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C.E. KIRKHAM
State Rivers and Water Supply Commission Victoria, Australia
ABSTRACT
Beginning with an energy loss relation of the form S = a Vn, it is possible to describe a number of basic analytical types of flows. The derived general equation may be shown to give solutions for simple cases such as radial and vortex flows as well as reducing to Laplace's equation. Laminar flow is a special case with n = 1, and further solutions range from laminar to fully turbulent flow.
INTRODUCTION
Solutions for types of flow which are derived from an energy loss relation of the form S = aVn
where
S = energy gradient,
V = average flow velocity, and a and n are parameters,
will be developed. These equations are commonly referred to as field equations.
It has been found (Kirkham 1966, 1967) that in many cases there is very little difference between the Laplacian solution (n = 1) and the more general solution when n has values between 1 and 2.
If a and n are not constant but are defined arbitrarily (or specifically for a particular porous medium), the equation can be written in general terms and solved for a number of fundamental flows other than Laplacian flows. The flows studied are radial, vortex and parallel tube flows.
THE BASIC EQUATION
The development of the equation is an extension of the work of Brooker (1961) and Parkin (1962). It will be assumed that a and n have constantly changing values and that flow will be directed along the line of maximum energy gradient.
The basic equation for a homogeneous medium (developed in Appendix A) expressed in two dimensional Cartesian coordinates is:
(Exx+Eyy) +
+ (E;Exx+2ExIEyExy+E~ Eyy) [2K(N 1)+ V(2Kv+KNv loge P)] = 0 (1)
P 2K V(2Kv+KNv logeP)
where
E
total energy,
N
1
n
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K
1
E
x
oE ax
oK OV
aN
Ny =
oV
and all partial derivatives are expressed in this shorthand notation,
P = (E;+E;) .
Parallel tube flow is clearly a simple special case, namely Laplace's equation, and equation (1) will be examined to ascertain what form of simplification might be possible for radial and vortex flows.
Radial Flow to a Source or from a Sink
The general equation (1) expressed in two dimensional polar coordinates (r, 0) is:
(Err+! Er+ 12 Eoo) + (r2 NrEr+NoEo) lOge;1 +~(r2 KrEr+KoEo) +
r r 2r Kr
(N  1) 4 2 2. 2 2
+ 4 (r E; Err+2 r ErEoErorErEo +Eo Eoo) = 0
PI r
(2)
where
( 2 1 E2) PI = E; +2 0 ,
r
and the shorthand notation has been used for partial derivatives.
By introducing the boundary conditions relevant to radial flow, this equation becomes
NaSI 81 81 aN I (82) 81 ex  0
++ og +or r 2 Or elK or
(3)
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where S1 = radial energy gradient = Ei;
If K and N are constant, successive integration of equation (3) gives
and
a 0·5 N  1·0
2 K  4
V1
», en
.. c W
E = _!!_ Br(Nl)/N+C (N =F 1)
Nl
/ / /'
,
/
,
/
,
/ / /
,
/
,
/
SN
,
/
SK
,
,/
SV correlobon
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Fig. 1  s V, SK and SN Correlations for 16 mm. Diameter Marbles.
0·1
Average Flow VelocIty, V  ft /sec
(4)
(5)
1·0
and
(6)
where B, Bi , C, Ci are constants.
When K and N are not constant there is no analytical solution to equation (3). However, a solution can be obtained using a graphical method and this will be demonstrated in the following example.
Consider flow through a bed of 16 mm diameter spherical particles whose energy loss characteristics are shown in Figure 1. Laminar flow may be seen to exist for energy gradients less than 0.000496, and turbulent flow with constant Nand K for energy gradients greater than 1.148.
10,000
Slope 1·82 to 1
Data from Energy Gradient  VelOCity Correlation, Figure 1
1000
100
10
Slope 1 to 1
Ir cnsitron
0·1
1·0
10
Fig. 2  Radial Flow through 16 mm. Diameter Marbles.
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..,. 'F
Figure 2 is a dimensionless plot of energy gradient against radius for confined twodimensional radial flow assuming laminar conditions for radii e 1000 feet. The method of obtaining figure 2 is described in Appendix B.
The energy gradientradius relationship is shown in figure 3 where the graphical integration

1 divrsron » 50 '·02' 2 .!
Data from Energy Gradient  Velocity Correlation. Figure 1
Energy Gradient Distribution
Energy Summation
= 2 feet
Stream line
Constant Energy Lines
100%
Fig. 3  Graphical Determination of Energy Summation in Radial Flow through 16 mm. Diameter Marbles.
