WATER SUPPLY

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28 tayangan

WATER SUPPLY

© All Rights Reserved

- Nathaniel Whitaker
- TurbulentFlow__.ppt
- Laminar Turbulent
- Pipe Flow
- Turbulent pipe flow of power-law fluids
- Rescrutini-Notice Oc 2017(1)(1)(1)
- Tri_P10
- Feed Water Pump
- The Darcy
- Memo Shebooketh
- Flange Bolting Dimensions 900,1500,2500 ASME-B16!5!2009
- Structural Analysis Notes
- AnHourWith DoctorFlowmeter2012
- surface-Pre-Course-Combined-Equipment-1-2012-rev1.pdf
- Pressure Drop in Reactors Calc.
- Dimensions, Sizes and Specification of JIS B2220 Standard Steel Flanges
- Introduction Fundamental
- Formal Report 2
- Equipment Woodcousa
- BTE 01 ISM Supply Material

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flow?

How fast will it flow?

Real pipes in real

houses

How much pressure is

needed?

What size pipe do you

need?

water flow?

Home

Engineering & physics

History

Family history

correct sizes of pipe when plumbing a

house, and why it matters. This section

includes a practical worked example.

The theory is explored in part 1 .

In this section I show how to calculate the flow-rate in

a real domestic water-supply system by using a

couple of design tools that link flow-rate to the

available head - the pressure that makes the water

move. The worked example starts here . If all you need

is the graph that links flow rate to the rate-ofpressure-drop for standard pipe sizes, it's here .

But before I design a water supply system for a real

house, I should explain how the apparently

impossible calculation problems involving turbulent

flow can be quickly and easily tackled in practice.

If the water has to move at a couple of metres per

second, or thereabouts, how much pressure is

needed?

It's a simple question, but unfortunately there is no

simple answer. It depends on what pipes are fitted,

and how long they are. Each case must be

individually calculated. But don't despair - the

calculation is very easy.

The main thing to remember about pressure is this:

the pipe. Each bit of pipe resists the flow. Energy is

lost as the water moves along the pipe, so the

pressure falls too. There's a pressure difference

between the ends of the pipe.

The longer the pipe, the more energy is lost, and the

greater the pressure drop. The rate of pressure drop

(that is, the pressure drop per metre of pipe) depends

on the pipe diameter and the speed of flow, as you

would expect.

The design goal is to choose the pipe sizes that will

give the flow rates you want. Each length of pipe wll

have a pressure drop along its length. So the aim is to

choose pipes that will drop just enough of the

available pressure (from the header tank, or from the

mains water supply in the street) to give the required

flow rates. This means checking the pressure drop

along each pipe.

Darcy-Weisbach

ends of a pipe is to use the Darcy-Weisbach equation

I mentioned in part 1. This predicts how much

pressure would be needed to push the water along a

pipe at a particular speed. The formula looks like this:

flow velocity v depends on the length L and diameter

D of the pipe as well as the density of the fluid ( about 1,000 kg/m3 for cold water). It also depends on

f, a fiddle factor - sorry, "friction factor", which is

included to account for the effects of the Reynolds

number. This graph (and its equation) shows the

relationship between Re and f.

impossible to solve. In fact, it was quite

straightforward. The trick is to begin by guessing a

value for f (say, 0.01), putting this value (and Re) in

the right-hand side, working out the value of the lefthand side, and hence finding f. This new value for f is

closer to the actual value than the initial guess, so you

plug it back into the right-hand side and do the

calculation again . After a couple of iterations the

answer is usually close enough to be useful. (By the

way, the friction factor used by American engineers is

for some reason four times bigger than this. But then,

most things in America are bigger than they are in

England.)

The graph appears to show that the "friction factor"

decreases as the Reynolds number goes up. More

speed giving less friction? Hardly likely, is it? In fact,

that's not what the graph is saying. The "friction

factor" is purely a measure of how the pipe affects the

flow, and as the water becomes more turbulent the

pipe itself plays a smaller part in events.

Example - a kitchen sink

actual numbers. The kitchen sink is fed by

15mm pipe. How much pressure will it take to

get hot water (at about 60oC, say) moving out

of the tap at 2 metres/second, and is this head

achievable?

1. Calculate

Reynolds

number

from

water

speed,

pipe

size,

size,

density,

&

viscosity.

2. Look

up

friction

factor

f

on

the

graph.

3. Calculate

pressure

drop

from

DarcyWeisbach

equation.

