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Compressible pressure drop in pipes

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Fluids Engineering

Course teacher

Dr. M. Mahbubur Razzaque

Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

BUET

1

FLOW EQUATIONS

Several equations are available that relate the gas flow rate with gas

properties, pipe diameter and length, and upstream and downstream

pressures. These equations are listed as follows:

1. General Flow equation

2. Colebrook-White equation

3. Modified Colebrook-White equation

4 AGA equation

4. ti

5. Weymouth equation

6. Panhandle A equation

7 Panhandle B equation

7.

8. IGT equation

9. Spitzglass equation

10. Mueller equation

11. Fritzsche equation

A comparison

p of these equations

q will also be discussed using

g an example

p

pipeline.

2

The General Flow equation, also called the Fundamental Flow equation, for

the steady-state isothermal flow in a gas pipeline is the basic equation for

relating the pressure drop with flow rate. The most common form of this

equation in the U.S. Customary System (USCS) of units is given in terms of

the pipe diameter, gas properties, pressures, temperatures, and flow rate as

f ll

follows. It mustt be

b noted

t d that

th t for

f the

th pipe

i segmentt from

f section

ti 1 to

t section

ti

2, the gas temperature Tf is assumed to be constant (isothermal flow).

3

Sometimes the General Flow equation is represented in terms of the

transmission factor F instead of the friction factor f.

f This form of the

equation is as follows.

and in SI units

4

When there is elevation difference between the ends of a pipe segment, the

General Flow equation needs further modification.

In the General Flow equation, the compressibility factor Z is used. This

mustt be

b calculated

l l t d att the

th gas flowing

fl i temperature

t t andd average pressure in

i

the pipe segment. Therefore, it is important to first calculate the average

pressure in a pipe segment.

pressure P2. An average pressure for this segment must be used to calculate

the compressibility factor of gas at the average gas temperature Tf. As a first

approximation, we may use an arithmetic average of (P1 + P2)/2. However,

it has been found that a more accurate value of the average gas pressure in a

pipe

p p segment

g is

5

VELOCITY OF GAS IN A PIPELINE

Unlike a liquid pipeline, due to compressibility, the gas velocity depends

upon the pressure and,

and hence,

hence will vary along the pipeline even if the pipe

diameter is constant. The highest velocity will be at the downstream end,

where the pressure is the least. Correspondingly, the least velocity will be at

the upstream end,

end where the pressure is higher.

higher

Consider a pipe transporting gas from point A to point B. Under steady state

flow,, at A,, the mass flow rate of g

gas is designated

g as M and will be the same

as the mass flow rate at point B, if between A and B there is no injection or

delivery of gas. We can write the following relationship for point A:

The volume rate Q can be expressed in terms of the flow velocity u and

pipe cross sectional area A as follows:

Therefore,

Th f combining

bi i Equation

E ti 2.16 2 16 and

d Equation

E ti 2.172 17 and

d applying

l i the

th

conservation of mass to points A and B, we get

B the velocities at

A and B are related by the following equation:

6

Since the flow of gas in a pipe can result in variation of temperature from

point A to point B, the gas density will also vary with temperature and

pressure. If the density and velocity at one point are known, the

corresponding velocity at the other point can be calculated using Equation

2.19.

If inlet conditions are represented by point A and the volume flow rate Q at

standard conditions (60°F and 14.7 psia) are known, we can calculate the

velocity at any point along the pipeline at which the pressure and

temperature of the gas are P and T, respectively.

The mass flow rate M at section 1 and 2 is the same for steady

steady-state

state flow.

flow

Therefore,

corresponding gas density. Therefore, simplifying Equation 2.20,

or

7

where P1 and T1 are the pressure and temperature at pipe section 1.

Similarly, at standard conditions,

8

9

EROSIONAL VELOCITY

As flow rate increases, so does the gas velocity. How high can the gas velocity be in

a pipeline? As the velocity increases, vibration and noise are evident. In addition,

higher velocities will cause erosion of the pipe interior over a long period of time.

