Comprehensive Modelling of Water Distribution Networks

by Bryan W. Karney, (M.ASCE),
Samuel S. Kpo,
Kai-Wah Tang,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


An analyst of a water distribution systems must frequently contend with a host of problems with very different time scales. Traditionally, such concerns have been accommodated by having specialized computer programs dedicated to solving one problem or another. That is, pumps, pipes and valves are sized and located using steady-state analysis, pump operating rules and reservoir capacities are determined by extended time period analysis, while water hammer analysis is used to determine the wall thickness of pipes, the sizing and set points of relief valves and other emergency conditions. Clearly, an algorithm capable of modelling all hydraulic conditions would have many benefits. Interestingly, a central element in such a comprehensive approach to hydraulic modelling is the ability to analyze distribution systems under unsteady incompressible flows. This problem is pivotal for two reasons: (i) it effectively links the various devices modelled in a water hammer analysis to the pipe system and (ii) it allows efficient and accurate simulation of steady state and long-term changes in the distribution system. A powerful unsteady incompressible model using the hybrid method is introduced in this paper.

Subject Headings: Water supply systems | Hydraulic models | Water pipelines | Water hammer | Valves | Unsteady flow | Steady states

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