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# CHAPTER 3 - FLOW OF

COMPRESSIBLE FLUIDS
Velocity of Propagation of a Pressure Wave
Flow in Pipe
Energy Balance for Ideal Gas Flow
Isothermal Flow of an Ideal Gas in Horizontal
Pipe
Non-Isothermal Flow of an Ideal Gas in a
Horizontal Pipe
Flow of Non-Ideal Gasses

LESSON OUTCOMES

## Able to define the concept of velocity of

propagation of a pressure wave for compressible
fluids.
Able to define energy balance of an ideal gas.
Able to define the isothermal flow and maximum
flow conditions of an ideal gas.

VELOCITY OF PROPAGATION OF
A PRESSURE WAVE
PROPAGATION???

VELOCITY OF PROPAGATION OF A
PRESSURE WAVE
When the pressure at some point in a fluid is
changed, the new condition takes a finite time to
be transmitted to some other point.
The time required because the state of each
intervening element of fluid has to be changed.
Thus, the velocity of propagation-a function of
the bulk modulus of elasticity ,

## increase of stress within the fluid

dP
dP

resulting volumentric strain
(d / )
d

PROPAGATION OF PRESSURE
WAVE
Point B- with pressure (P) and specific
volume (v).
Point A- with pressure (P+dP) and
specific volume of (v + dv).
If a pressure wave is transmitted at a velocity Uw over a distance dl and
cross-sectional, A from point A to point B and it may be brought to rest by
causing the fluid to flow at a velocity Uw in opposite direction.
As a result of change in pressure, the velocity of fluid changes from Uw at
B to (Uw+dUw) at A and its mass rate of flow is;

u w A (u w du w ) A
G

PROPAGATION OF PRESSURE
WAVE
The net force acting on the fluid between sections A and B is equal to the rate
of change of the momentum of the fluid, or;

PA ( P dP) A Gdu w
G
A
dP G 2

2
d A
Since;

dP

(eqn 4.32) and
d

dP u w

G uw

u w

PROPAGATION OF PRESSURE
WAVE
For an ideal gas, may be calculated from the equation of state.
Under isothermal condition, we know that;

P constant

dP P

and

u w

P
u w P

RT
M

PROPAGATION OF PRESSURE
WAVE
Under isentropic conditions:

P constant

dP P

d
P

P
u w

RT
u w P
M

## where will depend

on the heat transfer to
the surroundings.

## For compressible fluids, the density is a function of both temperature and

pressure.
When compressibility is taken into account, the equations of flow become
very much more complex than they are, even if the simplest possible
equation of state (the ideal gas law) is used to describe their behaviour.
Ideal gas law:
PV = nRT

## where V = volume occupied by n molar of gas

R = universal gas constant (8314 J/kmolK)
T = absolute temp.

## If per unit mass of gas:

P = RT /M where = volume per unit mass
M = molecular weight of gas

## In Chapter 2, the general energy equation for the flow of a

fluid through a pipe has been expressed in the form:

udu
gdz dP Ws F 0 (equation 2.54)

kinetic
energy

Work

Potential
Energy
Internal
Energy

## ENERGY BALANCE FOR

FLOW OF IDEAL GAS

area, A:

Ws=0
Thus,

R 2 dl
u
F 4
(from eqn 3.19)
2
d
u

R 2 dl
udu
u
gdz dP 4
0
2

d
u

## This equation cannot be integrated directly because the velocity u

increase as the pressure falls(its a function of L). It is therefore,
convenient to work in term of the mass flow G which remains constant
throughout the L of pipe.

