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The simplest way to convey a fluid, in a contained system from Point A to Point B, is by

means of a conduit or pipe (Fig. 1).

Piping design

The minimum basic parameters that are required to design the piping system include, but

are not limited to, the following.

1

The distance between Point A and Point B (or length the fluid must travel) and

equivalent length (pressure losses) introduced by valves and fittings.

These basic parameters are needed to design a piping system. Assuming steady-state

flow, there are a number of equations, which are based upon the general energy equation

that can be employed to design the piping system. The variables associated with the fluid

(i.e., liquid, gas, or multiphase) affect the flow. This leads to the derivation and

development of equations that are applicable to a particular fluid. Although piping

systems and pipeline design can get complex, the vast majority of the design problems

encountered by the engineer can be solved by the standard flow equations.

Bernoulli equation

The basic equation developed to represent steady-state fluid flow is the Bernoulli

equation which assumes that total mechanical energy is conserved for steady,

incompressible, inviscid, isothermal flow with no heat transfer or work done. These

restrictive conditions can actually be representative of many physical systems.

The

equation

is

stated

(Eq.

where

Z

pressure, psi,

density, lbm/ft3,

velocity, ft/sec,

and

H

L

as

1)

Darcys

equation

(Eq. 2)

further

expresses

head

loss

as

and

(Eq.

where

H

L

velocity, ft/sec,

3)

density, lbm/ft3,

and

d

The Reynolds number is a dimensionless parameter that is useful in characterizing the

degree of turbulence in the flow regime and is needed to determine the Moody friction

factor.

It

is

expressed

as

(Eq. 4)

where

density, lbm/ft3,

viscosity, lbm/ft-sec.

and

The

Reynolds

number

for

liquids

can

be

Equation 5

where

viscosity, cp,

expressed

as

G

Q1

velocity, ft/sec.

and

V

The

Reynolds

number

for

gases

can

be

expressed

as

Equation 6

where

viscosity, cp,

specific gravity of gas at standard conditions relative to air (molecular weight divided

by 29),

and

Q

g

The Moody friction factor, f, expressed in the previous equations, is a function of the

Reynolds number and the roughness of the internal surface of the pipe and is given by

Fig. 3. The Moody friction factor is impacted by the characteristic of the flow in the pipe.

For laminar flow, where Re is < 2,000, there is little mixing of the flowing fluid, and the

flow velocity is parabolic; the Moody friction factor is expressed as f = 64/Re. For

turbulent flow, where Re > 4,000, there is complete mixing of the flow, and the flow

velocity has a uniform profile; f depends on Re and the relative roughness (/D). The

relative roughness is the ratio of absolute roughness, , a measure of surface

imperfections to the pipe internal diameter, D. Table 9.1 lists the absolute roughness for

several types of pipe materials.

Paragon)

Table 1

If the viscosity of the liquid is unknown, Fig. 4 can be used for the viscosity of crude oil,

Fig. 5 for effective viscosity of crude-oil/water mixtures, and Fig. 6 for the viscosity of

natural gas. In using some of these figures, the relationship between viscosity in

centistokes and viscosity in centipoise must be used

(Eq.

where

7)

and

S

G

specific gravity.

(courtesy of ASTM).

6

Pressure drop for liquid flow

General equation

Eq. 3 can be expressed in terms of pipe inside diameter (ID) as stated next.

(Eq.

8)

where

d

Ql

S

G

and

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