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Appendix A: Corrections for Calculating Non-Circular Cross-Sectional Areas Page 1 of 7

Appendix A: Corrections for Calculating Non-Circular Cross-Sectional


Areas

Overview

Often Flowmaster is required to model non-circular cross-sectional areas (CSA's), using


components that assume a circular CSA. To do this, an equivalent diameter is required that can
be used by the components' algorithm to give the correct flow rates and pressure drops. Two
diameters seem obvious, the hydraulic diameter (4*CSA/Wetted Perimeter), and a diameter the
conserves the actual CSA, herein after referred to as φarea.

The aim of this appendix is to quantify the differences between these two diameters and to
provide details on corrective procedures that you can apply to improve the results.

The Flowmaster Calculations

During a simulation, Flowmaster builds a matrix of simultaneous equations which are passed to
the solver. Each component in the network contributes a number of equations to this matrix
depending on the number of fluid connections that it has. For example, a two-armed component
such as a pipe, will generate two sets of equations as shown below:

Equation A.1

and

Equation A.2

Where:

P1, P2 = Pressures at nodes 1 and 2

= Mass flow rates through arms 1 and 2


A, B = Linearization coefficients

Pressure/Flow Equation for a Rigid Pipe

The pressure/flow equation for a rigid pipe is defined as follows:

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Equation A.3

It can be seen how this equation could be rearranged to fit the format of Equations A.1 and A.2.
It is important to note that the coefficients used to calculate the mass flow rate (from which the
volumetric flow rates and velocities are obtained), are a function of the cross-sectional area of
the pipe (Area2), and the loss coefficient, k:

Equation A.4

Where:

f = Friction factor (a function of the absolute roughness) - see Miller Page 192, the Moody
Chart

These two parameters are both dependent on the diameter. Unfortunately, if diameter φarea is
used, then Area2 will be correct and k will be wrong. If you specify the hydraulic diameter, then
k will be correct and Area2 will be wrong.

Case Study

The following network is used as case study which demonstrates that φarea gives more
accurate results, and that by adjusting the friction factor/roughness compensates for errors
generated during the calculations.

The network comprises the following components:

View Network?

Input Data

The input data is as follows. Initially, for the first simulation, the roughness value for all three
bends is set to 0.

Only those data items used in the simulation are shown in the tables below. Data items that
are not used are set as NOTSET.

Component 1: Source: Pressure

The component data is follows:

Component 1: Required Data


Data Item Setting Unit

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Total Pressure 5 bar

Component 2: Source: Pressure

The component data is follows:

Component 2: Required Data

Data Item Setting Unit

Total Pressure 4.8 bar

Component 3: Bend: Mitre-rectangular

The component data is follows:

Component 3: Required Data

Data Item Setting Unit

Deflection Angle 90.0002 deg

Breadth 0.027 m

Width 0.07 deg C

Roughness 0 m

Vapour Pressure 0.02062 m

Curves

Bend Loss Coefficient Poly.2-1 -

Component 4: Bend: Mitre-circular

The component data is follows:

Component 4: Required Data

Data Item Setting Unit

Deflection Angle 90.0002 deg

Diameter 0.049 m

Roughness 0 m

Vapour Pressure 0.02062 m

Curves

Bend Loss Coefficient Poly.2-1 -

Component 5: Bend: Mitre-circular

The component data is follows:

Component 5: Required Data

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Data Item Setting Unit

Deflection Angle 90.0002 deg

Diameter 0.039 m

Roughness 0 m

Vapour Pressure 0.02062 m

Curves

Bend Loss Coefficient Poly.2-1 -

Running the Simulations and Looking at the Results

Run 1

A Steady State simulation was performed with the roughness value for all three pipes set to 0.
The following table shows the flow rates and loss coefficient values for the three pipes, together
with the percentage errors:

Table A.1: Flow Rates and Percentage Errors for Run 1

Component No Result Unit Percentage Error

Flow Rate

3 0.0113517 m3/s No error

4 0.0113261 m3/s -0.226%

5 0.00717496 m3/s -36.794%

Loss Coefficient, K

3 1.11081 - No error

4 1.11081 - No error

5 1.11081 - No error

Run 2

For this run, reset the roughness value for all three pipes to 1. The following table shows the
flow rates and loss coefficient values for the three pipes, together with the percentage errors:

Table A.2: Flow Rates and Percentage Errors for Run 2

Component No Result Unit Percentage Error

Flow Rate

3 0.00634796 m3/s No error

4 0.00646283 m3/s 1.8096%

5 0.00401248 m3/s -36.791%

Loss Coefficient, K

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3 3.55218 - No error

4 3.4116 - -3.9576%

5 3.55183 - -0.0099%

Referring to the following equation, we can see that the loss coefficient, K, is both a function of
the bend coefficient, Kb, and Cr, a correction factor for bend roughness:

Equation A.5

For Run 1 with the roughness set to 0, we can see that loss coefficient due only to the bend
coefficient, Kb, is very similar for all three bends. However, with the roughness set to 1, we can
see an error being introduced to the loss coefficient for the bend whose diameter, φarea is set to
49 mm (bend 4). This is because it is not using the correct hydraulic diameter.

This error (-3.9576%) causes a flow rate error of 1.8096%. This is insignificant compared to
that introduced by calculating the wrong A/B coefficients for the bend with a diameter of 39 mm
(bend 5), which gives a flow rate error of -36.791%.

Correction Procedures

The following outlines the methods for deriving equivalent parameters. The first procedure
derives an equivalent diameter, but is only applicable for Steady State applications. The second
derives an equivalent friction factor and can be used for both Steady State and Transient
applications.

Deriving an Equivalent Diameter - Steady State Only

This procedure derives another equivalent diameter (that is neither the hydraulic diameter nor
φarea). The loss coefficient and Area2, will be calculated incorrectly, but the errors incurred in
both these will cancel each other to give the correct flow rate. Taking Equation A.3 and
rearranging it, we get:

Equation A.6

There are two key terms in the above equation; d and Area2 (which is a function of d). The
equation relates the flow rate to the pressure drop, and if choose an equivalent diameter that
gives , to equal then this diameter will ensure the correct pressure
drop/flow rate relationship.

Where:

de = Equivalent diameter

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= Area calculated using de

= Hydraulic diameter

= Actual area of rectangular (or non-circular) geometry

and

The hydraulic diameter is defined as:

Deriving an Equivalent Friction Factor - Steady State or Transient)

The above procedure cannot be used in a transient simulation. In a transient simulation the
dynamic behaviour (using the inertia, or mass of the fluid) is calculated, unlike for a steady
state simulation.

The pipes' volume is used in calculating the mass of the fluid in the pipe, which in turn is used
to calculate the pipes' diameter. In this case, the equivalent diameter used, must conserve the
actual CSA. Instead the φarea must be used.

However, as previously discussed, this will give an incorrect loss coefficient:

Equation A.7

In this case, the friction coefficient, f, can be altered instead of the diameter:

Equation A.8

Where:

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Equation A.9

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