Re = Speed x Diameter x (Density /

Viscosity)

the internal diameter of 15mm pipe is

13.6mm. From Table 1, (/) for water at 60o is

about 3.1 x106. Then the Reynolds number in

this case is:

Re = 2 x 13.6 x10-3 x 3.1 x106 = 84,000

has a "friction factor" f of about 0.019. So in

the pressure-difference equation

and D (13.6 mm). For now, assume that the

length L is just 1.0 metre. Then the pressure

difference (per metre) needed to get the water

flowing is:

P = 0.019 x 22 x (992.1 / 2) x (1.0 / 13.6

x10-3) = 2,800 N/m2

15mm pipe must have a pressure difference

of 2,800 N/sq.m. between its ends to push

water though it at 2 m/sec. If the pipe is 10m

long, the total pressure difference between

the ends of the pipe (that is, the head

required) would be 28,000 N/sq.m. Or, to put it

another way, the water will flow at 2

metres/second if the head happens to be

exactly 28,000 N/sq.m.

If you're more comfortable with pressure expressed

as the head in feet, the conversion factor is:

A head of 1 foot of

water 3,000 N/sq.m.

So 28,000 N/sq.m. is about the same as a head of 9 feet

(or 3m) of water. But if the head is not exactly 9 feet and in practice, Sod's Law says it won't be - the water

will flow at a different speed! More on this later.

design tool

The equations are useful if you ever need to calculate

accurately, but in practice it's easier to check from a

graph that what you plan to do will work.

The log-log

graph

1 bar

= 100,000

N/sq.m

1 lb/sq.in

= 7,000

N/sq.m

1 foot of water

= 3,000

N/sq.m

7 m. of water

(the minimum

water pressure

guaranteed in the

UK)

= 69,000

N/sq.m

1 Pascal

= 1 N/sq.m

flow rate and pipe size. You'll find something similar

in the relevant British Standard. It was constructed

from the pressure-drop equation and covers water

speeds from 2.0 m/sec (at the top) down to 0.2 m/sec,

and is valid for all normal temperatures. It's saying

that the pressure drop along a length of pipe is

(nearly) proportional to the square of the flow rate

in the pipe.

The graph tells you nearly all you need to know. Use it

like this:

1. Decide

the

flow

rate

you

need

(sink:

0.3

litres/sec;

bath:

0.5

litres/sec,

say).

2. Choose

a

pipe

size

that

will

carry

this

flow

flow

at

less

than

2m/sec.

3. Use

the

graph

to

find

the

rate

of

pressure

drop,

per

metre

of

pipe

run.

This

tells

you

the

head

you

will

need.

needs a flow rate of 0.3 litres/sec.

From the graph, this means the water speed

will be 2 metres per second and the head

required to achieve this flow rate will be 4,000

N/sq.m. (or 1.3 feet height of water) per metre

of pipe. So if the sink is fed from a tank 13 feet

above it, the pipe run could have an

(equivalent) length of 10 metres. If the pipe is

shorter, the water will flow faster.

Example - 22mm pipe connected to the water main

connection, and that the water pressure here

is 2 bar. Assume a horizontal straight 22mm

pipe is connected to the stop-tap. What will

the flow rate be if the pipe is 10m long? What

happens if it's 100m long?

From the graph, 10m of 22mm pipe carrying

0.7 litres/sec ( = 2 m/sec water speed) has a

pressure drop of

P = 10 x 2,500 N/sq.m = 25,000 N/sq.m

= 200,000 N/sq.m) is applied, the graph can't

predict what would happen. I would guess

that the flow rate would exceed 2 litres/sec

and the noise level would be scary. This is not

a good idea!

However, with 100m of pipe, the 200,000

N/sq.m mains pressure works out at a more

modest 2,000 N/sq.m per metre. The graph

says this delivers about 0.6 litres/sec (36

litres/minute) at a water speed of something

under 2 m/sec. It would work fine.

Example - a fountain

connected to the stop-tap points vertically

upwards. The 2 bar pressure at the stop-tap

will presumably cause water to squirt out of

the top. How high will it go?

The weight of water in the vertical pipe exerts

a pressure downwards, towards the stop-tap,

of

Pressure = Length x density x g

(N/sq.m)

Pressure = 10 (m) x 1,000 (kg/cu.m) x

9.8 (m/sec/sec) 100,000 (N/sq.m)

200,000 N/sq.m upwards pressure at the stoptap. The net upwards pressure is reduced to

100,000 N/sq.m. Over the 10m length, there is

now 10,000 N/sq.m per metre. This is off the

graph, as it represents a water speed of well

over 2 metres/sec. It might give a flow rate of

about 1.5 litres/sec.

