Computer Modeling as a Tool for Selecting Appropriate Air Valves for Pipeline Surge Protection

by Richard A. Humpherys, Stoner Associates, Inc, Carlisle, United States,
Joseph R. Kroon, Stoner Associates, Inc, Carlisle, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources


Waterhammer in water or wastewater pipelines is caused by events such as a pump power failure and can have potentially damaging effects on the pipeline or pipeline hardware. In particular, vapor cavities which form and collapse in a pipeline can generate damaging pressure surges. Certain types of air valves can be used as a tool to prevent vapor cavity formation and collapse. However, the incorrect application of air valves can result in transient pressures which have a magnitude similar to pressures generated upon vapor cavity collapse. The proper application of air valves to prevent damaging surge pressures is discussed. Computer modeling of transient events is an effective tool to determine the potential for vapor cavity formation and to determine what air valve types and sizes would be appropriate to prevent excessive surge pressures. One example is given where a computer model is used select appropriate air valves to be used as surge protection for the pipeline.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Cavitation | Decision support systems | Valves | Pipelines | Hydro power | Power outage | Pipe failures

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