The upper limit of the gas velocity is usually calculated approximately from the

following equation:

10

11

12

In the preceding Examples 1 and 2, we have assumed the value of

compressibility

ibilit factor

f t Z to t the

th constant.

t t A more accurate

t solution

l ti will

ill be

b tto

calculate the value of Z using CNGA or Standing-Katz method.

modified

13

REYNOLDS NUMBER OF FLOW

The Reynolds number is a function of the gas flow rate, pipe inside

di

diameter,

t and

d the

th gas density

d it andd viscosity

i it and

d iis calculated

l l t d from

f th

the

following equation:

for the Reynolds number is as follows:

14

15

COMPARISON OF FLOW EQUATIONS

IIn Figure

Fi 2 5 we consider

2.5, id a pipeline

i li 100 mile il long,

l NPS 16 with

ith 0.250

0 250 in.

i

wall thickness, operating at a flow rate of 100 MMSCFD. The gas flowing

temperature is 80°F. With the upstream pressure fixed at 1400 psig, the

downstream pressure was calculated using the different flow equations.

equations By

examining Figure 2.5, it is clear that the highest pressure drop is predicted

by the Weymouth equation and the lowest pressure drop is predicted by the

Panhandle B equation. It must be noted that we used a pipe roughness of 700

µin. for both the AGA and Colebrook equations, whereas a pipeline

efficiency of 0.95 was used in the Panhandle and Weymouth equations.

16

Figure 2.6 shows a comparison of the flow equations from a different

perspective. In this case, we calculated the upstream pressure required for an

NPS 30 pipeline,

i li 100 miles

il long,

l h ldi the

holding th delivery

d li pressure constant

t t att

800 psig. The upstream pressure required for various flow rates, ranging

from 200 to 600 MMSCFD, was calculated using the five flow equations.

Again it can be seen that the Weymouth equation predicts the highest

upstream pressure at any flow rate, whereas the Panhandle A equation

calculates the least pressure. We therefore conclude that the most

conservative flow equation that predicts the highest pressure drop is the

Weymouth equation and the least conservative flow equation is Panhandle

A.

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

The wall thickness required for this pipe diameter and pressure will be dictated

by the pipe material 25

26

27

28

29

EQUIVALENT LENGTH METHOD: Pipes in Series

The equivalent

Th l l

length

h method

h d can beb applied

l d when

h theh same uniform

f fl

flow

exists throughout the pipeline consisting of pipe segments of different

diameter, with no intermediate deliveries or injections.

Consider the same flow rate Q through all pipe segments. The first pipe

segment has an inside diameter D1 and length L1, followed by the second

segment of inside diameter D2 and length L2 and so on. on We calculate the

equivalent length of the second pipe segment based on the diameter D1

such that the pressure drop in the equivalent length matches that in the

original

g pipe

p p segment

g of diameter D2. The p pressure drop

p in diameter D2

and length L2 equals the pressure drop in diameter D1 and equivalent length

Le2. Thus, the second segment can be replaced with a piece of pipe of

length Le2 and diameter D1. Similarly, the third pipe segment with diameter

D3 and length L3 will be replaced with a piece of pipe of Le3 and diameter

D1. Thus, we have converted the three segments of pipe in terms of

diameter D1 as follows:

30

We now have the series piping system reduced to one constant-diameter

(D1) pipe of total equivalent length given by

For the same flow rate and gas properties, neglecting elevation effects, the

pressure difference (P12 – P22) is inversely proportional to the fifth power of

the pipe diameter and directly proportional to the pipe length.

length Therefore,

Therefore

we can state that, approximately,

From Equation 3.2 we conclude that the equivalent length for the same

pressure drop is proportional to the fifth power of the diameter. Therefore,

in the series piping discussed in the foregoing, the equivalent length of the

second pipe segment of diameter D2 and length L2 is

or

31

Similarly, for the third pipe segment of diameter D3 and length L3, the

equivalent length is

Therefore, the total equivalent length Le for all three pipe segments in

terms of diameter D1 is

It can be seen from Equation 3.6 that if D1 = D2 = D3, the total equivalent

length reduces to (L1 + L2 + L3), as expected.

