Awesome search engine for Process engineers!

I found out the Wolfram Alpha search engine that is so powerful and helpful for engineers. It is developed by Wolfram, the editor of the Mathematica software.

WolframAlpha search engine

This tool is really interesting and I advise you to check it out to see what it is able to do.

Is is for Process engineers?

From my experience as a Process engineer in the Oil and Gas business, doing engineering design, we don’t make that complex calculations that will require software like Mathematica, Matlab or Mathcad.

Wolfram Alpha search engine is not only related to mathematics though and it can be a good resource for the engineers working the Oil and Gas engineering sector. I will show that below.

Some examples of what can be done

Sometimes it is useful to plot an equation to see its “behaviour”. With Wolfram Alpha it very handy (much easier than with Excel). Type “plot y=10000/295*√(1.2*300/((30-P)*(30+P)))” to display the CV of a control valve with gas under normal flow.

Then enter “isobaric heat capacity of an ideal gas” to determine characteristics of an ideal gas.

Try “integrate sin(cos x) from x=0 to 1” to numerically integrate this function that cannot be integrated symbolically.

One typical example of Process activity is to calculate the friction factor from the Colebrook equation (iterative resolution). No need to worry typing the equation to solve it. Just type colebrook equation and then enter the Reynolds number and the relative pipe roughness and you get the result.

Searching with WolframAlpha is not exactly like doing it with Google or Duckduckgo. You need to practise to understand how it works. Let say you are looking for the sea water density. You can type sea water density, but the result may not be sufficient, because you’ll no control of the temperature and salinity at which you want to get the density. If you type sea water density formula then you obtain something much more interesting.

Your comments are welcome

I hope that you discovered something new and that it will help you. Don’t hesitate to comment. Do you use Wolfram Alpha, and for what usage? What is your favourite engineering/science search engine for a Process engineer? 

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