Simplified Bernoulli Equation

Bernoullis equation results from the application of the general energy equation and the first law of thermodynamics to a steady flow system in which no work is done on or by the fluid, no heat is transferred to or from the fluid, and no change occurs in the internal energy (i.e., no temperature change) of the fluid. Under these conditions, the general energy equation is simplified to Equation 3-9.

Substituting appropriate expressions for the potential energy and kinetic energy, Equation 3-9 can be rewritten as Equation 3-10.


The factor gc is only required when the English System of measurement is used and mass is measured in pound mass. It is essentially a conversion factor needed to allow the units to come out directly. No factor is necessary if mass is measured in slugs or if the metric system of measurement is used.

Each term in Equation 3-10 represents a form of energy possessed by a moving fluid (potential, kinetic, and pressure related energies). In essence, the equation physically represents a balance of the KE, PE, PV energies so that if one form of energy increases, one or more of the others will decrease to compensate and vice versa.

Multiplying all terms in Equation 3-10 by the factor gc/mg results in the form of Bernoullis equation shown by Equation 3-11.

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