation in
propellers (tip)

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 36

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Operation limit in pumps: cavitation (II)

Vapor pressure
pressure at thermodynamic equilibrium
between the condensed and vaporous phases
of a liquid (or solid) = boiling pressure.
Increases with temperature.
Pv of water:

T (C) 0 20 40 60 80 100

Pv (kPa) 0.61 2.34 7.38 19.9 47.4 101.3

Pv of several liquids at 20C:

Liquid: Mercury Water Ethanol Benzene Petrol Ammonia
Pv (kPa) 1.610-4 2.34 5.9 10.0 30.4 857.1

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 37

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Evaluation of the cavitation: NPSH (I)

The analysis of the risk of cavitation in a pump is performed through the
evaluation of the NPSH (Net Positive Suction Head height units), comparing
the NPSHa (available, at the suction side: from the beginning to the pump
inlet) and the NPSHr (required, characteristic of the pump).

The NPSHr is represented as a characteristic curve of the NPSHr f Q2 a bQ2
machine and it should be provided by the manufacturer.
The NPSHa is evaluated at the pump inlet (which is the ABS
point more susceptible of cavitation) as the static PB Pv vB
pressure height (absolute) plus the kinetic energy, minus g 2g
the vapor pressure height.
NPSHr curves provided
by the manufacturer

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 38

15. Introduction to Fluid Machines

Evaluation of the cavitation: NPSH (II)

The NO CAVITATION condition is NPSHa NPSHr
The NPSHa can be computed from the suction part of the circuit, applying
the energy equation between A (free surface) and B (pump inlet):

Reformulation of the

NPSHa in function of the
pA pv
zB z A
hp,suc NPSHr circuit
g g
f Q2 f Q2

pAABS/g ~ 10 m is the typical maximum

margin of NPSHa of a circuit. It is reduced
by the losses and the positive elevation of the
The energy limit in B is the value of the liquid
vapor pressure at the working temperature.
For water about 25C, pv~3 kPa. Typically
pA pv 101.3 3 Any pump drawing water from an open tank Patm
10 m
g 9.8 from an elevation greater than 10 m, cavitates.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 39

16. Open channel flow

Characteristics of open channel flow

Open channel flow implicates the movement of a liquid with a free surface
(the flow is not completely enclosed by solid contours).
The most important characteristics of open channel flow are:
The free surface is usually keep at a constant pressure: patm=0.
The free surface can move.
The flow is driven by the fluid weight (gravity).
The cross section can be rectangular, trapezoidal, triangular, circular...
Often, the cross section along the channels and rivers changes in a
complex way.

The precise calculation of the channel flow is usually more complex than the
pipe flow calculation: different and variable sections, inaccurate friction
coefficients, lack of reliable experimental data, etc.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 40

16. Open channel flow

Types of channel flows



Uniform: the fluid velocity doesnt change in direction nor magnitude, and the
liquid surface is parallel to the channel bed (bottom). Occurs only when the
channel section and slope are constant (on a stretch). The depth (which is
constant) is called normal depth yn or y0, and it is the most important design
parameter in channels (stretch C-D).
Non uniform or varied: the surface of the liquid is not parallel to the bottom.
Depending on the change of depth being smooth or abrupt, there are two
Gradual changing flow (stretch A-C)
Fast changing flow (stretch D-E)

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 41

16. Open channel flow

Channel flow can also be classified depending on the Froude number, which
expresses the relationship between inertial forces and gravitational forces:

v v: mean flow velocity

gy y: depth of the flow

The denominator of the above equation represents the propagation velocity of

a small surface wave.
Based on the number of Froude, open channel flows can be classified as follows:
Fr < 1: the flow is subcritical. Disturbances can propagate upstream.
Fr = 1. The flow is critical.
Fr > 1. The flow is supercritical. No disturbance can travel upstream; in this case,
the downstream flow conditions can not be seen upstream.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 42

16. Open channel flow

Common sections
of transport

Hydraulic Radius Rh : Rh Hydraulic depth yh: yh
P bs
Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 43
16. Open channel flow

General energy equation for channel flow

It is valid the simplified energy equation obtained for the flow in pipes
(without machines in this case):

v2 2 p '2 v12 p '1 Where v1 and v2 are the

z y '
z y ' hP velocities in the sections 1
2 2
g 2g 1 1
g and 2, assuming uniform

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 44

16. Open channel flow

The slopes of the channel floor are usually very low (very small value),
between 1% - 1 or even lower, so that the trajectories of the particles
can be considered parallel (and the depth y of the channel can be measured

This means that there is no transverse variation of pressure by effect of

the flow; this means that pressure variations are essentially due to hydrostatic
effects, thereby:

y ' cnst. yfree_surf
With this result, rearranging the above equation:
v12 v2 2
z1 y1 z2 y2 hP
2g 2g
If the slope definitions are used:
z1 z2
S0 tan ; hp S L Assuming flor low x~L.
Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 45
16. Open channel flow


v12 v2 2
y1 y2 S S 0 L
2g 2g

Channel flow without friction

If there are no head losses, it must be satisfied that S=0 (constant energy
level). If in addition the slope of the channel is small and the stretch studied
is not too long, it can be assumed that z1~z2, which means S0=0 (channel
floor virtually horizontal). In this case:

v12 v2 2 v2 The total energy of the flow is

y1 y2 y cnst. divided between kinetic and
2g 2g 2g potential.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 46

16. Open channel flow

Assuming a rectangular channel(*) with constant width b where water

flows with a depth y. The specific energy is defined as:

v2 Q b
1 q2 q: flow rate for unit width of the channel.
H y y 2
2g 2g y 2g y2 Change of the Cnst. q curves
depth with the
specific energy
following considerations are valid
for "Wide and shallow" channels.