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to obtain the energy variation is also performed. Due to the asymptotic nature of this relationship when plotted to the natural scale, only radii from 20 feet to 500 feet have been plotted. The segment at the bottom of figure 3 shows lines of constant energy at intervals of 10% of the energy difference between radii of 20 feet and 500 feet.
The energy distribution has been replotted in figure 4 with two distributions for N constant; one according to laminar flow described by equation (6), and the other with N = 0.55 (n = 1.82) in equation (5).
Data for 'Varymg K and N' cur v e from Figure 1
500
Radius I r  feet
streamline
o
6060
60
90
Streoml;n.
90
90
100%
Constant N = 0·55 Constant N = 1
VarYing K and N
Fig. 4  Comparison of Energy Summations in Radial Flow.
Examination of figure 4 indicates:
i) The difference between the laminar curve and the turbulent curve with varying K and N is as much as 24% of the total energy difference.
ii) Relative to the energy given by the varying K and N curve, the laminar curve is 60% lower at a radius of 40 feet.
iii) Relative to the varying K and N curve, the constant N = 0.55 curve is as much as 9% higher. iv) The location of lines of constant energy varies considerably for the different curves, and acceptance of an incorrect energy distribution may be seen to lead to appreciable errors in flow net representation.
v) By suitable selection of a value of N, a constant N distribution of energy could be obtained which would agree closely with the varying K and N curve.
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Confined Flow with Curvature
It will be assumed that the kinetic energy is negligible, and that the centrifugal pressure does not contribute to the energy affecting the flow. With well established vortex flow, the streamlines are concentric circles and the condition of orthogonality requires then that equienergy lines be radial. This may be demonstrated by substitution of the boundary conditions into equation (2).
The tangential velocity distribution along a radial line may be expressed as (see Appendix C):
(7)
where G is a constant.
Substituting laminar flow conditions (N = I, K = constant) this becomes the expression for a potential vortex. Integration of equation (7) with K and N both constant and
V= dq dr
where q = discharge, yields
(8)
and
(9)
where GI, G2, H, HI are constants.
An analytic solution of equation (7) is not available when K and N are not constant. However a solution can be obtained with a method similar to that used for radial flow. The following example has dimensions bearing close resemblance to those used for the radial flow example. The same medium will be used with laminar flow present for radii equal to and greater than 1000 feet.
Figure 5 is a dimensionless plot of the velocity distribution for vortex flow.
The radial velocity distribution has been plotted to natural scale in figure 6 for radii from 20 feet to 500 feet, the curve has been integrated, and the streamlines have been plotted from the discharge summation.
The discharge summation has been replotted in figure 7 with two summations when N is constant; one according to laminar flow described by equation (8), and the other with N = 0.55 (n = 1.82) in equation (9).
Examination of figure 7 indicates:
i) The radius of a laminar flow streamline may be 34% smaller than the radius of a streamline for turbulent flow with varying K and N.
ii) The radius of a streamline given by constant N = 0.55 may be 15 % greater than the radius of a streamline given by varying K and N conditions.
iii) The location of streamlines may be seen to be greatly influenced by the values of the parameters, and flow net representation will be affected accordingly.
iv) By suitable choice of a value of N to be used in equation (9), the constant N curve could be made to correspond closely with the varying K and N curve.
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V 10 V{_
Data from Energy Gradient  Velacity Correlat ion. Figure 1
1·0
.1.
Ir onsittcn
Turbulent Flow
O·lL_J~~~~L __ L_~UUiU __ L~LLLU~ __ ~~Li~UL __ LL~UU~ 0·0001
0·001
0·01
0·1
1·0
10
Fig. 5  Vortex Flow through 16 mm. Diameter Marbles.
Axisymmetric Flow
The general equation may be expressed in axisymmetric cylindrical coordinates and applied to steady flow through a uniform circular conduit. In a manner similar to that for twodimensional tube flow the equation becomes Laplace's equation, and the general equation will now be considered for the case of a varying tube radius. Allowing the radius to increase linearly with increasing x, the situation becomes a threedimensional radial flow to a sink or from a source.
In spherically symmetric coordinates r, 8, fl, the general equation becomes
(N  1) (4 2 E 2 2 E E ,2 E2 E) 0
+ 2 r E; rr+ r rEo rorErEO + 0 00 =
Plr
(10)
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Data from Energy Gradient  Velocity Correlation. Figure 1
Velocity Distribution
u ..
