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.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro Manuel da Hora Santos Coelho


Weekly - 4

Total - 80

Teaching language



Lab sessions attendance (minimum 2/3) and accomplishment of thre to four lab experiments (or their simulation) 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, 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

Grades from 0 (minimum) to 20 (maximum).

Lab experiment reports (3 or 4): 20 % of final grade and mandatory.

Two tests: weight of 40% each of final grade.

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.


Programs where the course is taught: