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What is Power-law velocity profile – Turbulent Flow – Definition

The velocity profile in turbulent flow is flatter in the central part of the pipe. The simplest and the best known is the power-law velocity profile. Thermal Engineering

Turbulent Velocity Profile

velocity profiles - internal flow
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, THERMODYNAMICS, HEAT TRANSFER, AND FLUID FLOW. DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Volume 1, 2 and 3. June 1992.

Power-law velocity profile – Turbulent velocity profile

Power-law velocity profileThe velocity profile in turbulent flow is flatter in the central part of the pipe (i.e. in the turbulent core) than in laminar flow. The flow velocity drops rapidly extremely close to the walls. This is due to the diffusivity of the turbulent flow.

In case of turbulent pipe flow, there are many empirical velocity profiles. The simplest and the best known is the power-law velocity profile:

Power-law velocity profile - equation

where the exponent n is a constant whose value depends on the Reynolds number. This dependency is empirical and it is shown at the picture. In short, the value n increases with increasing Reynolds number. The one-seventh power-law velocity profile approximates many industrial flows.

Turbulent flow - profiles
Turbulent flow – profiles
Reactor Physics and Thermal Hydraulics:
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  6. Zohuri B., McDaniel P. Thermodynamics in Nuclear Power Plant Systems. Springer; 2015, ISBN: 978-3-319-13419-2
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  10. White Frank M., Fluid Mechanics, McGraw-Hill Education, 7th edition, February, 2010, ISBN: 978-0077422417

See also:

Turbulent Flow

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