The cross-sectional area of 22mm pipe is 320

sq.mm., so 1.5 litres in 22mm pipe occupies a

length of

(1.5/1,000) / (320 x 10-6) = 4.7 metres

top of the pipe it is moving at 4.7 metres/sec.

How high will it go? The equation I learnt at

school relates speed and distance for a body

moving under gravity like this

v2 = u2 - 2 g s

velocity, s is distance, and g is 9.8 m/sec/sec as

usual. Here u = 4.7 m/sec and v = 0 (because

the water stops rising, pauses, then begins to

fall) so

4.72 = 2 x 9.8 x s ... s = 4.72 / (2 x 9.8)

= 1.1 metres ( 3.5 feet).

rooftop height, 30 feet in the air - mains water

pressure would still produce a fountain about

as high as a child! No wonder water

companies' pipes leak.

the different pipes in the house?

Here's a simplified sketch of the hot- and cold-water

supply system in a two-storey house. The cold-water

header tank in the loft feeds a bath on the first floor,

and the kitchen sink on the ground floor. It also feeds

the hot water pipes via the cylinder.

The first step is to sketch the layout and choose the

pipe sizes such that the water flows fast enough to fill

the bath and the sink in a sensible time.

Then calculate what will actually happen, and decide

whether anything needs to be changed.

So, here:

To fill a 10-litre kitchen sink in half a minute, the

flow rate of the pipe feeding it must be close to 0.3

litres/second, and 15mm pipe can probably handle

this.

The flow rate for a bath should be higher, but as a

single 22mm pipe can comfortably deliver more

than 0.5 litres/second, two 22mm pipes (hot and

cold) will be more than adequate.

This house doesn't have a shower. Showers use about

10 litres per minute - that is, about 0.17 litres/second so 15mm pipes would be quite big enough if the

owner ever decided to install one. A five-minute

shower only uses about 30 litres of hot water. That's

why it's cheaper to shower than to have a bath. It's

cheaper still when you share with a friend,

apparently.

Cold water pipes

The design starts with the cold feeds. The kitchen sink

needs 0.3 litres/sec, and according to Table 4 a 15mm

pipe will only deliver 0.22 litres/sec at a water speed

of 1.5 metres/sec. The choice is, to pay more and use

22mm pipe, or to fit 15mm pipe and put up with a

small amount of extra noise. Which would you go for?

A cautious person might ask, how much more noise?

A mountain stream, or Niagara Falls?

That's easy to answer. Increasing the flow rate by 30%

means that the water flows 30% faster - 2.2 metres/sec

instead of 1.5 m/s. The noise level would roughly

double. That shouldn't be a big problem.

The kitchen sink cold feed can therefore be 15mm, at

least up to the junction with the bath cold feed. The

pipe from here to the bottom of the cylinder serves

two purposes, though. Someone might be running a

bath whilst someone else is downstairs washing up.

What then?

Suppose that the bath cold tap and the kitchen sink

cold tap are both running at once, with 0.3 litres/sec

going to the sink downstairs and (say) 0.5 litres/sec

going into the bath. The total flow-rate would be 0.8

litres/sec, and 15mm pipe would complain at that.

Will 22mm pipe do, or should it be 28mm? You might

ask how likely is it that both taps would be on at the

same time, and if it did happen, would anyone mind

too much if the cold flow slackened off for a few

seconds? Probably not (unless they were having a

shower!) 22mm pipe should be adequate.

Finally, there's the pipe from the header tank to the

bottom of the cylinder. This one is more important

than it looks - it not only carries cold water to the taps

but also refills the cylinder as hot water is taken from

the top. Water flows through this pipe to every tap in

the house. It would be sensible to make it 28mm,

which can carry over a litre per second.

Hot water pipes

The hot-water pipes are easy to size, because the

thinking has already been done for the cold pipes. The

kitchen sink will be fed in 15mm from the tee under

the bath, and then in 22mm from the top of the

cylinder.

The vent pipe leading from the cylinder to above the

header tank should also be 22mm (as local authority

as a safety measure - if something goes wrong, and

the water in the cylinder boils, it can siphon up safely

into the tank instead of bursting the cylinder and

ruining all the carpets.