32

33

34

35

PARALLEL PIPING

Sometimes two or more pipes are connected such that the gas flow splits

among the branch pipes and eventually combines downstream into a single

pipe, as illustrated in Figure 3.7. The reason for installing parallel pipes or

l

loops i to reduce

is d pressure drop

d i a certain

in i section

i off theh pipeline

i li due d to

pipe pressure limitation or for increasing the flow rate in a bottleneck

section.

reducing the overall pressure drop in the pipeline from A to F, since

between B and E the flow is split

p through

g two ppipes.

p

flow into B must exactly equal the total outflow at B through the parallel

pipes. Therefore, at junction B,

36

Where, Q = inlet flow at A, Q1 = flow through pipe branch BCE and Q2 =

flow through pipe branch BDE.

Both pipe branches have a common starting point (B) and common ending

point (E). Therefore, the pressure drop in the branch pipe BCE and branch

pipe

i BDE are each h equall to (PB – PE),

) where

h PB and

d PE are the

h pressures at

junctions B and E, respectively. Therefore, we can write

The pressure drop due to friction in branch BCE can be calculated from

etc., L1 = length of pipe branch BCE, D1 = inside diameter of pipe branch

BCE and Q1 = flow rate through pipe branch BCE.

Similarly, the pressure drop due to friction in branch BDE is calculated from

In Eq. 3.10 and Eq. 3.11, the constants K1 and K2 are equal, since they do

not depend on the diameter or length of the branch pipes BCE and BDE.

37

Combining both equations, we can state the following for common pressure

drop through each branch:

Simplifying further, we get the following relationship between the two flow

rates Q1 andd Q2:

In equivalent diameter method, we replace the pipe loops BCE and BDE

with a certain length of an equivalent diameter pipe that has the same

pressure drop as one of the branch pipes.

pipes Since the pressure drop in the

equivalent diameter pipe, which flows the full volume Q, is the same as that

in any of the branch pipes, from Eq. 3.10, we can state the following:

the equivalent diameter pipe of length Le flowing the full volume Q. We get,

using Eq. 3.10, Eq. 3.11, and Eq. 3.14:

38

Setting K1 = K2 = Ke and Le = L1, we simplify Equation 3.15 as follows:

Using Equation 3.16 in conjunction with Equation 3.7, we solve for the

equivalent diameter De as

Where

and

39

40

41

42

Solving for the outlet pressure at E, we get P2 = 1145.60 psia, which is almost

the same as what we calculated before.

Therefore, using the equivalent diameter method, the parallel pipes BCE and

BDE can be replaced with a single pipe 24 mi long, having an inside diameter

of 17.67 in. 43

LOCATING PIPE LOOP

Should it be located upstream, downstream, or in a midsection of the pipe?

Three looping scenarios are presented in Figure 3.8.

beginning at the upstream end A. A In case (b),

(b) the same length X of pipe is

looped, but it is located on the downstream end B. Case (c) shows the

midsection of the pipeline being looped.

44

For most practical purposes, we can say that the cost of all three loops will

be the same as long as the loop length is the same.

constant throughout, at locations near the upstream end, the pressure

drops at a slower rate than at the downstream end. end Therefore,

Therefore there is

more pressure drop in the downstream section compared to that in the

upstream section. Hence, to reduce the overall pressure drop, the loop

must be installed toward the downstream end of the pipe. This argument is

valid only if the gas temperature is constant throughout the pipeline.

In reality, due to heat transfer between the flowing gas and the surrounding

soil (buried pipe) or the outside air (above-ground pipe), the gas

temperature will change along the length of the pipeline. If the gas

temperature at the pipe inlet is higher than that of the surrounding soil

(buried pipe), the gas will lose heat to the soil and the temperature will

drop from the pipe inlet to the pipe outlet.

