• If fluid flows freely, we say it is without resistance. In reality, every fluid flow experiences some resistance. Even a simple pipe has resistance. Of similar interest is the resistance of a value.
• Fluids are often stored in reservoirs or tanks. In a tank we have little pressure near the top, but at the bottom the mass of the fluid above creates a hydrostatic pressure. Other factors also affect the pressure, such as the shape of the tank, or whether or not the top of the tank is open.
• Consider a tank as a capacitor. As fluid is added the height of the fluid rises, and the hydrostatic pressure increases. Hence we can pump fluid into a tank to store energy, and letting fluid out recovers the energy. A very common application of this principle is a municipal water tower. Water is pumped into these tanks. As consumers draw water through the system these tanks provide pressure to the system. When designing these tanks we should be careful to keep the cross section constant (e.g. a cylinder). If the cross section varies then the fluid pressure will not drop at a linear rate and you won’t be able to use linear analysis techniques (i.e., Laplace and State Space).
• Vane based pumps can be used to create fluid flow. As the pump rotates the vanes move to keep a good seal with the outer pump wall. The displacement on the advance and return sides are unequal (aided by the sliding vanes). The relative displacement across the pump determines the fluid flow.
• As with the resistance of valves, these are not linear devices. It is essential that we linearize the devices. To do this we look at the pressure flow curves. (Note: most motors and engines have this problem)