It's all very well calculating pipe sizes by assuming a

flow rate, but what will actually happen in a real

house in practice? How fast will the water flow out of

the kitchen sink tap? How long will it really take to fill

the bath?

It is possible to predict how a real system will behave.

In this section I show how to calculate what will

happen in the two-storey house design described earlier.

Each step is explained in some detail in order to make

it easier to adapt the calculation to the different

problem you may be trying to solve.

Pipes often go round corners

The pressure driving the water along the pipes is the

head. For the bath, this is 3 metres (say), and for the

kitchen sink on the floor below it's 5 metres (say). This

pressure is opposed by the friction losses in the pipes,

which can be thought of as the pressure-differenceper-metre needed to push the water along at the flow

rate you want. The log-log graph can be used to find the

flow rate in a pipe run when the head is known.

There is one small difficulty. Real pipe goes round

corners, and through tees, and valves, and other

fittings. Each fitting creates its own bit of turbulence

and absorbs some energy. How can this be taken into

account?

Quite easily, as it happens. In just the same way that a

length of straight pipe needs a pressure difference to

push water through it, so does an elbow, or a valve.

The pressure difference required across a 15mm

elbow to move water though it at, say, 0.2 litres/sec

can be measured. Whatever this number is, it must be

the same as the pressure difference required to move

water through some length of straight 15mm pipe at

the same speed. In fact, this equivalent length is about

0.4 metres for a 15mm elbow. So the pressure drop in

the elbow can be included by pretending that the

15mm pipe is really straight, but 0.4 metres longer

than it actually is. The "equivalent lengths" of some

common fittings are listed below.

Fittings:

equivalent

length

metres) of some standard fittings

Tee:

Tee:

into

Pipe Elbow through

branch

size

Tee:

from

branch

15

mm

0.4

0.05

0.7

0.6

22

mm

0.6

0.09

1.1

1.0

28

mm

0.9

0.12

1.6

1.4

the shower head. Its function is to take the stream of

water flowing in a 15mm pipe and split it into many

little streams, each about 1mm in diameter. This

process takes a lot of energy. In terms of equivalent

pipe length, a shower head might represent as much

as 10-20 metres of 15mm, or even more, and this has a

serious impact on flow-rate. That's why many people

opt for a pumped shower, or one run directly from

mains pressure via a combi boiler.

Example - the kitchen sink feed from the bathroom

down to the ground floor, along to the sink, then up

again to the taps.

There are 5 elbows (right-angle bends) in each pipe.

According to Table 5, each elbow causes the same

pressure drop as 0.4 metres of 15mm pipe. So the

elbows represent 5 x 0.4m = 2m of pipe. The pipes

themselves are about 7m long, so the total equivalent

length of each one is 7m + 2m = 9m of pipe.

Then from the log-log graph, to achieve a water flow

rate of 0.3 litres/second, the head would have to be

9m x 4,000 N/sq.m = 36,000 N/sq.m.

Suppose someone turns on the cold tap at the kitchen

sink. What will happen?

Water will begin to flow out of the header tank, down

the 28mm pipe to the cylinder, along the 22mm pipe

to the bath, then down the 15mm pipe to the sink.

How fast it flows depends on the head and the

opposing frictional pressure drop. The head is known

to be 5m, but the opposing frictional loss must be

calculated.

The problem is that each different pipe size offers a

different resistance to the same flow rate. What's

needed is some way of expressing these different

resistances in some common unit, so that they can be

just added together.

A clue comes from the log-log graph. The lines are

(nearly) parallel. This means that the rate of pressure

drop (RPD) for 22mm pipe (say) is always some

fraction of that for 15mm pipe, at the same flow rate.

At 0.05 litres/sec, 15mm pipe has a RPD of about 150

N/sq.m/m, whilst for 22mm RPD is just 20 N/sq.m/m about seven times smaller.

(RPD for 15mm pipe) / (RPD for 22mm pipe) = 7

/1

And at 0.2 litres/sec the figures are 1900 and 270 again, a ratio of about 7 to 1. So to get the same flow

rate, 15mm pipe needs seven times the pressure

difference that 22mm needs!

1m of 15mm pipe

behaves like 7m of

22mm pipe.

These figures aren't exact, but they're near enough to

be useful in the real world.

1m of 22mm pipe

behaves like (1/7)m 0.13m - of 15mm pipe.

The idea can be extended to the other pipe sizes. The

table below shows the length of each standard size

pipe that is equivalent to a 1 metre length of 15mm

pipe. It says, for example, that just 3.5cm of 28mm

pipe has the same pressure drop as 1m of 15mm pipe.

Table 6: The lengths (in metres) of

standard pipe sizes equivalent to 1m of

15mm

10 15 22

mm mm mm

7

1.0

28

mm

35

mm

42

mm

54

mm

So, back at the sink...

What is the flow

rate out of the

kitchen cold

tap?

The question was, how fast will water come out of the

cold tap at the kitchen sink?

1. Work

out

the

equivalent

length

of

the

15mm

section.

2. Work

out

the

equivalent

lengths

of

the

22mm

and

the

28mm

sections.

3. Convert

the

22mm

and

28mm

lengths

to

their

4.

5.

6.

7.

their

equivalent

15mm

length.

Add

all

the

lengths

of

15mm

equivalent

together.

Work

out

the

total

pressure

drop

(from

head,

,

g).

Find

the

average

rate

of

pressure

drop

(divide

by

pipe

length).

Look

up

the

corresponding

flow

rate

on

the

loglog

graph.

to the tee with the bath tap. It is about 7m long with

five elbows, so it has an equivalent length of

[15mm actual] = 7.0m (the pipe) + (5 x 0.4m) (the

elbows) = 9.0m.

itself. If the 22mm pipe is (say) 3.5m long, this

represents an equivalent length of

[22mm actual] = 3.5m (the pipe) + (0.09m + 1.1m)

(the tees: 1 in, 1 through) = 4.7m.

[Convert 22mm actual --> 15mm equivalent] =

4.7m x 0.13 = 0.6m.

equivalent length of

[28mm actual] = 6.0m (the pipe) + (2 x 0.9m) (the

elbows) = 7.8m.

[Convert 28mm actual --> 15mm equivalent] =

7.8m x 0.035 = 0.3m.

9.0m (15mm) + 0.6m (22mm) + 0.3m (28mm) =

9.9m.

Pressure = Length x Density x g

at the kitchen tap will be:

5 [m.of water] x 1,000 [kg/m3] x 9.8 [m/sec2] =

49,000 N/sq.m

This pressure drop is shared out along the pipe run that is, along the 9.9m equivalent length of 15mm which means the average rate of pressure drop is

49,000 / 9.9 = 5,000 N/sq.m per metre

... 0.35

litres/sec!

RPD of 5,000 N/sq.m per metre has a flow rate of

about 0.35 litres/second. This is what will come out of

the tap, and more by luck than by skilful design, it's

close to the 0.3 litres/second that it should be.

But is this figure true? Cross-check the result by

working backwards. Breaking it down, the answer

says that the 9m of real 15mm pipe accounts for (9 x

5,000) = 45,000 of the 49,000 N/sq.m of available

pressure, the 22mm length takes (0.6 x 5,000) = 3,000

N/sq.m, and the 28mm needs (0.3 x 5,000) = 1,500

N/sq.m. This adds up to 49,500, which is close enough

to the expected figure of 49,000. This is supposed to be

engineering, not physics.

its RPD of (3,000 / 4.6m) = 652 N/sq.m per metre is,

from the log-log graph, about 0.35 litres/second. And for

the actual 7.8m of 28mm at its RPD of (1,500 / 7.8) =

192 N/sq.m per metre, the flow is once again 0.35

litres/second. Each pipe is carrying the same flow

rate, as it should do. So the kitchen sink tap really will

deliver 0.35 litres/second.

What if the pipes are too noisy?

In a different design - perhaps one with with fatter

pipes, or fewer elbows, or a larger head - the

calculation might have predicted a much higher flow

rate. In that case you would expect the pipes to be

noisy when the water is running. To make them

quieter, the water has to be slowed down, and this is

actually very easy to do. Any competent plumber

installing a system will have included valves at

strategic points, so that sections of the system can be

isolated - when, for example, you need to change a tap

washer.

All you have to do is find the right valve and turn it

down a bit. The extra resistance this adds will reduce

the flow rate to a more sensible value. Halving the

flow rate would reduce the noise by a factor of four.

Running a bath

What is the flow

rate out of the

bath cold tap?

involves both the hot and cold water pipes in the twostorey house sketched above. The approach is exactly

the same: find the equivalent lengths, convert them

to the same size pipe, add them up, find the pressure

drop per metre, look up the corresponding flow

rate.