## ENERGY BALANCE FOR FLOW OF IDEAL

GAS

R 2 dl
udu
u
gdz dP 4
0
2

d
u
We know velocity;

Hence:

G
u
A

R
1 G

d gdz dP 4
2
A
u

G 2 dl
0

d
A

=1

## ENERGY BALANCE FOR FLOW OF IDEAL

GAS
Then, for flow in a horizontal pipe (dz=0)
2

R
G

d dP 4
2
A
u

And diving by

G

A

G 2 dl
0 (4.50)

d
A

d dP R G

u A

dl
0 (4.51)
d

## Now the friction u 2 is a function of the Reynold number Re

and the relative roughness e/d of the pipe surface which will
normally be constant along a given pipe.

ud Gd 4G
Re

(4.52)

A d

GAS

## Since G is constant over the length of the pipe, Re varies only as a

result changes in the viscosity . Although is a function of
temperature and to some extent of pressure, it is not likely to vary
widely over the length of the pipe.
The friction factor (R/u2 ) is only a weak function of Reynold number
when Re is high, and little error will therefore arise from regarding it
as constant.
Thus, integrating Eqn 4.51 over a length, l of pipe:

G

A
2

d dP R

4
2

u
P2

G

A

2
dP R
G

4
ln
2
1 P1
A
u

G

A

dl
0 (4.51)
d
2

l
0 (4.53)
d

The integral will depend on the P-v relationship during the expansion
of the gas in the pipe and several cases are now considered.

HORIZONTAL PIPE
2

R
P1 P2 P1
G

4
ln
2
P2
2 P11
A
u

G

A

l
0 (4.55)
d

## It is sometimes convenient to substitute RT/M for

P1V1 in Eqn 4.55 to give;
2

R G
P1 P2 P1
G

4
ln

2
P2 2 RT / M
A
u A

l
0
d

CONDITIONS
2

R
P1 P2 P1
G

4
ln
2
P2
2 P11
A
u

G

A

l
0 (4.55)
d

If P2 = 0, G = 0

## Thus, we will refer to Pw known as intermediate

value of P2 to determine G to be maximum

## Therefore 0 < Pw < P1

Eq 4.55 x (A/G)2 will give;

R l
P1 P2 P1 A

ln
0
4
2
P2
2 P11 G
u d

CONDITIONS
2

ln

R l
P1 P2 P1 A

4
0

2
P2
2 P11 G
u d

value of P1:

P1 1 A

P2 P1 G

2 P2
A2
2
2 2 dG

P2 P1
0
3
2 P11 2 P11
G dP2

## Flow maximum when dG/dP2 and denoting

condition at downstream end of the pipe by suffix
w will give
2

1 A Pw

0
Pw G P11
2
1
A Pw

G P11 Pw

CONDITIONS
2

Pw
G2
2
P11 A

G

A

G uw
we know that,

u w Pw w

Pw
Pw
Pw

P11 Pw w w

CONDITIONS

Pw
1
Gw A
APw
w
P11

## Substitute Pw in Eqn 4.58;

P1 w 1 Pw 2 P12
R l

ln
4
0
2
2
u d
Pw Pw Pw w
2

P1
P1
R l
1
8

ln
0 (Eqn 4.62)
2
u d
Pw
Pw
2

1
R l 1
- ln
- 1 (Eqn 4.63)

8

2
u d w c
wc
Where Wc= Pw/P1 (the critical value of pressure ratio)
W= P2/P1

## ISOTHERMAL FLOW- MAXIMUM FLOW

CONDITIONS
2

P1
P1
R l
1
8

ln
0 (Eqn 4.62)
2
u d
Pw
Pw
2

1
R l 1
- ln
- 1 (Eqn 4.63)

8

2
u d w c
wc
a) The maximum value of the pressure ratio (P1/P2)= (P1/Pw) for which
The whole of the expansion of the gas can take place in the pipe.
b) The minimum value of 8 (R/u2 ) (l/d) for which for any pressure ratio
P1/P2, the fall in gas will take place entirely within the pipe.

