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Thermodynamics of Gas Piping Systems

By Walt Prentice |

Understanding the implications of adiabatic and isothermal flow assumptions is necessary to have confidence in when to use such assumptions Every engineer uses assumptions because every analysis has an overabundance of variables to consider. Often, there are just too many to analyze and simplifications are made to eliminate variables or create more relationships between them. The decision of what assumptions to make rests on the engineer’s shoulders. Even beyond making a problem solvable, engineers build assumptions into their analyses to make the math easier and faster. Although a problem may be technically solvable, there is value in simplifying the problem further. After all, exact answers do not exist in engineering. When analyzing something as complex as gas flow through pipes, the math becomes daunting to say the least. Hydraulic modeling of liquid and gas systems are worlds apart, simply because gases have variable density, while liquids do not. (This may not sound like a huge difference, but open a compressible flow textbook, and you will quickly change your mind.) With all the intricate considerations of compressible flow, heat transfer complicates the situation exponentially. Yet, without analyzing heat transfer, the…
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