Using EXCEL for numerical analysis of fluid flow in series and parallel piping systems and discussing the limitations of the numerical techniques
Keywords:Numerical Analysis of Fluid, MS Excel, Series and Parallel Piping Systems
Fluid dynamics is governed by Bernoulli’s equation which is based on the principle of conservation of energy. Bernoulli’s equation is an energy balance equation that converts fluid potential energy, kinetic energy, and stored energy due to pressure to an equivalent head for a single branch fluid flow system. The Head is in units of length. Friction losses can also be expressed in terms of head and be included in Bernoulli’s equation. However, if the flow rate is unknown, there are more unknowns than equations, and Bernoulli’s equation cannot be used directly. In such a scenario the fluid system must be analyzed by iterative techniques. In the case of a series system, there is only one flow rate and the flow rate can be incrementally changed until the correct solution is obtained. However, in a parallel system, the flow rates are different in various branches. For the parallel piping systems, a halving technique where the interval is cut into half on a repeated basis can be used to investigate various flow rates until the correct flow rate with sufficient accuracy is determined. An EXCEL spreadsheet can be used to automate this process. The analysis techniques for both the series piping systems and parallel piping systems are the theme of this article.
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