Solving the flow fields in conduits and networks using energy minimization principle with simulated annealing
In this paper, we propose and test an intuitive assumption that the pressure field in single conduits and networks of interconnected conduits adjusts itself to minimize the total energy consumption required for transporting a specific quantity of fluid. We test this assumption by using linear flow models of Newtonian fluids transported through rigid tubes and networks in conjunction with a simulated annealing (SA) protocol to minimize the total energy cost. All the results confirm our hypothesis as the SA algorithm produces very close results to those obtained from the traditional deterministic methods of identifying the flow fields by solving a set of simultaneous equations based on the conservation principles. The same results apply to electric ohmic conductors and networks of interconnected ohmic conductors. Computational experiments conducted in this regard confirm this extension. Further studies are required to test the energy minimization hypothesis for the non-linear flow systems.