General Hydraulics


To give students knowledge in the areas of dimensional analysis, hydrostatics, pressure flows, characteristics and selection of pumps and turbines, flows through orifices and weirs and free-surface flows. At the end of the curricular unit students should have the following abilities:

• Expertise in the computation of hydrostatic forces acting on different surfaces.

• Expertise in the fundamental concepts of hydro-kinematics and hydrodynamics (pressures, mean velocities, forces, stresses and energy balances).

• Expertise in the hydraulic computation of steady flows in conduits under pressure.

• Comprehension of the basic concepts of unsteady flows under pressure (water hammer and mass oscillation).

• Comprehension and choice over functioning of pumps and turbines.

• Expertise in the determination of orifices and weirs flow capacity.

• Expertise in the computation of free-surface profiles in steady flows on fixed bed open channels.

• Essential knowledge on porous media flows.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Pedro de Nobre Carmona Rodrigues, Paulo Alexandre Marques Diogo


Weekly - 5

Total - 75

Teaching language



Lab sessions attendance (minimum 2/3) and accomplishment of four lab experiments with correspondent lab reports.


1. Chow, V.T. (1959). “Open Channel Hydraulics”, McGraw-Hill

2. Evett, J.B., Liu, C. (1988). "2500 solved problems in Fluid Mechaniscs and Hydraulics", McGraw-Hill.

3. Lencastre, A. (1983). “Hidráulica Geral”, Hidroprojecto, Lisboa.

4. Manzanares A. (1980). “Hidráulica Geral”, TÉCNICA A.E.I.S.T., Lisboa.

5. Quintela, A. (1981). “Hidráulica”, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa. ulbenkian, Lisboa, 1981.

Teaching method

Lectures: oral presentation, whenever suitable supported with photographs and examples of real situations representing practical implementation of discussed topics.

Lab sessions: resolution of problems on applied hydraulics; practices in the Hydraulics Laboratory, with presentation and manipulation of scale physical models, illustrative of fundamental hydraulic laws.

Evaluation method

Evaluation grades from 0 to 20 and including two evaluation components: Theoretical and Practical and Laboratorial.

Theory and Practice. Includes two evaluation elements: Test 1 (T1) and Test 2 (T2). This component may be substituted by an exam. Each test is evaluated from 0 to 20 and represents 30% of the final grade. Curricular unit approval requires an average result of 9,5 or higher in both tests.

Laboratorial. Includes four lab exercises and report (4 evaluation elements). Each exercise is evaluated from 0 to 20 (TP1; TP2; TP3; TP4) and represents 10 % of the final grade. Laboratorial component is mandatory as well as presence in class (2/3).

Results from each evaluation element and component are rounded to the first decimal place. 

A minimum of  9.5 must be atchieved in each evaluation component.

Final Grade (G) is then calculated according to:

G = T1 x 0,30 + T2 x 0,30 + (TP1 + TP2 + TP3 + TP4) / 4  x 0,40

Subject matter

1. Properties of fluids.

2. Hydrostatic: hydrostatic pressure and impulsion.

3. Hydro-kinematics: flow lines and flow rate.

4. Hydrodynamics: mass, energy and momentum conservation laws.

5. Resistance laws for flows: laminar and turbulent flows.

6. Steady flows in pressure.

7. Unsteady flows in pressure: water hammer; mass oscillation.

8. Turbines and pumps: choice and functioning diagrams of turbines and pumps.

9. Flow through orifices and over weirs.

10. Open channel flows: specific energy; types of flow; total momentum; free surface profiles; hydraulic jump.

11. Porous media flow.


Programs where the course is taught: