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# Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

Bernoulli Problems
Ten Easy Steps
In a hydraulic system, moving oil has kinetic energy, which
is proportional to the square of the velocity of the oil. The
pump adds energy to the hydraulic fluid by raising its pres-
sure. Gravity can also add energy if the hydraulic lines drop
in elevation. Energy is lost through friction in pipes; flow
through valves, orifices, and fittings; motors; and elevation
increases. All of these energy losses can be measured as a
drop in pressure. Jacob Bernoulli was a mathematician with
little understanding of friction; he assumed that friction is
negligible, and the energy in a fluid at one point of a hy-
draulic circuit equals the energy at a second point. If we
include pumps, motors, and friction, we can modify Ber-
noullis equation to say that the energy in a fluid at one
point of a hydraulic system plus the energy added, minus
the energy removed, equals the energy in a fluid at a second
point.
The modified Bernoulli equation is derived in the textbook
p v2 p v2 Z = elevation change
as Z1 + 1 + 1 + H P " H M " H L = Z 2 + 2 + 2 . Subscripts
! 2g ! 2g
p = pressure
1 and 2 refer to two different points in the hydraulic circuit.
! = specific weight of the oil
We can use this equation to solve hydraulic circuit prob- v = velocity
lems with a 10-step process.
g = gravitational constant
Step 1 Draw the diagram & label pipe lengths, elevations,
points of interest, directions of flow, etc.
Step 2 Write the Bernoulli equation & identify any terms
that equal zero.
Step 3 Calculate fluid velocity from flow rate.
Step 4 Calculate Reynolds number, NR. If this number is vD! vD
less than 2000, then we have laminar flow, and we can use NR = =
"
the remaining equations. Turbulent flow requires a different
v = velocity
solution for the friction factor.
D = pipe inside diameter
Step 5 Calculate the friction factor, f.
! = density (mass/volume)
Step 6 Calculate the equivalent length of the fittings &
= absolute viscosity
valves.
" = kinematic viscosity
Step 7 Calculate head loss due to friction in the pipes, fit-
tings, valves, and strainers: HL.
Step 8 Calculate pump head and motor head, HP and HM (if
applicable).
Step 9 Calculate pressure due to the weight of a fluid in a
tank (if applicable).
Step 10 Assemble Bernoullis equation from its parts, and
solve.

## 2011 Barry Dupen 1 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

Example #1
Oil flows at a rate of 7 gpm through a horizontal 1 inch ID
pipe. The oil has a specific gravity S.G. = 0.9 and a kine-
matic viscosity ! = 100 cSt . If the pressure is 120 psi at
one point, what is the pressure 25 feet downstream?
Step 1 Draw the circuit. There are no pumps, motors, fit- p1=120 psi Q
tings, valves, or elevation changes. 1 2

25 ft.

## Step 2 Terms that go to zero in the Bernoulli equation in- p1 v12 p v2

clude elevation change (because Z1 = Z 2 ), velocity change Z1 + + + H P " H M " H L = Z2 + 2 + 2
! 2g ! 2g
(because v1 = v2 ), pump head (because there is no pump p1 p
" HL = 2
between points 1 and 2), and motor head (because there is ! !
no motor between points 1 and 2).
Step 3 Flow rate is volume per unit time: gallons per mi-
nute, or cubic meters per second. Velocity is distance per
unit time: feet per minute, or meters per second. If you di- 7 gal. 4 231 in.3 min . ft.
v1 = = 2.860 ft. / s
vide flow rate by cross-sectional area, you get velocity: min . ! (1 in.)2 gal. 60 s 12 in.
Q
v= where Q is flow rate.
A
There is no leak of fluid between points 1 and 2, so the
flow rate is the same at both points: Q1 = Q 2 . Since the
pipe diameter is constant, the velocity is the same at both
points: v1 = v2 .

## Step 4 The equation for Reynolds number depends on the

units were using for velocity, pipe diameter, and viscosity.
7740vD S.G.
NR = for v = ft. / s, D = in., = cP

7740vD
NR = for v = ft. / s, D = in., ! = cSt
!
1000vD S.G.
NR = for v = m / s, D = mm, = cP

1000vD
NR = for v = m / s, D = mm, ! = cSt
!
where 7740 and 1000 are constants. The textbook says the
constant contains the proper units to cause the Reynolds
number to be dimensionless. The units of the constant
cSt s cSt s
7740 are . The units of the constant 1000 are .
ft. in. m mm

Since N R < 2000 we have laminar flow. 7740vD 7740 cSt s 2.860 ft. 1 in.
NR = = = 221.3
! ft. in. 100 cSt s

## 2011 Barry Dupen 2 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

64 64
Step 5 Friction factor f = . Like Reynolds number, the f= = 0.289
NR 221.3
friction factor is unitless.
Step 6 There are no fittings or valves, so the equivalent L = L pipe = 25 ft.
length of the system is the length of the pipe.
Step 7 The hydraulic fluid loses some energy due to fric-
25 ft. 12 in. ( 2.860 ft. / s )
2

## H L = 0.289 = 11.01 ft.

( )
2
tion as it passes through the pipe. Head loss H L = f L v . 1 in. ft. 2 32.2 ft / s 2
D 2g
The most common mistake at this step is forgetting to
square the velocity.
Step 8 There is no pump or motor between points 1 and 2. HP = 0
HM = 0

## Step 9 There is no tank, so there is no additional pressure

to calculate.
Step 10 Bernoullis equation for this problem is
p1 p
" H L = 2 where is the specific weight of the oil, de- 62.4 lb.
! ! ! oil = 0.9 = 56.16 lb. / ft.3
ft.3
!
fined as S.G.oil = oil , so ! oil = S.G.oil ! water . Solving Ber-
! water
56.16 lb. 11.01 ft ft.2
#p & p 2 = 120 psi "
noullis equation for pressure at point 2, p 2 = % 1 " H L ( ! .
\$ ! '
ft.3 (12 in.)2
= 115.7 psi
The equation is easier to solve as p 2 = p1 ! "H L because
fewer unit conversions are needed.
The pressure change between the two points is
p 2 ! p1 = !4.3 psi . The negative sign shows that the pres-
sure has dropped from point 1 to point 2. In this problem,
the pressure drop is due to friction in the pipe.

Example 2
Oil flows at a rate of 3 gpm through a horizontal 0.75 inch
ID pipe for 10 feet, passes through a 90 standard elbow p1=90 psi Q
into a vertical pipe which drops for 12 feet, passes through 1

## a second 90 elbow into a horizontal pipe for another 14 10 ft.

feet. The oil has a specific weight ! = 54 lb. / ft.3 and a kin-
ematic viscosity ! = 75 cSt . If the initial pressure is 90 psi, 12 ft.
what is the final pressure?
14 ft. 2
Step 1 Draw the circuit. There are no pumps, motors, or
valves, but we have two fittings and an elevation change.
Step 2 Terms that go to zero in the Bernoulli equation in- p1 v12 p v2
clude velocity change (because v1 = v2 ), pump head (be-
Z1 + + + H P " H M " H L = Z2 + 2 + 2
! 2g ! 2g
cause there is no pump between points 1 and 2), and motor p1 p2
head (because there is no motor between points 1 and 2). Z1 + " H L = Z 2 +
! !

## 2011 Barry Dupen 3 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

## Q 3 gal. 4 231 in.3 min . ft.

Step 3 Velocity v = where Q is flow rate. v1 = = 2.179 ft. / s
A min . ! ( 0.75 in.) 2
gal. 60 s 12 in.
There is no leak of fluid between points 1 and 2, so the
flow rate is the same at both points: Q1 = Q 2 . Since the
pipe diameter is constant, the velocity is the same at both
points: v1 = v2 .

Step 4 Since N R < 2000 we have laminar flow. 7740vD 7740 cSt s 2.179 ft. 0.75 in.
NR = = = 168.6
! ft. in. 75 cSt s

64 64
Step 5 Friction factor f = . f= = 0.380
NR 168.6

## Step 6 The equivalent length of the system is the length of KD

the pipe plus the equivalent length of the two elbows. Cal- L = L pipe +
f
! 0.75 ( 0.75 in.) \$ ft.
KD
culate the equivalent length of an elbow as L E =
f = 10 ft. + 12 ft. + 14 ft. + 2 # &
where D is the inside pipe diameter and K is the loss coeffi- " 0.380 % 12 in.
cient, or K factor for the elbow. From the textbook, the = 36.25 ft.
loss coefficient of a 90 elbow is 0.75. We have two el-
bows, so KD/f is multiplied by 2.
Step 7 The hydraulic fluid loses some energy due to fric-
36.25 ft. 12 in. ( 2.179 ft. / s )
2

tion as it passes through the pipe and two elbows. Head loss H L = 0.380 = 16.22 ft.
L v2 . (
0.75 in. ft. 2 32.2 ft / s 2 )
HL = f
D 2g

HM = 0

## Step 9 There is no tank, so there is no additional pressure

to calculate.
Step 10 Bernoullis equation for this problem is
p1 p
Z1 + " H L = Z 2 + 2 . Solving Bernoullis equation for
! !
# p &
pressure at point 2, p 2 = %( Z1 ! Z 2 ) + 1 ! H L ( " . In this
" 90 lb. ft.3 (12 in.) % 54 lb. ft.2
2
\$ " '
p 2 = \$ 12 ft.+ ! 16.22 ft.'
equation, Z1 and Z2 are the elevations at the two points. \$# 2
in. 54 lb. ft. 2
'& ft.3 (12 in.)2
Pick one of these elevations to be zero, then use the system
diagram to determine the other elevation. For example, if = 88.4 psi
point 1 has elevation Z1 = 0 , then point 2 has elevation
Z 2 = !12 ft. , and the change in elevation
Z1 ! Z 2 = 0 ft. ! (!12 ft.) = 12 ft.

## What if we had picked point 2 as the zero elevation? Then

point 1 would have an elevation of +12 feet, and the change
in elevation Z1 ! Z 2 = 12 ft. ! 0 ft. = 12 ft. the result is the
same.

## 2011 Barry Dupen 4 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

Q
2
What if the flow direction were reversed? The math is the
10 ft.
same, except Z1 ! Z 2 = 0 ft. ! (12 ft.) = !12 ft.

## Now the pressure at point 2 is lowerthere is a greater 12 ft.

pressure drop because the oil is being pumped uphill. p1=90 psi
14 ft. 1

2

## p 2 = \$ !12 ft.+ ! 16.22 ft.'

\$# in.2 54 lb. ft.2 '& ft.3 (12 in.)2
= 79.4 psi

## 3 ft. 2 ft. 1 ft.

Example 3 P M
2
Oil flows at a rate of 8 gpm from a tank through 1 inch ID 2 ft.
pipes and elbows, and through a pump and motor as shown. Q
4 ft.
The pump adds 2 hp and the motor extracts 1 hp. The oil
1
has a specific gravity S.G. = 0.9 and a kinematic viscosity
! = 98 cSt . What is the pressure at point 2, immediately
downstream of the pump?
Step 1 Draw the circuit. There are no motors or valves, but
we have a pump, one fitting and an elevation change.
Step 2 The velocity of the fluid at the surface of the tank is p1 v12 p v2
effectively zero, because its surface area is hundreds of Z1 + + + H P " H M " H L = Z2 + 2 + 2
! 2g ! 2g
times the cross-sectional area of the pipe, and because in a
hydraulic system, all of the oil is ultimately returned to the p 2 v22
Z1 + H P " H L = Z 2 + +
tank, so the level remains constant. ! 2g
The pressure at point 1, on the surface of the reservoir, is
zero.
Since the motor is not between points 1 and 2, motor head
is zero.
Q 8 gal. 4 231 in.3 min . ft.
Step 3 Velocity v2 = . v2 = = 3.268 ft. / s
A min . ! (1 in.) 2
gal. 60 s 12 in.

Step 4 Since N R < 2000 we have laminar flow. 7740vD 7740 cSt s 3.268 ft. 1 in.
NR = = = 258.1
! ft. in. 98 cSt s

64 64
Step 5 Friction factor f = . f= = 0.248
NR 258.1

## Step 6 The equivalent length of the system is the length of KD

the pipe plus the equivalent length of one elbow (the second L = L pipe +
f
elbow is not between points 1 and 2, so it is not included in
0.75 (1 in.) ft.
the calculation). = 4 ft. + 3 ft. +
0.248 12 in.
= 7.252 ft.

## 2011 Barry Dupen 5 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

## Step 7 The hydraulic fluid loses some energy due to fric-

v2 ( 3.286 ft. / s )
2

tion as it passes through the pipe and elbow. Head loss = = 0.1658 ft.
L v2 . Since well need the term v2 later in Ber- (
2g 2 32.2 ft / s 2 )
HL = f
D 2g 2g
7.252 ft. 12 in. 0.1658 ft.
noullis equation, lets calculate its value now. H L = 0.248 = 3.58 ft.
1 in. ft.

## Step 8 The pump adds 2 hp as it pressurizes the hydraulic

fluid. From Chapter 3 we know that hydraulic power
P = pQ . Pressure is related to specific weight and
! oil
head: p = ! oil H , and S.G.oil = . Substituting, pump
! water
p P P
head H P = = = . If the power is in
! oil Q ! oil Q S.G.oil ! water
3950 gpm ft. 2 hp
horsepower and flow rate is in gpm, then HP = = 1097 ft.
hp 8 gpm 0.9
3950 gpm ft. P
HP = . This equation also applies for
hp Q S.G.
There is no motor between points 1 and 2, so motor head is HM = 0
zero.
Step 9 Neither point 1 nor point 2 lie at the bottom of the
tank, so there is no need to calculate the pressure at the bot-
tom of the tank.
Step 10 Bernoullis equation for this problem is
p 2 v22 Z1 ! Z 2 = 0 ft. ! 4 ft. = !4 ft.
Z1 + H P ! H L = Z 2 + + . Solving Bernoullis equa-
" 2g
tion for pressure at point 2,
" v2 %
p 2 = \$( Z1 ! Z 2 ) + H P ! H L ! 2 ' ( . 0.9 62.4 lb. ft.2
# 2g & p 2 = ( !4 ft. + 1097 ft. ! 3.58 ft. ! 0.166 ft.)
ft.3 (12 in.)2
= 425 psi

## 3 ft. 2 ft. 1 ft.

Example 4: P M
Oil flows at a rate of 12 gpm from a tank through 1 inch ID 2 ft.
pipes and elbows, and through a pump and motor as shown. Q 2
4 ft.
The strainer at the inlet has a pressure drop of 2 psi. The
1
pump adds 3 hp and the motor extracts 1 hp. The oil has a
specific gravity S.G. = 0.9 and a kinematic viscosity
! = 105 cSt . What is the pressure at point 2?

## Step 1 Draw the circuit. We have a pump, a motor, two

fittings, and an elevation change.
Step 2 The pressure and velocity of the fluid at the surface p1 v12 p v2
of the tank are zero, as in Example #3. Z1 + + + H P " H M " H L = Z2 + 2 + 2
! 2g ! 2g
p 2 v22
Z1 + H P " H M " H L = Z 2 + +
! 2g

## 2011 Barry Dupen 6 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

## Q 12 gal. 4 231 in.3 min . ft.

Step 3 Velocity v2 = . v2 = = 4.902 ft. / s
A min . ! (1 in.)2 gal. 60 s 12 in.

Step 4 Since N R < 2000 we have laminar flow. 7740vD 7740 cSt s 4.902 ft. 1 in.
NR = = = 361.3
! ft. in. 105 cSt s

64 64
Step 5 Friction factor f = . f= = 0.177
NR 361.3

## Step 6 The equivalent length of the system is the length of KD

the pipe plus the equivalent length of both elbows. L = L pipe +
f
! 0.75 (1 in.) ft. \$
= 4 ft. + 3 ft. + 2 ft. + 1 ft. + 2 ft. + 2 # &
" 0.177 12 in. %
= 12.71 ft.

## Step 7 The hydraulic fluid loses some energy due to fric-

v2 ( 4.902 ft. / s )
2

tion as it passes through the strainer, pipe, and two elbows. = = 0.373 ft.
The head loss due to friction in the pipes and elbows is (
2g 2 32.2 ft / s 2 )
L v2 v2
HL = f
D 2g
. Since well need the term
2g
later in Ber-
H L = 0.177
12.71 ft. 12 in. 0.373 ft. 2 lb.
+ 2
ft.3 (12 in.) 2

noullis equation, lets calculate its value now. 1 in. ft. in. 0.9 62.4 lb. ft.2

!p = 15.20 ft.
The head loss due to the strainer is . Therefore, the total
"
L v2 !p
head loss is H L = f + .
D 2g "
Step 8 The pump adds 3 hp as it pressurizes the hydraulic 3950 gpm ft. 3 hp
HP = = 1097 ft.
3950 gpm ft. Ppump hp 12 gpm 0.9
fluid. From Example 3, H P = and
hp Q S.G. 3950 gpm ft. 1 hp
HM = = 366 ft.
3950 gpm ft. Pmotor hp 12 gpm 0.9
HM =
hp Q S.G.

## Step 9 Neither point 1 nor point 2 lie at the bottom of the

tank, so there is no need to calculate the pressure at the bot-
tom of the tank.
Step 10 Bernoullis equation for this problem is
p 2 v22 Z1 ! Z 2 = 0 ft. ! 2 ft. = !2 ft.
Z1 + H P ! H M ! H L = Z 2 + + . Solving Bernoullis
" 2g
equation for pressure at point 2,
" v2 %
p 2 = \$( Z1 ! Z 2 ) + H P ! H M ! H L ! 2 ' ( . p 2 = ( !2 ft. + 1097 ft. ! 366 ft. ! 15.20 ft. ! 0.373 ft.)
# 2g &
0.9 62.4 lb. ft.2
"
ft.3 (12 in.)2
= 278 psi

## 2011 Barry Dupen 7 of 8 Revised 15 November 2011

Notes for Introduction to Fluid Power, MET 330 Bernoulli Problems

## Bernoullis equation shows us where the energy is added to

the system and where it is used or lost. In this problem, the