This paper will discuss how tools used for calculating pressure loss have changed over time. The paper will begin with a discussion of the work done in ancient times by Archimedes and Roman engineers that allowed early scholars and mathematicians such as DaVinci, Pascal, Newton and Bernoulli to lay the framework for experimenters like Henri Darcy and Julius Weisbach. Their conclusions, from experiments conducted independently; set in place the keystone of hydraulic pressure loss calculations over 160 years ago. The works of 20th century scientists and mathematicians such as C.F. Colebrook and C.M. White (in 1937) and L.F. Moody (in 1944) have enabled pipeline engineers to calculate pipeline losses more accurately and efficiently. Various methodologies will be reviewed, from paper, pencil, and slide rule, to hand calculators, to the current computer-based simulation software packages.
It has been this author's good fortune to have had excellent mentors as my supervisors over the years. So too, the pipeline industry has a long history of dedicated persons and brilliant minds that have allowed the pipeline simulation industry to attain the current state of the art through continual advancements.
It has also been my good fortune to participate in each of the PSIG conferences (those held in North America) since 1992, and to attempt to pass along some of that knowledge as an instructor for the University of Texas' Petroleum Extension Service (known as PETEX) since 1998. Some of the attendees at those PETEX hydraulics courses are likely in the attendance here in New Orleans. The PETEX classes have given me a chance to use past experiences to illustrate the concepts of hydraulics that are presented in class. With a forty-four year backlog of pipeline and pump station design, operations, and consulting work, this has not been a problem. Two of the papers presented in Baltimore last year gave me the notion that a review of the methodology in day to day use over the period of my career would be of interest to the PSIG community at large.
This paper will first discuss some historical perspective on the science of fluid mechanics as it applies to pipelines. This paper will focus, due to the author's experiences, mainly on flow of liquids in pipelines. After a discussion of the foundations laid by the Greeks, Romans, early mathematicians and the experiments of Julius Weisbach and Henri D'Arcy, the practical use of the more recent work of Colebrook and White will be reviewed.