Putting Data into a Common Format

Putting data into a common format is extremely important. Metric and U.S. Customary units should never be mixed and even when using one or the other it is still a good idea to think about the method of data recording, which has taken place in the field and the required reporting units.

If working in metric, for example, it is much easier to work in cubic meters per hour flow if you measure your velocity in meters per second and calculate your pipe effective area in square meters. The result will always be automatically in meters and then it is just a simple case of deciding the time units.

For example, we measure a velocity of 2 m/s in a pipe, which has a diameter of 400 mm (400 mm is actually 0.400 m). To calculate the area we would use our formula Pi x R2, which in this case would be 3.142 x 0.2 x 0.2. The answer would be 0.12568 m2. We have a velocity of 2 m/s so we would multiply this figure by two, which would give us 0.25136 m3/s. Now we must decide on a unit of time. Usually when working in the field with cubic meters we would use cubic meters per hour of flow. There are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour so we would multiply our flow of 0.25136 m3/s by 3600, which would give us 904.896 m3/hr. We know that there are a 1000 L in 1 m3 so we could also say that we have a flow of 904,896 L/hr. This number is quite large and if added to other large numbers could lead to mistakes. If we wanted to express our flow in liters we would most likely use liters per second. If that were our desired final number we would have taken our figure above of 0.25136 and multiplied by 1000 to take our flow units from cubic meters to liters. We would not need to multiply anything else as our original number was

Don 't mix incompatible units.

in seconds. Our flow would then be 251.36 L/s. If we are in a situation where we need to translate data from liters per second to cubic meters per hour then our common figure is 3.6. When altering liters per second to cubic meters per hour we just need to multiply our original number by 3.6 to have cubic meters per hour and vice versa. Alternatively if we were working in U.S. Customary we might have the following:

We measure a velocity of 2 ft/s in a pipe, which has a diameter of 36 in (36 in is actually 3 ft). To calculate the area we would use our formula Pi x R2 which in this case would be 3.142 x 1.5 x 1.5. The answer would be 7.0695 ft2. We have a velocity of 2 ft/s so we would multiply this figure by two, which would give us 14.139 ft3/s. Now we must decide on a unit of time. Often when working in the field with cubic feet we would use cubic feet per hour of flow. There are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour so we would multiply our flow of 14.139 ft3/s by 3600, which would give us 50,900 ft3/hr. We know that there are 7.48 gal in 1 ft3 so we could also say that we have a flow of 380,734 gal/hr. This number is quite large and if added to other large numbers could lead to mistakes. If we wanted to express our flow in gallons we would most likely use gallons per minute. If that were our desired final number format we would have taken our figure above of 380,735 gal/hr and divided by 60, we would not need to divide anything else as our figure was already in gallons. Our flow would then be 6,345 gpm.

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