, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 27-61

The Forchheimer equation: A theoretical development

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In this paper we illustrate how the method of volume averaging can be used to derive Darcy's law with the Forchheimer correction for homogeneous porous media. Beginning with the Navier-Stokes equations, we find the volume averaged momentum equation to be given by $$\langle v_\beta \rangle = - \frac{K}{{\mu _\beta }} \cdot (\nabla \langle p_\beta \rangle ^\beta - \rho _\beta g) - F\cdot \langle v_\beta \rangle .$$

The Darcy's law permeability tensor, K, and the Forchheimer correction tensor, F, are determined by closure problems that must be solved using a spatially periodic model of a porous medium. When the Reynolds number is small compared to one, the closure problem can be used to prove that F is a linear function of the velocity, and order of magnitude analysis suggests that this linear dependence may persist for a wide range of Reynolds numbers.