In fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, a control volume is a mathematical abstraction employed in the process of creating mathematical models of physical processes. In an inertial frame of reference, it is a fixed volume in space through which the fluid (gas or liquid) flows. The surface enclosing the control volume is referred to as the control surface.[1]

At steady state, a control volume can be thought of as an arbitrary volume in which the mass of the fluid remains constant. As fluid moves through the control volume, the mass entering the control volume is equal to the mass leaving the control volume. At steady state, and in the absence of work and heat transfer, the energy within the control volume remains constant.

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