Scale ::'3'0
1 division = 50x·005'~:::;
:J
= 1 cub, ft/ne ~ 2.0
Radius. r  feet
constant Energy
80
90
100°/,.
Stream lines
Fig. 6  Determination of Discharge Summation in Vortex Flow through 16 mm. Diameter Marbles.
For threedimensional axisymmetric flow equation (10) reduces to
NaSI 2s SloNI (S2)' SI oK_O
 +  1 +   oge 1 +   
or r 2 or K or
(11)
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Integrating equation (11) with K and N constant, and N= 1, yields the expression for the velocity potential of threedimensional radial potential flow thus indicating the validity of the above method of analysis.
The above equations are very similar to the equations developed for two dimensional radial flow, and the method of solution described previously may be employed here.
100
..
~
~60
20
300
400
500
Roorus , r  teet
Cons tont Energy line _...
I 40
) 1
40 40
I I
I
80
80 80 Constant Enera. lin.
100%
Constant N = 0·55 Constant N = 1
Streamltnes
Varyong K and N
Fig. 7  Comparison of Discharge Summations in Vortex Flow.
Comparison of Radial Flow and Vortex Flow
Radial flow and vortex flow are fundamental flows since every flow geometry, except straight parallel boundaries, contains either some of each or both together. With radial flow, streamlines are independent of the energy loss relation; with vortex flow, equienergy lines are independent of the energy loss relation. A general flow geometry would consequently be expected to show some change in streamlines and equienergy lines with different energy loss relations.
With K and N constant, equations (5) and (6) give the energy variation in radial flow, and equations (8) and (9) the discharge variation in vortex flow. Comparison of these equations shows that only when N= 1, corresponding to laminar flow, are the functions conjugate.
Similar expressions cannot be obtained for turbulent flow with varying K and N, but comparison of the flow net representations in figures 4 and 7 indicates that the flows are not conjugate. This is to be expected since a different flow net will be obtained depending on the magni
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tude and range of the energy gradient, and the shape of the energy gradientvelocity curve involved.
The energy gradient and velocity at 1000 feet radius are identical for figures 4 and 7, similar at 500 feet radius, but very different at 20 feet radius.
CONCLUSIONS
A general equation has been developed for flows depending on the energy loss relation S = a vn. The development assumed orthogonality between streamlines and equienergy lines.
For specific geometries and flow characteristics Laplace's equation may be deduced from the general equation. A method of solution of the general equation for purely radial and purely vortex flows has been indicated, and worked examples have shown that there may be appreciable differences between laminar flownets and flownets derived from the general equation.
ACKNOWLDGEMENTS
I wish to thank Dr. J.D. Lawson who supervised the work performed in the Michell Laboratory, University of Melbourne, and I am indebted to Dr. B. B. Sharp for assistance and interest in all sections of the work.
Financial support was provided by General Motors Holden's Pty. Ltd. and the Water Research Foundation, Ltd.
APPENDIX ADEVELOPMENT OF THE GENERAL EQUATION
The general equation is developed from the energy loss relation;
S = aVn
(Al)
rewritten as
(A2)
in which K and N have constantly changing values and may be expressed as functions of velocity.
For a homogeneous medium, the relationships
oK oK OV oK oK OV (A3)
=_._ =._
ax oV ax oy oV uy
aN aN OV oN aN oV
=_._,
ax oV ax oy oV oy hold, and K and N may therefore be expressed either as functions of V, or x, Y.
Assuming that flow will be directed along the line of maximum total energy gradient, equation (A2) may be expressed vectorially as
v =  K I grad E I N  1 grad E ,
(A4)
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where E is the total energy of the fluid at any point. Expressing equation (A4) in Cartesian coordinates with
v = iu+.iv
yields
u = KEX<E~+E;)(Nl)/2 V = _KEy(E~+E;)(Nl)/2
(A5) (A6)
where i and j are unit vectors in the x and y directions,
u and v are components of V in the x and y directions,
and
, aE aE
Ex and Ey are shorthand notauons for  and  .
ax oy
Differentiating equation (AS) with respect to x and equation (A6) with respect to y, and substituting in the continuity relationship
(A7)
yields
(AS)
where Exx, Eyy, Kx, Ky, N«, Ny, Exy follow the shorthand notation for partial derivatives, and
By introducing the relationship (A3), and substituting expressions for Vx and Vy, equation (AS) may be written as
(Exx+Eyy) +
(E; Exx+2 Ex Ey Exy+E;Eyy) [2K(Nl) + V(2Kv+KNvIOgeP)] = 0
P 2K V(2Kv+KNvlogeP)
where Kv and Nv are partial derivatives.
