Head Pressure - Fluid Flow

Fluid Flow Table of Contents | Hydraulic and Pneumatic Knowledge
Fluid Power Equipment

Since the units for all the different forms of energy in Equation 3-11 are measured in units of distance, these terms are sometimes referred to as "heads" (pressure head, velocity head, and elevation head). The term head is used by engineers in reference to pressure. It is a reference to the height, typically in feet, of a column of water that a given pressure will support. Each of the energies possessed by a fluid can be expressed in terms of head.

The elevation head represents the potential energy of a fluid due to its elevation above a reference level. The velocity head represents the kinetic energy of the fluid. It is the height in feet that a flowing fluid would rise in a column if all of its kinetic energy were converted to potential energy. The pressure head represents the flow energy of a column of fluid whose weight is equivalent to the pressure of the fluid.

The sum of the elevation head, velocity head, and pressure head of a fluid is called the totalhead. Thus, Bernoullis equation states that the total head of the fluid is constant.

Head Pressure Equation