Fluid mechanics question

I'm working on an idea in product development, though being still a fairly new student in this i still am left with a lot of questions, perhaps anyone can aswer?

Say that i have a closed can with pressurised water lying in a pool of water. My question would be what the best method would be for this can to proppel itself forward using the pressurised water inside the can. Lets also not take into consideration such things as weight or flotation, consider that the height where thrust will be delivered is so near the surface that the pressure there is negligable.

Would the best method of proppulsion be simply a waterjet? Or would it be better to convert to the movement of a screw?

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A.T.
Or would it be better to convert to the movement of a screw?
If the can is just a cylinder, no.

Nidum
Gold Member
If you release even a very small amount of water from the can the pressure inside would drop almost immediately to the pressure in the pool .

Making a propulsion device the way that you propose is not a realistic proposition .

There are other ways of making simple propulsion devices for use underwater though - what are you actually trying to do ?

Dale
Mentor
2020 Award
I'm working on an idea in product development, though being still a fairly new student in this i still am left with a lot of questions, perhaps anyone can aswer?

Say that i have a closed can with pressurised water lying in a pool of water. My question would be what the best method would be for this can to proppel itself forward using the pressurised water inside the can. Lets also not take into consideration such things as weight or flotation, consider that the height where thrust will be delivered is so near the surface that the pressure there is negligable.

Would the best method of proppulsion be simply a waterjet? Or would it be better to convert to the movement of a screw?
The first thing to do is to look at similar devices which have already been built. In your case it sounds a little like a jet ski or a water rocket.

anorlunda
Staff Emeritus
The first thing to do is to look at similar devices which have already been built. In your case it sounds a little like a jet ski or a water rocket.

Or historic designs of torpedoes.

If the can is just a cylinder, no.

So a jet of water would still be more effecient for propulsion than anything else? (comming from water pressure as energy)

So in what way ius it best used? I know the velocity of the watter passing trough the exit will increase as the exit becomes narrower and i guess you also have to consider local losses.

I would like to know how much i could proppell that can forward irrespective of the limited supply of pressure. I'm a student who has completed courses in fluidmechanics among others and i cna work with pressure or the Bernoulli energy equasion for ex, but i don't have the knowledge of dynamics to to calculate how much i would need to propell a light material of my choosing with the amount of pressure i can work with. Is there a way to know how much thrust i need in the velocity of the water that exits into the jet for a given volume/weight/shape with "drag"?

If you release even a very small amount of water from the can the pressure inside would drop almost immediately to the pressure in the pool .

Quite right ... and yet i want you to go from the idea that this particular can provide's a constant amount of pressure until the moment it runs out completly.

The first thing to do is to look at similar devices which have already been built. In your case it sounds a little like a jet ski or a water rocket.

Good tip, that will be usefull for me.

Or historic designs of torpedoes.

Torpedo's had engine's afaik. This can can only use the water pressure stored inside.

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Nidum
Gold Member
Quite right ... and yet i want you to go from the idea that this particular can provide's a constant amount of pressure until the moment it runs out completly.

Torpedo's had engine's afaik. This can can only use the water pressure stored inside.

It is not going to happen .

To use water as a propulsion medium for any really practical purpose you basically have to pump it continuously using energy from a separate source .

If you have to stay with the idea of the prepressurised can of water then you will need to think about using a spring and piston or gas pressure to maintain the water pressure .

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It is not going to happen .

It's a theoretical question, and i rather simply know how to solve it regardless of what happens.

Staff Emeritus
I'm working on an idea in product development
It's a theoretical question

Which is it?

In any event, it won't work. There is no momentum transfer, so there is no force, so there is no motion.

If you have to stay with the idea of the prepressurised can of water then you will need to think about using a spring and piston or gas pressure to maintain the water pressure .

Thats right. No offense but "how to maintain pressure" was not my question.

In any event, it won't work. There is no momentum transfer, so there is no force, so there is no motion.

You mean that regardless of the amount and size of water pressure inside and the lightness of the material it wouldn't propell forward a bit?

Staff Emeritus
You don't get a force unless water exits the can. To the extent that treating it as an incompressible fluid is a good approximation - and it is - it won't.

cjl