This is the general equation expressed in Cartesian coordinates for flow in a homogeneous medium involving all the variables in the energy loss equation.
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APPENDIX BRADIAL FLOWPLOTTING OF FIGURE 2
It will be assumed that laminar flow exists for radii equal to and greater than 1000 feet.
Figure 1 gives:
VL = 0.002 ft/sec,
and
S L = 0.000496,
where VL and SL are the velocity and gradient at radius 1000 feet (rz). For laminar flow, N = 1, equation (4) may be written as
(Bl)
which gives
(B2)
for all r;:' rt. and all Sl ~ Si.. Equation (B2) has been plotted in figure 2 and shows as a straight line of slope  1.
Similarly, if complete turbulence exists for radii equal to and less than r r , and at this radius the energy gradient is ST and N= NT, equation (4) gives
(B3)
which holds for all r ~ rT and all Sl;:' ST. Figure 1 gives
VT = 0.315 ft/sec,
ST = 1.148
1
NT = =0.55, 1.82
and continuity gives
rT = 6.33 feet
Equation (B3) then becomes:
(B4)
which when depicted on figure 2 represents a line of slope  1.82.
The curve for the transition region 0.00633 < rlri. < 1 linking the curves expressed by equations (B2) and (B4) may be obtained by joining plotted points. The continuity equation gives the velocity at any radius, and the energy gradient relative to this velocity may be obtained from figure 1. The ratios rlrt. and Sil Si. may then be calculated.
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1
APPENDIX CVELOCITY DISTRIBUTION IN VORTEX FLOW
Considerer two streamlines of radii Y1 and rz where the velocities are VI and V2 respectively (see fig. 8). Applying the energy loss relation along each streamline in turn gives
E= E1
Fig. 8  Nomenclature for Vortex.
and
Eliminating
these become
or
( V)l!N
r  = G
\K
where G is a constant, and K and N have values appropriate to velocity V and radius r. This relationship expresses the tangential velocity distribution along a radial line and shows that the velocity increases as the radius decreases.
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APPENDIX DNOTATION
a Parameter in energy loss relation
B, Bi Constants of integration
C, Ci Constants of integration
E, El, E2 Total Energy
Ex, Ee«, Ey, Eyy, Exy Symbolical representation of
oE a2E ee a2E a2 E ax' ax2 ' ay' Jy2 ' ax ay .
e; Err, Eo Eoo, Ero Symbolical representation of
aE a2E aE EPE a2E ar ' or2 ' ao ' afP , or ao
G, Gl, G2 Constants
H, HI Constants of integration
K Parameter in energy loss relation = l/aN•
Ki , K2 Values of K at particular locations
x; x«. Ko, Kx, Ky Symbolical representation of
aK oK aK oK oK
,,,,.
ar av ao ay ay
N Exponential parameter in energy loss relation
Ni , N2 Values of N at particular locations
N«, Nv, No, Nx, Ny Symbolical representations of
aN aN aN aN aN
,,,,
or av ao ax ay
Value of N at radius r r
Exponential parameter in energy loss relation
p
(2 1 2)
E. + r2 Eo
Discharge
Radius to laminar flow regime
Radius to turbulent flow regime where N is constant Piezometric gradient
Radial energy gradient
Energy gradient at radius YL
Energy gradient at radius r r
Component of V in x direction
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Average flow velocity
Vectorial average flow velocity Velocity at radius rL
Velocity at radius r r Component of V in y direction.
REFERENCES
BROOKER, D.B., "Pressure Patterns in GrainDrying Systems Established by Numerical Methods", Trans. A.S.A.E., Vol. 4, No.1, 1961, pp. 7274, 77.
KIRKHAM, C.E., "Turbulent Flow in Porous Media  An Analytical and Experimental Model Study", Ph. D. Thesis, University of Melbourne, Australia, November, 1966.
KIRKHAM, C. E., Verification of a General Field Equation for Porous Media Flow, Paper to be published, 1967.
PARKIN, A. K., "Rockfill Dams with Inbuilt Spillways, Part I, Hydraulic Characteristics", Department of Civil Engineering Report No. DR 2, University of Melbourne, Australia, August, 1962.
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