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KSB Know-how, Volume 1

Wa t e r H a m m e r
Table of Contents Page
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
2 General - The Problem of Water Hammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
2.1 Steady and Unsteady Flow in a Pipeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
3 Water Hammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
3.1 Inertia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
3.2 Elasticity of Fluid and Pipe Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
3.3 Resonance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 10
4 The Joukowsky Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
4.1 Scope of the Joukowsky Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
5 Numerical Simulation of Water Hammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
5.1 Accuracy of Numerical Surge Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
5.2 Forces Acting on Pipelines as a Result of Water Hammer . .16
6 Computerised Surge Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
6.1 Technical Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
6.2 Interaction between Ordering Party and Surge Analyst . . .17
7 Advantages of Rules of Thumb and Manual Calculations .18
8 Main Types of Surge Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
8.1 Energy Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
8.1.1 Air Vessels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
8.1.2 Standpipes, One-Way Surge Tanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
8.1.3 Flywheels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
8.2 Air Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
8.3 Actuated Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
8.4 Swing Check Valves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
9 Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
9.1 Case Study: Long-Distance Water Supply System . . . . . . . .25
9.2 Case Study: Stormwater Conveyance Pipeline . . . . . . . . . .26
Model Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Calculation of Actual Duty Data, First Results . . . . . . . . .27
Surge Control Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
10 Additional Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Introduction 1
1 Introduction thing is clear: the damage caused • How significant are approxi-
by water hammer by far exceeds mation formulas for calculat-
Most engineers involved in the
the cost of preventive analysis ing water hammer?
planning of pumping systems
and surge control measures.
are familiar with the terms “hy- • Can the surge analysis of one
draulic transient”, “surge pres- The ability to provide reliably piping system be used as a
sure” or, in water applications, designed surge control equip- basis for drawing conclusions
“water hammer”. The question ment, such as an air vessel or for similar systems?
as to whether a transient flow or accumulator1, flywheel and air
• Which parameters are required
surge analysis is necessary dur- valve, has long been state of the
for a surge analysis?
ing the planning phase or not is art. The technical instruction
less readily answered. Under un- leaflet W 303 “Dynamic Pres- • What does a surge analysis
favourable circumstances, dam- sure Changes in Water Supply cost?
age due to water hammer may Systems” published by the Ger- • How reliable is the surge con-
occur in pipelines measuring man Association of the Gas and trol equipment available and
more than one hundred metres Water Sector clearly states that how much does it cost to ope-
and conveying only several pressure transients have to be rate it?
tenths of a litre per second. But considered when designing and
• How reliable is a computerised
even very short, unsupported operating water supply systems,
pipelines in pumping stations because they can cause extensive
can be damaged by resonant damage. This means that a surge System designer and surge
vibrations if they are not analysis to industry standards analyst have to work together
properly anchored. By contrast, has to be performed for every closely to save time and money.
the phenomenon is not very hydraulic piping system at risk Water hammer is a complex
common in building services from water hammer. Dedicated phenomenon; the purpose of
systems, e.g. in heating and software is available for this this brochure is to impart a
drinking water supply pipelines, purpose – an important tool for basic knowledge of its many
which typically are short in the specialist surge analyst to aspects without oversimplifying
length and have a small use. Consultants and system them.
cross-section. designers are faced with the
following questions, which we
The owners or operators of sys-
hope to answer in this brochure:
tems affected by water hammer
are usually reluctant to pass on • How can we know whether
information about any surge there is a risk of water ham-
damage suffered. But studying mer or not?
the photos taken of some “acci-
dents” (Figs. 1-a, 1-b, 1-c) one

Fig. 1-a: Completely destroyed Fig. 1-b: Destroyed support Fig. 1-c: DN 800 check valve
DN 600 discharge pipe (wall (double T profile 200 mm, per- following a pressure surge in the
thickness 12 mm) manently deformed) discharge pipe
Air vessels, sometimes also called “accumulators”, store potential energy by accumulating a quantity of pressurised hydraulic fluid in a suitable
enclosed vessel.

2 General – The Problem of Water Hammer

2 General – The problem of With a constant pipe diameter or pressure transients. The main
water hammer and a constant surface rough- causes of transient flow
ness of the pipe’s inner walls, the conditions are:
2.1 Steady and unsteady flow
pressure head curve will be a
in a pipeline • Pump trip as a result of
straight line. In simple cases, a
switching off the power supply
When discussing the pressure of pump’s steady-state operating
or a power failure.
a fluid, a distinction has to be point can be determined graphi-
made between pressure above cally. This is done by determin- • Starting or stopping up one or
atmospheric [p bar], absolute ing the point where the pump more pumps whilst other
pressure [p bar(a)] and pressure curve intersects the piping cha- pumps are in operation.
head h [m]. Pressure head h de- racteristic. • Closing or opening of shut-off
notes the height of a homogene- valves in the piping system.
A pumping system can never be
ous liquid column which gener-
operated in steady-state condition • Excitation of resonant vibra-
ates a certain pressure p. Values
all the time, since starting up and tions by pumps with an un-
for “h” are always referred to a
stopping the pump alone will stable H/Q curve.
datum, (e.g. mean sea level, axi-
change the duty conditions.
al centreline of pipe and pipe • Variations of the inlet water
Generally speaking, every change
crown etc.). level.
in operating conditions and every
As a rule, system designers start disturbance cause pressure and Fig. 2.1-b may serve as a repre-
by determining the steady-state flow variations or, put differently, sentative example showing the
operating pressures and volume cause the flow conditions to pressure envelope3 with and
rates of flow. In this context, the change with time. Flow condi- without an air vessel following
term steady2 means that volume tions of this kind are commonly pump trip.
rates of flow, pressures and referred to as unsteady or
pump speeds do not change with transient. Referring specifically to
time. Fig. 2.1-a shows a typical pressures, they are sometimes
steady flow profile: called dynamic pressure changes

Kote m above sea level

e rpure

hNN+m hm


Fig. 2.1-a: Steady-state pressure head curve of a pumping system

Not to be confused with the term “static”.
The term “pressure envelope” refers to the area defined by the minimum and maximum head curves along the fixed datum line resulting from all
dynamic pressures occurring within the time period under review.