Cold feed only: Think about the cold water first. The

22mm pipe from the tap is 3.5m long and includes two

tees. It has an apparent length of:

[22mm actual] = 3.5m + (1.1m + 1.0m) = 5.6m.

[28mm actual] = 6.0m + (2 x 0.9m) = 7.8m.

the bath, it seems silly to convert these lengths to

their equivalent 15mm lengths, then add them

together, then convert them back again to 22mm.

Instead, I'll simply convert the 28mm length to its

equivalent 22mm value, using the figures in Table 6:

[28mm actual --> 22mm equivalent] = 7.8m x

(0.035 / 0.13) = 2.1m.

5.6m + 2.1m = 7.7m.

3 [m.of water] x 1,000 [kg/m3] x 9.8 [m/sec2] =

29,400 N/sq.m

29,400 / 7.7 = 3,800 N/sq.m per metre

noisy) flow rate of close to 0.9 litres/second for a

cold bath, rather than the 0.5 litres/second one might

have hoped for. Still, things will change when the hot

tap is running too.

Hot feed only: Now for the hot water. The hot pipe is

all 22mm, which makes it slightly easier. The pipe run

to the top of the cylinder is (let's say) 6m long, and

includes two tees and three elbows. So:

[Hot: 22mm actual] = 6m + (1.1m + 1.0m + [3 x

0.6m]) = 9.9m.

replaced by cold water flowing from the header tank.

The cylinder itself is only a kind of fitting, and it too

has resistance, just like an elbow. The resistance of

the whole circuit must be calculated.

The 22mm run is only 1m or so, plus a tee and an

elbow. The cylinder's resistance is equivalent to about

1.6m of 22mm pipe. Adding these up gives:

[Cold: 22mm actual] = 1m + (1.0m + 0.6m +

1.6m) = 4.2m.

I've already calculated that this is 7.8m (actual) and

2.1m (22mm equivalent), so the total equivalent

length of 22mm pipe in this circuit is:

9.9m + 4.2m + 2.1m = 16.2m.

rate of pressure drop is

29,400 / 16.2 = 1,800 N/sq.m per metre

litres/second for a hot bath - pretty much what it

should be. The flow rate from the hot tap is less than

from the cold tap because of the resistance of all the

extra pipe this water has to flow through.

when they are running a bath. What happens then?

It's a more difficult problem, because now the 28mm

pipe from the header tank is carrying cold water both

to the bath and to the bottom of the cylinder. A higher

flow rate means a greater resistance. How much

greater? That depends on the flow rate it's carrying,

and that in turn depends on its resistance!

Breaking this circle demands a little algebra, since

there are now two unknown (and inter-dependent)

quantities: the flow rates from each of the bath taps. I

don't know yet what they are, so I'll call the flow rate

out of the hot tap H litres/sec, and that from the cold

tap C litres/sec.

Now, the hot water circuit runs from the tee (with the

28mm pipe) up through the cylinder, down and along

to the hot tap. It has an equivalent length of (9.9m +

4.2m) = 14.1m. This pipe run is carrying H litres/sec.

Similarly, the effective length of the cold water

circuit, from the cold tap to the same junction, is 5.6m.

This pipe run is carrying C litres/sec.

And the 28mm pipe, with an effective length of 7.8m

(or 2.1m of 22mm equivalent), has to carry (H + C)

litres/sec.

I know that H and C must be less than 0.6 and 0.9

litres/sec respectively, because those are the flow

rates with only one tap open. The flow rates with both

taps open must be smaller, because the hot and cold

flows share space in the 28mm pipe, and it will offer

greater resistance to the flow, so (for now) guess that

H = 0.5 litres/sec. From the graph, this implies a Rate of

Pressure Drop (RPD) of 1,400 N/sq.m per metre.

The effective length of the pipes carrying just hot

water is 14.1m. The total pressure drop along these

pipes would then be (14.1 x 1,400) = 19,700 N/sq.m.

The head is 29,400 N/sq.m, so the pressure difference

between the water surface in the header tank and the

junction of the hot and cold circuits - at the tee near

the bottom of the cylinder - would be (29,400 N/sq.m 19,700 N/sq.m) = 9,700 N/sq.m. I'll come back to this

figure in a moment.

