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Fluid Mechanics: Pipes & Pumps in Series

Piping that is in series will experience pressure losses while the fluids flow rate should theoretically be the same throughout the piping system. We already know by using Bernoulli's equation and the continuity equation that a pressure change will occur when a fluid goes through a pipe that has a change in cross-sectional area. In addition to this, there could be cases where there is a resistance to the fluid flow due to a valve that was partially closed or possibly build up on a pipe. Elbows and turns in a pipe can also cause a pressure loss. All of these losses will sum up to a total loss for a pipe that is in series. Refer to equation 1.

Pressure difference equation of pipes in series (1)

Pipes in Series

P = Pressure


Identical Pumps in Series

Identical pumps in series will behave the same way as pipes in series, except instead of dealing with a pressure loss, an increase in pressure head will result while the flow will remain the same since the pumps will be pulling or pushing fluid from the same source. Refer to equation 2.

Pressure difference equation of pumps in series (2)

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