What’s the purpose of developing the term of specific energy for open channel flow? I understand specific energy is a component of the total energy by not taking account of the vertical distance from vertical datum to channel bottom. But I don’t see any advantage of using it. If we use the total energy (total head) we can apply the conservation of energy equation (Bernoulli) and we can develop EG line, and HG line and calculate head loss from Section A to Section B. But apparently the conservation of energy does not apply to specific energy. Unless you can ignore head loss or bed slope (normal uniform flow?), specific energy is not conserved at all. I would like to be educated on what advantages we have by using specific energy particularly in a real world where we cannot ignore head loss or bed slope. Furthermore, can anyone explain the physical meaning of specific energy and how it changes with the direction of flow (increase, decrease, keep constant).
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