But the same pressure of 19,700 N/sq.m that drives the

hot water flow is driving the cold water flow too. The

effective length of the pipes carrying just cold water is

5.6m, so the RPD for the cold-water pipes is (19,700 /

5.6) = 3,500 N/sq.m per metre, and the graph says that

this implies a flow rate of about C = 0.82 litres/sec.

My original guess was that H was 0.5 litres/sec, and

this guess resulted in a predicted value for C of 0.82

litres/sec. In other words, C is 1.64 times bigger than

H. But this ratio depends only on the pipe layout. It's

independent of the actual values of H and C.

Whatever the real figures are, this ratio will stay the

same.

If my original guess that H was 0.5 litres/sec had been

correct, then the combined flow in the 28mm pipe

would have been (0.5 + 0.82) = 1.32 litres/sec. The graph

says that the RPD of 28mm pipe carrying 1.32

litres/sec is about 2,700 N/sq.m per metre, so the total

pressure drop along its effective length of 7.8m is

(2,700 x 7.8) = 21,000 N/sq.m.

But I have already calculated that if H really had been

0.5 litres/sec, the pressure drop along the 28mm pipe

would have been 9,700 N/sq.m - only half as much.

The original guess was plainly wrong! So how can the

problem be solved?

A Useful Approximation

The straight-line

log-log graph could

also be written as a

power law.

For 15mm pipe, it

would be:

RPD =

35,000 x FR1.83

interest - flow rate and pressure drop - is extremely

complex, but fortunately it can be approximated by a

rather simple formula:

Rate of Pressure Drop (RPD) = A x (Flow Rate)2

+B

+B

35,000 x FR1.83

For 22mm pipe, it

would be:

RPD =

5,000 x FR1.85

pipe size. I give values for A and B in the table below.

Table 7: Values of constants A and B in the Useful

Approximation

Pipe

10mm 15mm 22mm 28mm 35mm 42mm 54mm

size

A

B

400,000 44,000

100

70

5,300

1,400

450

160

40

40

30

18

20

14

flow rate of between 30% and 100% of its maximum

capacity.

runs to the hot and cold bathtaps. Water is flowing

from both taps.

The cold water feed pipe is 5.6 metres long and

carrying C litres/second. The hot water pipe is 14.1

metres long and carries H litres/sec. The common

feed, carrying cold water to the tap and also into the

bottom of the cylinder - that is, (C + H) litres/sec - is

7.8 metres long, from the header tank to the tee.

Now, from the Useful Approximation, the total

pressure difference between the ends of a pipe is

Pressure drop in pipe = Length x [A x (Flow

Rate)2 + B]

The hot and cold pipes are both fed from the common

pipe, and both end in open taps. The pressure

difference between the common point and each tap

must be the same. So by applying the formula, doing a

bit of algebra, and discarding terms that are too small

to matter, we get a relationship between the flow

rates that just depends on pipe lengths:

idea that the hot and cold flow rates will always bear

the same ratio to each other. But we also know that,

for the whole system:

Head = (Pressure drop in common pipe) +

(Pressure drop in hot [or cold] pipe)

expression for the actual hot or cold flow rate in

terms of numbers we already know! To make the

equation as general as possible, I have used the

symbols Lc and Lh to stand for the lengths of the cold

and hot pipe runs respectively, and L28 to mean the

rate, C, the equation is:

a value for C is simply a matter of substituting known

numbers for all the variables and calculating the

answer. The head is 29,400 N/sq.m., Lc is 5.6m., and Lh

is 14.1m. It's important that all the lengths be

expressed in the same units, so L28 is 2.1m (of 22mm

Finally, from Table 7, the constants for 22mm pipe are

A = 5,300 and B = 40.

The answer I got was C2 = 0.49 litres/second, so C = 0.7

litres/second. And since (C / H)2 = (14.1 / 5.6), I

calculate that H = 0.44 litres/second.

The answer can be checked by working out the

individual pressure drops using the Useful

Approximation. In the hot and cold pipes:

Cold pipe: Pressure drop = 5.6m x [5,300 x (0.7)2

+ 40] = 14,800 N/sq.m

(0.44)2 + 40] = 15,000 N/sq.m

the common pipe,

Common pipe: Pressure drop = 2.1m x [5,300 x

(0.7 + 0.44)2 + 40] = 14,500 N/sq.m

head is 29,400 N/sq.m. I think the conclusion is that

the sums really do add up. The method works.

If you want another look at the theoretical

background to all this, you'll find it here in Part 1.

Copyright John Hearfield 2007, 2012

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