General – The Problem of Water Hammer 2
hsteady in Fig. 2.1-b is the steady- pipe“) and is, therefore, inadmis- We will come back to the sub-
state pressure head curve. Pressu- sibly high. As a rule, vapour ject of macro-cavitation, i.e.
re head envelopes hminWK and pressure is a most undesirable liquid column separation, in
hmaxWK were obtained from an in- phenomenon. It can have the fol- section 3.1.
stallation with, hmin and hmax lowing harmful effects:
from an installation without air
• Dents in or buckling of thin-
vessel. Whereas hminWK and
walled steel pipes and plastic
hmaxWK are within the permissible
pressure range, hmin gives evi-
dence of vapour pressure (macro- • Disintegration of the pipe’s
cavitation) over a pipe distance cement lining.
from 0 m to approximately • Dirty water being drawn into
800 m. Almost across the entire drinking water pipelines
length of the pipe, the value of through leaking connecting
hmax exceeds the maximum per- sockets.
missible nominal pressure of the
pipe PN 16 (curve marked “PN

Pipe length L: 2624 m

Inside diameter of pipe Di: 605.2 mm
Steady-state flow rate: 500 l/s
Hpump sump: 287.5 m
Houtlet: 400 m
Air vessel inlet pipe
with a bypass and a non-return valve: Vair = 3.8 m3, Vwater = 6.2 m3


Metres above sea level [m]

PN Pipe

hmax WK
400 hsteady
hmin WK

Elevation of pipe

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Length of pipe [m]

Fig. 2.1-b: Pressure head envelope of pressure transients following pump trip

3 Water Hammer · Inertia

3 Water hammer Pressure rise: This is more or less the same as

the weight of a truck; v = 3 m/s
Pressure transients are also re- • Pipe rupture
corresponds to 11 km/h. In
ferred to as surge pressure or, if • Damaged pipe fixtures other words, if the flow is sud-
referring to water systems, water
• Damage to pumps, founda- denly stopped, our truck – to
hammer. The latter term suitably
tions, pipe internals and valves put it in less abstract terms –
reflects the harmful effects that
runs into a wall (closed valve) at
the hammer-like blows accom- Pressure fall:
11 km/h (water mass inside the
panying the pressure surges can
• Buckling of plastic and thin- pipe). In terms of our pipeline,
have on pipes and system com-
walled steel pipes this means that the sequence of
ponents. Water hammer causes
events taking place inside the
piping, valves, pipe fixtures, sup- • Disintegration of the cement
pipe will result in high pressures
ports, system components, etc. to lining of pipes
and in high forces acting on the
suffer the added strain of dynamic • Dirty water or air being drawn shut-off valve.
loads. The term “water hammer” into pipelines through flanged
is used to describe the phenome- As a further example of inertia,
or socket connections, gland
non occurring in a closed conduit Fig. 3.1-a shows a pump dis-
packing or leaks
when there is either an accelera- charge pipe. At a very small
tion or retardation of the flow. In • Water column separation moment of inertia of pump and
contrast to a force, pressure is followed by high increases in motor, the failing pump comes
non-directional; i.e. it does not pressure when the separate to a sudden standstill, which has
have a vector. Not until a hydro- liquid columns recombine the same effect as a suddenly
static pressure starts acting on a (macro-cavitation) closing gate valve, only this time
limiting area, is a force exerted in 3.1 Inertia on the downstream side of the
the direction of the area normal. gate valve. If mass inertia causes
The sudden closure of a valve in the fluid flow on the down-
As it is not possible to altogether a pipeline causes the mass iner- stream side of the pump to
avoid pressure transients when tia of the liquid column to exert collapse into separate columns,
operating a piping system, the a force on the valve’s shut-off a cavity containing a mixture of
art lies in keeping the pressure element. This causes the pres- water vapour and air coming
transients within controllable sure on the upstream side of the out of solution will be formed.
limits. What makes matters even valve to increase; on the down- As the separate liquid columns
more complex is the fact that stream side of the valve the pres- subsequently move backward
the damage caused by impermis- sure decreases. Let us consider and recombine with a hammer-
sibly high surge pressures is not an example: for a DN 200 pipe, like impact, high pressures deve-
always visible. Often the conse- L = 900 m, v = 3 m/s, the vol- lop. The phenomenon is referred
quences do not become apparent ume of water in the pipeline is to as liquid column separation
until long after the event, for calculated by or macro-cavitation4.
example a pipe rupture, loose or
disconnected flanges. The root mwater = ––––- · 900 · 1000 = 28274 kg (1)
cause of damage then tends to
remain in the dark. Some repre-
sentative incidents caused by
water hammer are listed in the

Macro-cavitation in pipelines is not to be confused with microscopic cavitation causing pitting corrosion on pump and turbine blades. The latter al-
ways strikes in the same place and is characterised by local high pressures of up to 1000 bar or more that develop when the microscopically small
vapour bubbles collapse. With macro-cavitation, repetitive strain of this kind, or the bombarding of a sharply contoured area of the material sur-
face, does not occur since the pressure rises are considerably lower.

Elasticity of Fluid and Pipe Wall 3

1. Steady-state condition prior 2. Formation of a vapour pocket 3. High-impact reunion of separate

to pump trip (cavitation cavity) following pump trip liquid columns accompanied
by surge pressures

Fig. 3.1-a: Macro-cavitation following pump trip

3.2 Elasticity of fluid and

pipe wall
The attempt at visualising water
hammer resulting from the iner-
tia of a body of water made in
section 3.1 is only partly correct,
s1 in t1
because no allowance was made
for the elasticity of fluid and pipe
wall. As long as safety belts are
worn and the barrier impact s2 in t2
speed is not too high, even a
head-on collision will not put
drivers in too much danger
s3 in t3
today, because the vehicle’s
momentum is converted to harm- Fig. 3.2-a: Sudden closure of gate valve, visualised by a heavy steel
less deformation heat5. Contrary spring
to the body of a car, however,
water and pipe walls are elastic, The front end deformation trav- which is shown in Fig. 3.2-b,
even though they are so hard els in the opposite direction to with friction being neglected.
that this property is not notice- the original direction of move- The shut-off valve installed at
able in every day use. ment at the speed typical for the the downstream end of a hori-
What actually goes on inside the steel spring, i.e. wave propaga- zontal pipeline with a constant
pipe will, therefore, be described tion velocity a in m/s. In the inside diameter, which is fed
using the following example of a compression zone, the velocity from a reservoir at constant
heavy steel spring sliding of the steel spring is v = 0 pressure, is suddenly closed:
through a pipe. This spring suf- everywhere.
fers elastic deformation when it Following these, admittedly
is suddenly stopped (Fig. 3.2-a): poor but hopefully helpful,
examples chosen to illustrate the
subject, we will now go back to
the real situation inside the pipe,

To withstand the regular pushing and shoving over rare parking spaces, cars have to be elastic. To minimise the damage of a collision at high speed,
however, carmakers spend vast amounts of time and money to make their products as inelastic as possible!

3 Elasticity of Fluid and Pipe Wall

1 For t = 0, the pressure profile 3 At t = 1/2Tr the pressure wave

t=0 L 1 is steady, which is shown by has arrived at the reservoir.
the pressure head curve run- As the reservoir pressure p =
ning horizontally because of constant, there is an unbal-
the assumed lack of friction. anced condition at this point.
v = v0 Under steady-state condi- With a change of sign, the
0 < t < 1/2Tr tions, the flow velocity is v0. pressure wave is reflected in
∆h 2 the opposite direction. The
2 The sudden closure of the
flow velocity changes sign
gate valve at the downstream
and is now headed in the
end of the pipeline causes a
direction of the reservoir.
v = v0 v=0 pulse of high pressure h;
t = 1/2Tr
and the pipe wall is stretched. 4 A relief wave with a head of
∆h 3 The pressure wave generated -h travels downstream
runs in the opposite direction towards the gate valve and
to the steady-state direction reaches it at a time t = Tr. It is
v=0 of the flow at the speed of accompanied by a change of
1/ 2T
r < t < Tr sound and is accompanied by velocity to the value -v0.
-∆h 4 a reduction of the flow veloc-
5 Upon arrival at the closed
ity to v = 0 in the high pres-
gate valve, the velocity
sure zone. The process takes
changes from -v0 to v = 0.
place in a period of time
v = - v0 v=0 This causes a sudden negative
t = Tr 0 < t < 1/2 Tr, where Tr is the
change in pressure of -h.
amount of time needed by the
5 pressure wave to travel up 6 The low pressure wave -h
and down the entire length of travels upstream to the reser-
the pipeline. The important voir in a time Tr < t < 3/2Tr,
v = - v0
parameter Tr is the reflection and at the same time, v
Tr < t < 3/2Tr
time of the pipe. It has a adopts the value v = 0.

-∆h 6 value of 2L/a. 7 The reservoir is reached in a

time t = 3/2Tr, and the pres-
sure resumes the reservoir’s
v = - v0 v=0
t = 3/2Tr pressure head.
Fig. 3.2-b: Pressure and velocity
8 In a period of time 3/2Tr < t <
7 waves in a single-conduit, fric-
-∆h 2Tr , the wave of increased
tionless pipeline following its
pressure originating from the
sudden closure. The areas of
v=0 reservoir runs back to the
steady-state pressure head are
3/ 2T < t < 2Tr gate valve and v once again
r shaded medium dark, those of
adopts the value v0.
8 increased pressure dark, those of
-∆ h
reduced pressure light. The ex- 9 At t = 2Tr , conditions are
pansion and contraction of the exactly the same as at the
v = v0 v=0 pipeline as a result of rising and instant of closure t = 0, and
t = 2Tr falling pressure levels, respec- the whole process starts over
tively, are shown. To give an again.
idea of the relationship involved:
With a 100 bar pressure rise, the
v = v0 volume of water will decrease by
about 0.5%.

Elasticity of Fluid and Pipe Wall 3
So, one might ask, what hap- condition prevailing at t = 2Tr. If L = 100 m, DN 100, k = 0.1 mm,
pened to the original steady-state the gate valve were to be sudden- hinlet = 200 m, linear throttling of
kinetic energy of the fluid follow- ly opened at this point, we would Q = 10 l/s at the outlet of the
ing the sudden closure of the gate have the old steady-state condi- pipe to Q = 0, starting at t = 0.1 s
valve? A closer look at Fig. 3.2-b tion at t = 0 again without in a period of time t = 0.01 s.
will reveal the answer. According change, and there would be no
Based on Fig. 3.2-b, the reflec-
to the law of the conservation of elastic energy left.
tion of pressure waves at the up-
energy, it cannot simply disap-
Without friction, the pressure stream and downstream ends of
pear. First it is converted into
fluctuations would not diminish. the pipeline can be explained in
elastic energy of the fluid and the
In actual fact, no system is ever a general manner as follows:
pipe wall, then changes into ki-
entirely without friction, but the
netic energy again as a result of • If a pressure wave p reaches
reduction in pressure fluctuation
reflection, then becomes elastic the closed end of a pipe, p
is relatively small in reality, be-
energy again, and so forth. Let’s becomes twice the amount
cause the energy conversion into
look at Fig. 3.2-b up to the point with the same sign, i.e. p =
frictional heat as a result of the
where t = 1/2Tr. The conversion p ± 2·p. The velocity at the
fluid rubbing against the pipe
into elastic energy takes place pipe ends is always v = 0.
walls, the inherent fluid friction
within this period of time. Im- • At the open end of a pipe with
and, finally, the deformation of
mediately preceding the reflec- a constant total head (e.g. res-
pipe walls and fixtures is rela-
tion of the wave at the reservoir, ervoir with a constant water
tively small.
the velocity of the liquid column level), the pressure change al-
is v = 0 everywhere, and it is To show the process in a less
ways equals zero.
totally devoid of kinetic energy. abstract manner, Fig. 3.2-c pro-
vides the results of a computer- • At valves, throttling sections,
Instead, the kinetic energy has
ised simulation of the example pumps and turbines, pressure
been changed into elastic energy,
given in Fig. 3.2-b for a real and velocity are always found
comparable to the situation of a
pipeline with the following para- on the resistance or machine
compressed steel spring. The en-
meters: characteristic curve.
ergy conversion in reverse also
becomes apparent from
Fig. 3.2-b – specifically from the

Pressure head above pipe centreline at pipe outlet [m l.c.]

Fig. 3.2-c: Pressure head up-
stream of gate valve. Compared
240 with the situation shown in Fig.
3.2-b, small differences are ap-
parent. For example, the pres-
sure flanks are not perfectly per-
pendicular, because of the finite
120 closing time of t = 0.01 s. As a
result of friction, the pressure
planes are not perfectly horizon-
60 tal – this phenomenon will be
0 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
discussed in greater detail in sec-
Time [s]
tion 4.1.

3 Elasticity of Fluid and Pipe Wall • Resonance

Water hammer occurs when the kinetic energy of a fluid is converted into elastic energy. But only
rapid6 changes of the flow velocity will produce this effect, for example the sudden closure of a
gate valve or the sudden failure or tripping of a pump. Due to the inertia of the fluid, the flow
velocity of the liquid column as a whole is no longer capable of adjusting to the new situation.
The fluid is deformed, with pressure transients accompanying the deformation process. The rea-
son why surge pressure is so dangerous is that it travels at the almost undiminished speed of
sound (roughly 1000 m/s for a large number of pipe materials) and causes destruction in every
part of the piping system it reaches.

Surge pressures travel at a very pump. Immediately following sections in pumping installations
high wave propagation velocity, pump trip, the air cushion starts are particularly prone to reso-
for example a = 1000 m/s in expanding and takes over the nant vibrations transmitted by
ductile or steel piping (see 4.1). pump’s job of discharging the the fluid pumped and by the
They dampen out only gradually water into the pipeline. Provided piping structure. By contrast,
and, therefore, remain danger- that the vessel is properly resonance is all but negligible
ous for a long time. The time designed, it will prevent rapid for buried piping. In order to
needed to subside depends on changes in the flow velocity in design adequately dimensioned
the length of the pipeline. In an the pipeline. Instead, the water anchoring, all pipe anchors in
urban water supply installation, level in the vessel and the pumping installations should be
they only last several seconds. In undeformed liquid column in examined using structural
long pipelines, it can take a few the pipeline will continue to rise dynamics analysis, with the
minutes until a pressure surge and fall over a longer period of pump speed serving as the
has dampened out. time. The process is kept in exciter frequency.
motion by the energy discharged
Knowing these facts, the basic
by the air cushion each time
working principles of all surge
fluid flows out of the vessel and
control equipment, such as air
by the energy absorbed again by
vessel or accumulator, flywheel,
the air cushion on the fluid’s
standpipe and air valves can be
return. The energy stored in the
deduced. They prevent the dan-
air cushion is only gradually
gerous conversion of steady-
dissipated. That is why it takes
state kinetic energy into elastic
many minutes for air vessel
deformation energy. Air vessels
oscillations to die away, in
are ideally suited to explain the
longer pipelines in particular.
underlying principle. The pres-
surised air cushion in the air
vessel stores potential energy. If
3.3 Resonance
there were no air vessel, the
dreaded conversion of kinetic Resonant vibrations are an
energy into elastic deformation exception. These occur when ex-
energy following a pump trip citer frequencies of whatever
would take place at the pump origin, generated, for example,
outlet, which could cause the by the pump drive or by flow
liquid column to separate separation phenomena in valves
(Fig. 3.1-a). However, this does and pipe bends, happen to
not happen, because the energy coincide with a natural frequen-
stored in the air cushion in the cy of the pipeline. Improperly
vessel takes over the work of the anchored, unsupported pipeline

The adjective “rapid” is to be seen in relation to the system’s operating conditions. For example, the pressure transients caused by the closure of a
valve in a 2 km long pipeline may well stay within the permissible range, whereas the same closing process could generate unacceptably high pres-
sures in a 20 km long pipeline.

The Joukowsky Equation 4
4 The Joukowsky equation with their small diameters and
lengths are usually negligible. In
The pressure change DpJou in a
these systems, the kinetic energy
fluid caused by an instantaneous
levels and fluid masses are very
change in flow velocity Dv is cal-
small. In addition, it is practical-
culated by:
ly impossible to close a valve
within the very short reflection
(4.1) time of a domestic water system.
The Joukowsky equation can be
used to calculate simple esti-
Dv: Flow velocity change in m/s
mates. Let’s consider three
r: Density of the fluid in kg/m3 examples:
a: Wave propagation velocity Example 1:
through the fluid in the Nikolai Egorovich Joukowsky
In a DN 500 pipeline, L = 8000 m,
pipeline in m/s
results of his various experi- a = 1000 m/s and v = 2 m/s, a
DpJou: pressure change in N/m2 ments and theoretical studies in gate valve is closed in 5 seconds.
The DpJou formula is referred to 1898. Calculate the pressure surge.
as the Joukowsky equation. As Calculate the force exerted on
It may seem inconsistent that
well as Dv, equation (4.1) con- the gate.
DpJou in the Joukowsky equation
tains the density r and wave (4.1) seems to have nothing to Answer:
propagation velocity a. The rela- do with the mass of the flow in- 5 s < Tr = 16 s, i.e. Joukowsky’s
tionship only applies to the pe- side the pipeline. For example, if equation may be applied. If the
riod of time in which the veloc- the water hammer described in flow velocity is reduced from
ity change Dv is taking place. If the first example in section 3.1 2 m/s to zero as the valve is
Dv runs in opposite direction to had been based on a pipe dia- closed, Dv = 2 m/s. This gives us a
the flow, the pressure will rise, meter twice that of the diameter pressure increase Dh = 100 · 2 =
otherwise it will fall. If the used, A = D2p/4 would have 200 m or approximately Dp =
liquid pumped is water7, i.e. caused the fluid mass and its 20 · 105 N/m2, which is 20 bar.
r = 1000 kg/m3, equation (4.1) kinetic energy to turn out four The valve cross-section measures
will look like this: times as large. What seems to be A = D2 · 0.25 · p Ä 0.2 m2. The
a paradox is instantly resolved if force acting on the gate is p·A =
one considers the force exerted 0.2 · 20 · 105 = 4·105 N= 400 kN.
(4.2) on the shut-off valve, i.e. force
F = Dp · A, the defining para-
meter for the surge load. Because
g: Acceleration due to gravity of A, it is now in actual fact four
9.81 m/s2 times as large as before.

DhJou: Pressure head change in m This shows that one must also
consider the fluid mass to judge
In 1897, Joukowsky conducted
the risk of water hammer, al-
a series of experiments on Mos-
though that does not seem
cow drinking water supply pipes
necessary after a superficial
of the following lengths / dia-
glance at Joukowsky’s equation.
meters: 7620 m / 50 mm,
At the same time, this explains
305 m / 101.5 mm and 305 m /
why the pressure surges occur-
152.5 mm. He published the
ring in domestic piping systems

Despite the high flow velocities common in gas pipes, these do not experience surge problems, because p · a is several thousand times smaller than
for water.

4 The Joukowsky Equation

Example 2: Example 3: 4.1 Scope of the Joukowsky

A pump delivers water at Q = A pump delivers water at Q = equation
300 l/s and a head Dh = 40 m 300 l/s and a head Dh = 40 m The Joukowsky equation only
through a DN 400 discharge into a 2000 m long pipeline DN applies to:
pipe measuring L = 5000 m into 400; a = 1000 m/s. The mass
• Periods of time which are
an overhead tank; a = 1000 m/s. moment of inertia8 of all rotat-
equal to or shorter than the
The inertia moments of pump ing components (pump, motor,
reflection time of the piping Tr
and motor are negligible. Is etc.) is J = 20 kgm2, the speed of
there a risk of liquid column rotation n0 = 24 s-1 and the total • The period of time which falls
separation, i.e. macro-cavita- efficiency = 0.9, i.e. 90%. Is within the velocity change Dv
tion, following pump trip? If so, there a risk of liquid column • Pipes characterised by friction
what is the anticipated pressure separation, i.e. macro-cavitation, losses within the limits typical
increase? following pump trip? of water transport systems
Answer: Answer: Reflection time Tr:
Q = 300 l/s in a DN 400 pipe- For the instant of pump failure, In Fig. 3.2-b the wave of re-
line roughly corresponds to a the change in speed n. may be de- duced pressure reflected by the
flow velocity v = 2.4 m/s. As a rived from the inertia equation tank has arrived at the gate
result of pump trip and the loss as follows: valve after Tr has lapsed, and
of mass inertia moment, the
M = 2··J·n.
p evens out some of the pressure
pump comes to a sudden stand- increase Dp. If the change in
still, i.e. Dv = 2.4 m/s. According Assuming as an (extremely
flow takes place in a period of
to the Joukowsky equation, this rough) approximation a linear
time Dt longer than Tr, the rise
speed reduction n. = ___
causes a head drop of Dh = t , then, if in pressure DpJou will only occur
-100 · 2.4 m = -240 m. Since the p·Q
_ _____ ,
Mp = at the wave’s source, whereas it
steady-state head is just 40 m, will have diminished to the
we obtain a time Dt in which the
vacuum is reached, the liquid value given by the boundary
speed has dropped to zero, and,
column collapses and macro- condition by the time it reaches
if Dp = 1000 · 9.81 · Dh,
cavitation sets in. Following the the opposite end of the pipeline.
liquid column separation near (2 · n0)2 · J ·  n2 · J · 
t = Ä 4· 0 = 3.4 s
the pump outlet, the two liquid p· 0.001· Q h · Q Fig. 4.1-a shows the pressure en-
columns will recombine with The reflection time of the pipe- velope, which applies to a case
great impact after some time. line is Tr = 4 s (for a = 1000 m/s), of this kind:
For reasons of energy conserva- which means that the reflected
tion, the highest velocity of the pressure relief wave will not
backward flow cannot exceed reach the pump until after the
the original velocity of the speed has dropped to zero and it
steady-state flow of 2.4 m/s. is too late for the relieving effect
Under the most unfavourable to take place. It is, therefore,
conditions, the cavitation-indu- probably safe to say that macro-
ced pressure rise will, therefore, cavitation will develop.
be Dh = 100 · 2.4 = 240 m,
which is the equivalent to 24 bar.

Mass moment of inertia J: J expressed in kgm3 is the correct physical quantity. Flywheel moment GD2, which was used in the past, should no longer
be used, because it can easily be confused with J!

The Joukowsky Equation · Wave Propagation Velocity 4

∆ hJou

hmin ∆ hJou

Fig. 4.1-a: Pressure head envelope for closing times > reflection time Tr

Friction applies, not even within the reflec- The gate valve in the example
tion time of the pipeline. In a case shown in Fig. 4.1-b closes 20 s
If the liquid pumped is highly
like this, the actual pressure rise after the start of the calculation.
viscous or if the pipeline is ex-
following the sudden closure of a The first steep increase by ap-
tremely long (say, 10 km and
gate valve can be several times prox. 20 bar to approx. 55 bar
more), the work done by the
that of DpJou as calculated by the is DpJou according to the Jou-
pump only serves to overcome the
Joukowsky equation! The pheno- kowsky equation; the continued
friction produced by the pipeline.
menon caused by the pipe friction increase to almost 110 bar is
Changes of geodetic head due to
is commonly called line packing. caused by line packing. Line
the pipe profile, by comparison,
The following flow simulation packing is only of significance
are of little or no importance. The
calculation gives an example of for long pipelines or highly
Joukowsky equation no longer
this: viscous media. It is unlikely to
occur in urban water supply and
120 waste water disposal plants.
Initial pressure, absolute, in bar (approx.)





0 80 160 240 320 400
Time [s]

Fig. 4.1-b: Pressure curve at the outlet of a 20 km long crude oil

pipeline following a sudden gate valve closure. Calculation para-
meters: DN 300, k = 0.02 mm, inlet pressure 88 bar constant,
Q = 250 l/s, fluid pumped: crude oil,  = 900 kg/m3

4 The Joukowsky Equation · Wave Propagation Velocity

Wave propagation velocity contained by the fluid, which

equation (4.1) does not take into
The wave propagation velocity
account, can have a strong im-
is one of the elements of the Jou-
pact on “a”, as is shown by
kowsky equation and, therefore,
some examples in Table 4-1: In
a vital parameter for defining
drinking water supply pipelines
the intensity of a surge. It is cal-
the gas content is negligible; in
culated by solving equation
waste water installations it nor-
mally is not. Further elements of
uncertainty with regard to “a”
(4.1) mainly concern pipes made of
synthetic material. An unknown
and varying modulus of elastic-
: Density of the fluid in kg/m3 ity, manufacturing tolerances,
EF: Modulus of elasticity of the the age of the pipeline and, in
fluid in N/m2 particular, the question whether
ER: Modulus of elasticity of the the pipeline is laid in the ground
pipe wall in N/m2 or not, all play a part. A buried
di: Inside pipe diameter in mm pipeline has considerably higher
s: Pipe wall thickness in mm values of “a” than a pipe laid
: Transverse contraction num- above ground.
Equation (4.1) produces a range
of values from approximately
1400 m/s for steel pipes to
around 300 m/s for ductile plas-
tic pipes. Wave propagation
velocity “a” in an unconfined
body of water is approximately
1440 m/s. To all intents and
purposes, the validity of equa-
tion (4.1) should not be over-
estimated; surge analyses are
often performed without it, in
which case the value of “a” is
estimated. The volume of air

Gas content a
% by volume m/s
0 1250
0.2 450
0.4 300
0.8 250
1 240

Table 4-1: “a” as a function of

the gas content at a static water
pressure of approximately 3 bar

Numerical Simulation of Water Hammer
Accuracy of Numerical Surge Analysis
5 Numerical simulation
of water hammer
In current theory, the dependent (5.1)
model variables are the pressure
p and the flow velocity v in the
two partial differential equa-
tions (5.1) for every single pipe
of a piping system; the time t
5.1. Accuracy of numerical The real energy losses due to
and an unrolled reach of pipe x
surge analysis friction, and the degree of warp-
are independent variables.
ing of pipeline and pipe fixtures
Computer programs based on the
Equations (5.1) are generally valid are somewhat larger than the
characteristics method produce
and cover the effects of both forecast supplied by simulation.
solutions whose accuracy by far
inertia and elasticity. Mathema- The first pressure peaks and val-
exceeds that which is called for in
tically, the pipe ends serve as the leys, therefore, tend to be simu-
practice. This is evidenced by
boundary conditions of equations lated very precisely, whereas the
numerous comparisons with
(5.1); different types of boundary pressures further down the line
actual measurements. Significant
conditions are introduced to in- are on the whole depicted with
differences were only found for
clude internal components such as an increasing lack of dampen-
calculations aimed at predicting
pipe branches, vessels, pumps and ing. But imperfections of this
macro-cavitation or dampening of
valves in the model. For example, kind are negligible compared
pressure waves inside a pipe.
the creation of a complete piping with inaccuracies caused by
system by connecting a number of For example, the pressures com- entering wrong or insufficient
individual pipes is done by taking puted using the standard model input data.
a pipe node to be the boundary of vapour cavitation derived
Some of the potential sources of
condition. The starting condition from equations (5.1), i.e. the
error are:
of equation (5.1) is the steady- assumption of a simple cavity of
state flow inside the pipe con- low pressure following liquid • Inaccurate valve and/or pump
cerned before the onset of the dis- column separation, are always characteristics.
turbance. Equations (5.1) are higher than what they are in real- • Lack of knowledge about the
solved by means of the character- ity. However, the advantage of actual wave propagation
istics method, which provides the the conservative outcome is that velocity inside the pipeline.
basis for almost all surge analysis one is always on the safe side.
• Lack of information about
software available today.
tapping points in a main pipe.
The time frame covered by
• Unawareness of the degree of
equations (5.1) is less appro-
incrustation inside the pipes.
priate for computing resonant
vibrations. These can be calcu- This shows that the quality of
lated much more precisely using the surge analysis stands or falls
the impedance method, or, in with the accuracy of the input
other words, by looking at the data.
frequency range.

A surge analysis can only be as accurate as the system data

entered as inputs. Only if the input is accurate, and the com-
putation model is a faithful reproduction of the real system
conditions, will the analysis yield a high degree of accuracy.

Accuracy of Numerical Surge Analysis ·
5 Forces Acting on Pipelines as a Result of Water Hammer

In practice, it is often impossible 5.2 Forces acting on pipelines

to obtain exact data. If this is as a result of water
the case, one has to estimate the hammer
required inputs.
After computing the time-depen-
An example: dent pressure gradients, it takes
For a valve manufacturer, a small a further separate step to calcu-
individual loss coefficient in the late the forces acting on the el-
open condition of a valve is a bows and connections of un-
powerful sales argument. By supported pipes. The interaction
contrast, for a surge analysis the between fluid and pipe wall does
values obtained immediately not enter into the computation
preceeding total closure of a (separate calculation). Apart
valve are of the essence, and from the odd exception, which
measuring these is a time-con- is of no relevance in the field of
suming and complex affair. As a water supply and waste water
result of this, many individual disposal anyhow, this method
loss characteristics available for tends to produce forces which
valves do not extend far enough are somewhat higher than what
into the closing range. For cost they are in reality, so that the
reasons, the individual loss conclusions drawn from the cal-
curves provided by most manu- culation results will definitely be
facturers are extrapolations, on the safe side.
rather than curves plotted on the
basis of original measurements.
When designing a plant with the
aid of surge analyses, inaccura-
cies of this kind should be ac-
counted for by designing the
surge control equipment slightly
on the conservative side.

Computerised Surge Analysis 6
6 Computerised surge analysis 6.2 Interaction between - Piping elevation profile
ordering party and surge - Lengths
6.1 Technical procedure
A surge analysis will not provide - Diameters
First of all, a distinction has to
direct solutions for the required - Wall thickness
be made between the quotation
parameters, such as, for exam-
phase and the calculation itself. - Materials of construction, lining
ple, the optimum air vessel size,
During the quotation phase, the material, pipe connections
compressor settings, valve clos-
surge analyst requires the
ure characteristics, flywheel di- - Pressure class, design pressure
following information from the
mensions, etc. Instead, the surge head curve
plant engineering contractor to
analyst must specify the type of
compute the cost involved: - Permissible internal pipe pres-
surge control to be employed
sures (pmin, pmax)
and provide estimates of the 1. A rough flow diagram of the
relevant parameters. After installation indicating all im- - Method used to lay the pipes:
checking the outcome of the portant equipment, such as buried or placed on supports
surge analysis, the original para- pumps, valves, additional in- - Modulus of elasticity of pipe
meters are suitably adjusted and let and outlet points, as well materials
a complete re-run of the surge as any existing safety devices,
analysis is made for the system. such as aerators, air vessels, - Surface roughness coefficient
After several runs, the values etc. The flow diagram can by - Provision of air valves at the
supplied will come very close to all means be in the form of a highest points of the piping
the technical and economical quick sketch, which does not
- Branch connections
optimum. As surge analyses take more than a couple of
necessarily need to be performed minutes to draw. - Zeta or flow factors as well as
by surge specialists, they remain valve closing characteristices
2. A rough list of all main para-
time and labour intensive de- - Characteristic curves or perfor-
meters, i.e. principal pipe
spite the use of modern compu- mance charts and characteristic
lengths, diameters and flow
ter technology. data of all hydraulic equipment
Considering that powerful surge - Mass moments of inertia of all
3. A list of all major operation
analysis software is now com- hydroelectric generating sets
and downtime periods.
mercially available, users may
wonder whether they cannot do 4. A list of all known incidents - Characteristic curves and data
their own analysis just as well. that could have been caused on surge control equipment al-
As reliable9 surge analysis soft- by water hammer. ready installed in the system
ware is far from a mass product, 5. Irregularities observed during - Characteristic values of all ae-
the low sales volume makes it operation. ration and deaeration equip-
expensive. Add to this the high ment
If a surge analysis is to be per-
cost of training and hands-on
formed, additional data to be - Settings of control equipment
practice. Also if the software is
specified by the surge analyst - Water levels in tanks and reser-
not used for some time, opera-
will have to be obtained. Some voirs
tors usually have to brush up
examples of additionally re-
their skills. So, if users require - Rates of flow in the individual
quired data are:
fewer than, say, ten analyses per piping branches
year, the cost involved in doing
their own will probably not be - Degrees of opening of all shut-
worthwhile. off and throttling valves
– Operating pressures

Users are in the uncomfortable position of not being able to verify the workings of surge analysis software. It is, therefore, important that a reput-
able manufacturer vouch for the quality of the product. Surge analysis software, as a rule, is developed by specialist university institutes. There are
some examples of programs that were bought by commercial enterprises and provided with a sophisticated user interface, which makes them easier
to handle for the user.

7 Rules of Thumb and Manual Calculations

7 Advantages of rules of A simple example shows why: It takes lots of experience to be

thumb and manual calcula- The only difference between two able to judge whether approxi-
tions otherwise completely identical mation formulas can be used to
water supply systems are the reliably calculate transient flow
A rough estimate can be a very
elevation profiles of the main conditions. For every day en-
useful tool to quickly assess the
pipes; one system has a high gineering purposes, approxima-
risk of water hammer. This leads
point, the other does not. The tion formulas should be used ex-
us to the validity of rules of
system without the high point clusively to roughly estimate the
thumb and to the question
can be safely protected by an air potential risk in a system (exam-
whether the surge characteristics
vessel. A vessel of the same size ples, see section 4). Using them
of one system can be applied to
will not adequately protect the as a basis for a serious surge
another, similar installation (scal-
second system, however, because analysis or, even worse, for de-
ability). To answer that question,
the falling water level in the air signing the surge control equip-
we should start by pointing out
vessel would cause the minimum ment, would have to be regard-
that there is a great variety of
dynamic pressure head to inter- ed as highly irresponsible. A
water supply and waste water
sect the pipeline’s high point. brief description of all known
disposal plants, and that these are
The low pressures thus created processes of approximation and
so different from each other that
would pose a risk of dirty water estimation formulas is given
approximation formulas cannot
being drawn into the system. below:
be applied. Even if the
characteristic values of different
systems are very similar, i.e. same
rates of flow, same pipe lengths,
they cannot normally be scaled.

Fig. 7-1: Graphical method developed by Schnyder-Bergeron

Rules of Thumb and Manual Calculations 7
• Before the days of modern These are the only manual cal-
computer software, the graphi- culation methods. This apparent
cal Schnyder-Bergeron method lack is more easily understood if
was often employed and pro- we take another look at the air
duced relatively reliable surge vessel, our representative exam-
analysis. For practical reasons, ple of before. Reading the total
use of this method is limited to volume of the vessel from a
systems comprising a single design curve is not all that is re-
pipeline. Friction can only be quired. The way the air vessel
taken into account by complex works depends to a large extent
procedures. Besides, it takes a on the ratio of water volume to
specialist to apply this method air volume in the vessel, or, in
and obtain the desired results. other words, on the question
Fig. 7.1 is an example of a whether pre-pressurisation of
typical Schnyder-Bergeron dia- the vessel is “hard” or “soft”.
gram, which shows how the The pre-pressurisation level has
pressure wave propagation an impact on the total vessel
due to the closure of a valve is volume required. The pipeline
determined by graphical profile also plays a significant
means. part. For example, if it has a
high point which should not be
• Application of the Joukowsky
intersected by the minimum
equation for rapid changes in
dynamic pressure head curve
flow velocity v (examples un-
following pump trip (area of
der 4).
low pressure), the basic condi-
• Graphical method to deter- tions for designing the vessel
mine the required air vessel will be different, even if the
sizes.*) plant parameters are otherwise
• Graphical method used to the same. The vessel will have to
estimate the condition of line be considerably larger. In many
packing.*) cases, the swing check valve and
throttle installed in a bypass will
• The largely ideal valve closing
keep the reverse pressure wave
characteristics for the ex-
from causing an impermissible
ceptional case of a single-con-
rise in pressure levels in the air
duit pipeline can be calculated
vessel. It is impossible to de-
by approximation.*)
termine these crucial variables
using rules of thumb or
graphical design methods.

*) Expertise required.