Critical depth

Each curve has a minimum value of H.

For each value of the specific energy there g
are two states possible:
More depth and less kinetic energy
(subcritical, Fr<1).
Less depth and more kinetic energy
(supercritical, Fr>1).

H min yc
Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 47
16. Open channel flow

Flow under a gate

An alternative interpretation of the specific energy equation is to consider H

constant and look for the variation of the flow rate Q with depth y.

Energy equation between a point

upstream of the gate and another point

Q b

H y 2
Q b y 2 g H y Q
2g y

To find the maximum flow rate:

Q 2 8 At the beginning the flow is

0 yc H Qmax b H g H supercritical, Q increases
y 3 27 until Qmax is reached at Fr=1
(y=2/3 y), and then the
flow becomes subcritical and
v 2 g y y y
If v 0 Fr 2 1 Q decreases.
gy gy y

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 48

16. Open channel flow

Channel flow measurement: sharp-crested weirs

The equation for a flow without friction cant be applied between a point
upstream and the weird because, near it, the streamlines have a large
curvature, which makes for unrealistic assumptions of uniform flow and
variation hydrostatic pressure.
To calculate the flow over a sharp-crested weir, a discharge coefficient is
needed, which is empirically determined (similar to orifice plates).

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 49

16. Open channel flow

Horizontal weir
If the velocity upstream is ignored, the discharge
flow rate through the weir can be approximately
determined from the equation for frictionless flow:
H 2
v 2 g (H -y ) Qth b 2 g (H -y ) dy 2 g b H 3/2
0 3

The real flow rate is given by:

Q CD 2 g b H 3/2

The discharge coefficient CD can be found with the equation:

CD 0.611 0.075

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 50

16. Open channel flow

Triangular weir

If the velocity upstream is ignored, the discharge

flow rate through the weir can be approximately
determined from the equation for frictionless flow:
v 2 g (H -y ) Qth 2 g (H -y ) 2 y tan dy
0 2

Qth 2 2 g tan H y y dy 2 g tan H 5/ 2
20 15 2

The real flow rate is given by:

Q CD 2 g tan H 5/ 2
15 2

The discharge coefficient CD is about 0.4-0.6.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 51

16. Open channel flow

Hydraulic jump
When the flow is supercritical flow perturbations can not move upstream. If the
downstream conditions cause a supercritical flow to became subcritical, as the
change can not be transmitted upstream (so that there is a process of gradual
change), a transition abruptly occurs, changing the flow directly from
supercritical to subcritical.
This abrupt transition is what is called hydraulic jump, and results in a large
energy dissipation.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 52

16. Open channel flow

The hydraulic jump is studied applying the integral consrvation equations of

momentum and mass to a control volume containing the hydraulic jump,
assuming a constant width b channel:
g y1 g y2 g y1 g y2
Fx y1 b y2 b v1 v1 y1 b v2 v2 y2 b y2 v22 y1 v12
2 2 2 2
Q / b v1 y1 v2 y2

y2 1

y1 2

1 8 Fr12 1

The hydraulic jumps are often used to dissipate the energy downstream weirs
and to prevent erosion of the bottom and sides of the channels.
The head loss through a hydraulic jump can be calculated from the energy

1 (y2 / y1 ) 1
v12 v22
hp y1 y2 h p y1
2g 2g 4 (y2 / y1 )

The above equation shows that y2 must be greater than y1 for a positive
mechanical energy dissipation.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 53

16. Open channel flow

Uniform flow in channels

The fully developed flow through a channel with a constant slope, cross section
and depth (yN) is called normal depth flow or uniform flow.
The equation governing this type of flow remains the general energy
equation, in this case with y1=y2 and v1=v2:

v12 v2 2
y1 y2 S S 0 L S S 0 hp S0 L
2g 2g

That is, the frictional head loss is

equal to the change in elevation
of the floor of the channel.

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 54

16. Open channel flow

Open channel flows are turbulent in practice. The head loss is written in terms
of a friction factor and the hydraulic radius of the channel:
L v2 (Compare with the expression for the
hp f lineal losses in pipe flow)
4 Rh 2 g
1/ 2
Therefore, the velocity for a normal depth flow is: v (Rh S0 )1/ 2

In most open channel flows, the friction factor depends only on the surface
roughness and it is independent of the Reynolds number because this is often
very large. The Chzy equation is usually used:

v C Rh S0

The empiric values of the C coefficient where determined by Manning, who

suggested that:

Rh1/ 6 Rh2/3 S01/ 2

C v Chzy-Manning equation
n n

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 55

16. Open channel flow

n is the Manning roughness coefficient (in S.I. units), with different

values depending on the roughness of the channel walls.

Channel surface n value

Glass or plastic 0.010
Wood or finished cement 0.013
Unfinished cement, brickwork, pipe of concrete or
cast iron
Pipe of riveted or spiral steel 0.017
Earth channel uniform and smooth 0.022
Corrugated metal, gravelly earth channels and
clean rivers
Stony and weedy rivers 0.035

Chapter 3 Fluid Transport 56