You are on page 1of 14

# DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS

INTRODUCTION
 Technique which makes use of the study of dimensions as an aid to the
solution of several engineering problems.
 Here each phenomenon is expressed as an equation comprising of
dimensional and non-dimensional quantities.
 To study the performance characteristics of turbo machines, a large number
of variables are involved. The use of dimensional analysis reduces the
variables to a number of manageable dimensional groups. Usually, the
properties of interest in regard to turbo machine are the power output, the
 Dimensional analysis applied to turbo machines has two more important
uses: (1) prediction of a prototype’s performance from tests conducted on a
scale model (similitude), and (2) determination of the most suitable type of
machine, on the basis of maximum efficiency, for a specified range of head,
speed, and flow rate.
APPLICATION TO FLUID MECHANICS

##  In engineering the application of fluid mechanics in designs make much of

the use of empirical results from a lot of experiments. This data is often
difficult to present in a readable form. Even from graphs it may be difficult
to interpret. Dimensional analysis provides a strategy for choosing relevant
data and how it should be presented.
 This is a useful technique in all experimentally based areas of engineering.
If it is possible to identify the factors involved in a physical situation,
dimensional analysis can form a relationship between them.
 The resulting expressions may not at first sight appear rigorous but these
qualitative results converted to quantitative forms can be used to obtain any
unknown factors from experimental analysis.
FUNDAMENTAL DIMENSIONS
 MASS M
 LENGTH L
 TIME T
 TEMPERATURE θ
 These dimensions are independent of each other and
hence are called primary quantities
DIMENSION
 DERIVED QUANTITIES
 AREA
 VELOCITY
 ACCELERATION

##  The expression of the derived quantities in terms of

the primary quantities is called the dimension of the
physical quantity.
 FORCE = MASS x ACCELERATION = MLT-2
 DISCHARGE = AREA x VELOCITY = L3T-1
 ACCL. DUE TO GRAVITY g = LT-2
DIMENSIONAL HOMOGENEITY

##  Dimensions of the terms in an equation on both sides

are equal. Such equations are called dimensionally
homogeneous equations.

t  2
l
V  2 gH
g

##  Dimensionally non-homogeneous equation

N P
Ns  5/ 4
H
METHOD OF DIMENSIONAL
HOMOGENEITY
 Rayleigh method
 Used for determining the expresion for a variable which
depends upon maximum 3 or 4 variables.
 X = f (X1,X2,X3)
 We express this equation in the exponential form
 X=C(X1a.X2b.X3c), C is dimensional constant
 We determine a,b,c on the basis that the equation is
dimensionally homogeneous
 t= K*Lagb, on solving the equation we get b=-1/2 & a=1/2
therefore L
t  K
g
RAYLEIGH’S METHOD
 Power developed by a pump P depends on the head
H, discharge Q and specific weight w of the fluid.
 P=K*HaQbwc
 P= work done/time= [ML2T-3]
 H=[L]
 Q=area * velocity= [LT-3]
 w(sp.weight)= weight/volume= Force/volume=[ML-2T-2]
 a=1, b=1, c=1
 P=KHQw
BUCKINGHAM π-METHOD
 Rayleigh’s method becomes more laborious if
number of fundamental quantities are more.
 So in this method we reduce the number of
dimensional variables into number of dimensionless
groups
 This method states that if any phenomenon is
controlled by n physical variables containing m
fundamental dimensions (M,L,T,θ), then the
relationship among the physical variables can be
expressed in terms of (n-m) dimensionless and
independent terms, known as π-terms.
BUCKINGHAM π-METHOD
 Efficiency of a fan η depends on density ρ, dynamic
viscosity μ of the fluid, angular velocity ω, diameter
D of the rotor and discharge Q. Express η in terms of
dimensionless parameters.
 Step 1: List and count the ‘n’ physical variables involved.
 η= f(ρ,μ,ω,D,Q) or f1(η,ρ,μ,ω,D,Q)=0 hence n= 6
 Step 2: Calculate the fundamental dimension ‘m’
 η- dimensionless, ρ- [ML-3], μ- [ML-1T-1], ω- [T-1], D- [L],
Q- [L3,T-1] HENCE m=3
BUCKINGHAM π-METHOD
 Step 3: Number of π-terms = n – m = 6 – 3 =3 therefore
f1(π1,π2,π3)=0. Each π-term contains (m+1) variables. Number of
repeating variables should be m (=3).
 Step 4: Choosing repeating variables
 Dependent variable should not be used as the repeating variable
 Geometric variable, flow variable and variable involving fluid property
should be used.
 Repeating variables should not form a dimensionless group and should not
have the same dimensions.
 Repeating variables together should have the same number of fundamental
dimensions ( m=3)
 D ( geometric variable ), ω ( flow variable ), ρ ( flow property variable )
BUCKINGHAM π-METHOD
 D = [L], ω = [T-1], ρ = [ML-3] π1
= Da1ωb1ρc1η , π2 = Da2ωb2ρc2μ , π3 = Da3ωb3ρc3Q
 π1= η ; π2 = μ/(D2ωρ) ; π3 = Q/(D3ω)
 f1(π1,π2,π3)=0 or f1(η , μ/(D2ωρ) , Q/(D3ω) ) =0

QUESTIONS

##  Assuming that the rate of discharge Q of a centrifugal pump is dependent

upon the mass density ρ of the fluid, pump speed N (rpm), the diameter of
the impeller D, pressure p and the viscosity of the fluid μ, show using
Buckingham’s π-theorem that it can be represented by :
Q = (ND3) φ[(gH/(N2D2)),(υ/(ND2))]
 Q =f ( ρ,N,D,p,μ) ; 6 variables, 3 fundamental dimensions therefore 3 π terms.
 Take ρ, N, & D as repeating terms
 π1= ρa1 * Nb1 * Dc1 * Q ; π2= ρa2 * Nb2 * Dc2 * p &
π3= ρa3 * Nb3 * Dc3 * μ
 π1= Q/ (ND3)
 π2= p/(ρ N2D2)
 π3= μ/(ρND2) ; p = wH = ρgH and μ/ρ= υ
QUESTIONS

##  The equation for specific speed for a turbine is given by Ns = N√P/H5/4. By π-

theorem and using variables such as power P, speed N , head H, diameter D of the
turbine, density ρ of the fluid and acceleration due to gravity g, deduce the above
expression for Ns.
 N= f ( ρ, gH ,P ,D) ; gH called shaft work is considered as one variable.
 There are 5 variables completely described by 3 fundamental dimensions. Number of π-
terms = 2
 π1= ρa1 * (gH)b1 * Pc1 * N
 π2= ρa2 * (gH)b2 * Pc2 * D
 π1=[N * P1/2/((gH)5/4 * ρ1/2)]
 π2=[D*(gH)3/4 * ρ1/2/ P1/2]
 [N * P1/2/((gH)5/4 * ρ1/2)] = φ[D*(gH)3/4 * ρ1/2/ P1/2]
 [N * P1/2/((gH)5/4 * ρ1/2)]m = [N * P1/2/((gH)5/4 * ρ1/2)]p ; considering P=1 ; N=Ns and ρ
and g constant