This article describes the method of calculating the velocity head of flowing fluid. The velocity head uses units of length as a measure of the kinetic energy of the flowing fluid.


:Gravitational Acceleration
:Velocity Head
:Fluid Velocity


The velocity head is a basic concept of fluid engineering that represents the bulk motion, i.e. the kinetic energy, of the fluid. It can also be converted into the pressure that the fluid would gain were it to be stopped without any energy loss. This pressure can be calculated following the method in this article: Converting Between Head and Pressure

The velocity head forms the basis of other fluid engineering methods, such as the K-value method of describing pressure loss through fittings.

Calculation of Velocity Head

The velocity head of the flowing system is calculated using the relationship below.

Further Reading

  1. Piping Calculations Manual (McGraw-Hill Calculations)
  2. Piping Systems Manual
  3. Flow of Fluids Through Valves, Fittings, and Pipe (TP-410 (US edition))