EXAMPLE 4.2

## Over a 30 m length of a 150mm vacuum line carrying

air at 295 K, the pressure falls from 0.4 kN/m2 to 0.13
kN/m2. If the relative roughness e/d is 0.003 what is
the approximate flowrate? It may be noted that flow
of gases in vacuum systems is discussed fully by
GRIFFITHS.
Use:
At 295 K, = 0.018 mNs/m2
= 211.5 m3/kg

SOLUTION

EXAMPLE 4.3
A flow of 50 m3/s methane, measured at 288 K and
101.3 kN/m2, has to be delivered along a 0.6 m
diameter line, 3 km long with a relative roughness
of 0.0001, linking a compressor and a processing
unit. The methane is to be discharged at the plant
at 288 K and 170 kNm2 and it leaves the compressor
at 297 K. What pressure must be developed at the
compressor in order to achieve this flowrates.

RECAP

## Velocity of propagation of a pressure wave

u w A (u w du w ) A
G

d
By doing net force= fluid momentum

u w
Under ideal gas condition;

u w P

RT
M

RT
u w P
M

RECAP

2

P2

2
dP R
G

4
ln
2
1 P1
A
u

G

A

l
0 (4.53)
d

Isothermal flow
2

R G
P1 P2 P1
G

4
ln

2
P2
2 P11
A
u A

l
0 (4.55)
d

## NON-ISOTHERMAL FLOW OF AN IDEAL GAS

IN A HORIZONTAL PIPE

## In general, where an ideal gas expands or is compressed, the relation

between the pressure P and the specific volume can be represented
approximately by:
Pk = a constant = P1 1k

## NON-ISOTHERMAL FLOW OF AN IDEAL

GAS IN A HORIZONTAL PIPE

HORIZONTAL PIPE

## The conditions existing during the adiabatic flow in a pipe may be

calculated using the approximate expression Pk = a constant to give the
relation between the pressure and the specific volume of the fluid.
In general, however, the value of the index k may not be known for an
irreversible adiabatic process. An alternative approach to the problem is
therefore desirable.
For a fluid flowing under turbulent conditions in a pipe, when
dWs = 0 and:
dq = dH + g dz + u du (from equation 2.5 1 )

In an adiabatic process, dq =0, and the equation may then be written for
the flow in a pipe of constant cross-sectional area A to give:

HORIZONTAL PIPE

HORIZONTAL PIPE

## This expression enables 2 , the specific volume at the downstream

end of the pipe, to be calculated for the fluid flowing at a mass rate
G from an upstream pressure P1.
Alternatively, the mass rate of flow G may be calculated in terms
of the specific volume of the fluid at the two pressures P1 and P2.
The pressure P2 at the downstream end of the pipe is obtained by
substituting the value of 2 in equation 4.72.
2

1 K 1 G
P

2 A

## FLOW OF NON-IDEAL GASES

Methods have been given for the calculation of the pressure drop for the
flow of an incompressible fluid and for a compressible fluid which behaves
as an ideal gas.
If the fluid is compressible and deviations from the ideal gas law are
appreciable, one of the approximate equations of state, such as van der
Waals' equation, may be used to replace ideal gas law equations Pv =
nRT , to give the relation between temperature, pressure and volume.

## Eg: Van der Waals' equation (1) to be used in equation (2)

Equation 1

an
2
P 2 V nb nRT
V
Equation 2

EXERCISE 1
Air at a pressure of 10 MN/m2 and a temperature
of 290K flows from a reservoir through a mild steel
pipe (e = 0.002) of 10 mm diameter and 30 m long
into a second reservoir at a pressure P2.
Determine 2 and P2 if the G/A = 2000 kg/m2s,
=0.018 mN s/m2, =1.36 (assuming an adiabatic
expansion)

EXERCISE 2
A vacuum distillation plant operating at 7 kNm2
pressure at the top has a boil up rate of 0.125
kg/s of xylene. Calculate the pressure drop along
a 150 mm bore vapour pipe used to connect the
column to the condenser. The pipe length may be
taken as equivalent to 6 m, e/d = 0.002 and =
0.01 mN s/m2.