If the gas

as is compressed

c m ressed at the inlet using

sin a compressor,

c m ress r then the gas as

temperature will be much higher than that of the soil immediately

downstream of the compressor.The hotter gas will cause higher pressure 45

drops. Hence, in this case the upstream segment will have a larger pressure

drop compared to the downstream segment. Therefore, considering heat

transfer effects,

effects the pipe loop should be installed in the upstream portion

for maximum benefit.

The installation of the pipe loop in the midsection of the pipeline, as in case

(c) in Figure 3.8, will not be the optimum location, based on the preceding

discussion. It can therefore be concluded that if the gas temperature is

fairlyy constant alongg the p

pipeline,

p the loop

p should be installed toward the

downstream end, as in case (b). If heat transfer is taken into account and

the gas temperature varies along the pipeline, with the hotter gas being

upstream, the better location for the pipe loop will be on the upstream end,

as in case (a).

the hydraulic gradient for a gas pipeline appears to be a slightly curved line

instead of a straight line.

line The slope of the hydraulic gradient at any point

represents the pressure loss due to friction per unit length of pipe. This

slope is more pronounced as we move toward the downstream end of the

46

pipeline, since the pressure drop is larger toward the end of the pipeline. If

there are intermediate deliveries or injections along the pipeline, the

hydraulic gradient will be a series of broken lines,

lines as indicated in Figure 3.10.

3 10

pipeline with variable pipe diameters and wall thicknesses, even if the flow

rate is constant. Unlike liquid pipelines, the breaks in hydraulic pressure

gradient are not as conspicuous in gas pipelines. In a long-distance gas

pipeline, due to limitations of pipe pressure, intermediate compressor

stations

i will

ill be

b installed

i ll d to boost

b the

h gas pressure to the

h required

i d value

l so

the gas can be delivered at the contract delivery pressure at the end of the

pipeline. 47

PRESSURE REGULATORS AND RELIEF VALVES

In a long-distance

long distance gas pipeline with intermediate delivery points,

points there may

be a need to regulate the gas pressure at certain delivery points in order to

satisfy the customer requirements. Suppose the pressure at a delivery point

is 800 psig, whereas the customer requirement is only 500 psig. Obviously,

some means of reducing the gas pressure must be provided so that the

customer can utilize the gas for his or her requirements at the correct

ppressure. This is achieved byy means of a p

pressure regulator

g that will ensure

a constant pressure downstream of the delivery point, regardless of the

pressure on the upstream side of the pressure regulator.

This concept is further illustrated using the above example. The main

pipeline from A to C has a branch pipe BE.

BE The flowrate from A to B is 100

MMSCFD, with an inlet pressure of 1200 psig at A. At B, gas is delivered

into a branch line BE at the rate of 30 MMSCFD.

48

The remaining volume of 70 MMSCFD is delivered to

the pipeline terminus C at a delivery pressure of 600

psig Based on the delivery pressure requirement of 600

psig.

psig at C and a takeoff of 30 MMSCFD at point B, the

calculated pressure at B is 900 psig. Starting with 900

psig on the branch line at B, at 30 MMSCFD, gas is

delivered to point E at 600 psig. If the actual

requirement at E is only 400 psig, a pressure regulator

will be installed at E to reduce the deliveryy p

pressure byy

200 psig.

49

50

51

52

53

LINE PACK

pipeline

p under p

pressure,, measured

at standard conditions (generally 14.7 psia and 60°F), is termed the line

pack volume.

temperature of P1 and T1 and downstream values of P2 and T2, respectively.

Suppose the inside diameter of the pipe is D; then the physical volume of

the

h pipe section is

This volume is the gas volume at pressures and temperatures ranging from

P1 T1 at the upstream end to P2,

P1, P2 T2 at the downstream end of the pipe

length L. In order to convert this volume to standard conditions of

pressure, Pb, and temperature,Tb, we apply the gas law Equation as follows:

54

From Equation 3.31, solving for line pack Vb at standard conditions, we get

equation in SI units is

56

57

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