Control volume

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In fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, a control volume is a mathematical abstraction employed in the process of creating mathematical models of physical processes. In an inertial frame of reference, it is a volume fixed in space or moving with constant velocity through which the fluid (gas or liquid) flows. The surface enclosing the control volume is referred to as the control surface.G.J. Van Wylen and R.E. Sonntag (1985), Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, Section 2.1 (3rd edition), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York ISBN 0-471-82933-1

At steady state, a control volume can be thought of as an arbitrary volume in which the mass of the fluid remains constant. As fluid moves through the control volume, the mass entering the control volume is equal to the mass leaving the control volume. At steady state, and in the absence of work and heat transfer, the energy within the control volume remains constant. It is analogous to the classical mechanics concept of the Free body diagram.


Typically, to understand how a given physical law applies to the system under consideration, one first begins by considering how it applies to a small, control volume, or "representative volume". There is nothing special about a particular control volume, it simply represents a small part of the system to which physical laws can be easily applied. This gives rise to what is termed a volumetric, or volume-wise formulation of the mathematical...
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