8 Surge Control Systems

8 Main types of surge control 8.1 Energy storage 8.1.1 Air vessels
The purpose of surge control is With air vessels and standpipes, Air vessels come in the form of
to stop kinetic energy from energy is stored as pressure en- compressor vessels (Fig. 8.1.1-
being converted into elastic ergy; when a flywheel is instal- a), [bag-type] accumulators (Fig.
deformation energy. This can be led, the energy stored takes the 8.1.1-b) and vessels with a vent
done by the following basic form of rotational energy. There pipe. Compressor- and accumu-
methods: is a sufficient amount of energy lator-type air vessels basically
stored to maintain the steady- work on the same operating
– Energy storage
state flow for a relatively long principle. The reason for choos-
– One-way surge and venting time and to make sure the de- ing one or the other is based on
facilities crease in flow velocity due to dis- technical or commercial conside-
– Optimisation of valve closing sipation will be slow to take full rations. Because of their design,
characteristics10 effect. A rapid pressure drop is accumulators are only suitable
thus prevented. If air vessels and for small volumes.
– Optimisation of the strategy
standpipes are installed upstream
designed to control the piping As explained earlier, the vessel
of a pump in a long inlet pipe,
system volume is not the only impor-
they not only prevent a pressure
tant factor. If the water-to-air
transient by means of energy dis-
volume ratio is carefully chosen,
sipation, but also the other way
a vessel with a substantially
around, by absorbing energy.
lower total volume may be used.


Compressor on
100 mm
Compressor off




D1 D2


Fig. 8.1-a: Schematic layout of a compressor-type air vessel. To avoid excessive pressures on return of the
vessel water, the connecting pipe may have to be fitted with a swing check valve with a throttled bypass.

The valve closing characteristics describe the closing angle of a valve as a function of time.

Surge Control Systems 8
• The bag-like enclosure in an
Membrane accumulator would be punc-
tured by the sharp objects
contained in the waste water,
such as razor blades, nails, etc.
• There is a major risk of in-
crustations, deposits and
Grid to limit the
expansion of the membrane
Provided they are adequately
monitored, the operating relia-
bility of air vessels is high. Dur-
Fig. 8.1.1-b: Schematic of an accumulator
ing their operation, attention
has to be paid to the following:
To make sure compressor vessels in a piping system. For example
are always filled to the correct in long inlet pipes, an additional • Monitoring of the water level
levels, they can be equipped air vessel at the inlet end of the in the vessel.
with sensors which will switch pump provides effective surge • For reasons of hygiene, the
the compressor on or off as re- control. If the pump fails or water volume must be conti-
quired. Bag-type accumulators trips, an upstream vessel will ab- nuously or regularly replaced.
are typically adjusted by pre- sorb energy, while a down-
pressurising the gas inside the stream vessel will dissipate en- • The compressed air must not
bag or membrane enclosure to a ergy. contain any oil.
certain initial pressure prior to • To be able to take the air
Air vessels or accumulators are
installation. vessel out of service for an
not suitable for waste water dis-
Air vessels are not just installed posal systems11, because inspection, spare vessels
at the pump discharge end to should be available.
• With waste water, it is not
guard against the consequences • It must be possible to lock the
possible to measure the water
of pump trips. They can also be shut-off valves in the connecting
level needed to set the com-
installed in other suitable places pipeline against unintentional
closure; the open position has
to be monitored.
• Maintenance of the compres-
sor (compressor vessel).
8.1.2 Standpipes, one-way
surge tanks
Standpipes can only be installed
at points of a piping system
characterised by low-pressure
heads. As a rule, a standpipe
cannot replace a downstream air
vessel. Fitted with a swing check
valve in the direction of the flow
and a filling mechanism (one-
way surge tank), it is used to
stop the pressure falling below
atmospheric at the high points
Fig. 8.1.1-c: Accumulators

An exception is a vessel fitted with a vent pipe; this arrangement, comprising an air vessel, a standpipe and a vent valve, is very rarely used in Ger-

8 Surge Control Systems

of long clean-water pipelines.

Because of the possibility of
malodorous fumes, standpipes
are rarely found in waste water
installations. Standpipes and
one-way surge tanks are highly
reliable pieces of equipment
provided the following points
are observed:
• Continuous or regular changes
of water (problem of hygiene).
• Filtering of air flow.
• Functional tests of the check
valve on one-way surge tank
Fig. 8.1.3-a: The V-belt pulleys in this arrangement are solid discs
• Monitoring of water level or
filling device on one-way surge which is suitable for a relatively checked in advance that the
tank arrangement. short pipeline, or, put different- flywheel will not interfere with
ly, with a short reflection time the starting procedure of the
8.1.3 Flywheels Tr. The limits for employing a pump driver. Flywheels are
flywheel are in the region of 1 to probably the safest and most
Mounted on the driver, a fly- 2 km pipeline length. Example 3 elegant types of surge control.
wheel prolongs the rundown ti- in section 4 includes a rough Their reliability beats that of all
me of a pump to standstill by estimate performed to check other surge control methods.
means of the stored rotational whether a flywheel can be used. With the exception of the bear-
energy: For reasons of design, the fly- ings of larger-scale systems, they
wheel solution is not suitable for do not require any in-operation
1 · J · 2
Ekin = – (8.1) submersible motor pumps. On monitoring.
other pump types, it must be
J: Mass moment of inertia of
flywheel in kgm2
: Angular velocity s-1
For a homogeneous solid disc
with a radius r and a mass m,
for example, the mass moment
of inertia is

m · r2
J = ––––––

Figs. 8.1.3-a and 8.1.3-b show

several practical applications.
However, with a type of fly-
wheel that is economically and
technically feasible, one can only
achieve a prolongation of the Fig. 8.1.3-b: Vertically mounted flywheel (driven by means of cardan
running down time of the kind shaft, D = 790 mm)

Surge Control Systems 8
8.2 Air valves The reliability of aerators / deae-
rators depends on their design
Air valves should not be used
and is the lowest of all surge
until every other solution has
control equipment. They have to
been ruled out. Their drawbacks
be tested for proper functioning
in regular intervals and it may
• They require regular mainte- be necessary to filter the in-
nance. coming air.
• If arranged in the wrong place
or mounted incorrectly, they
8.3 Actuated valves
can aggravate pressure varia-
tions instead of alleviating Suitable actuation schedules for
them. the opening and closing of
valves are calculated and veri-
• Under certain circumstances,
fied by means of a surge analysis
operation of the plant may be Fig. 8.2-a: Duojet*) two-way air on the basis of the valve
limited, because the air drawn valve with a medium-operated characteristic.
into the system has to be re- single-compartment valve.
moved again. The valves will give very reliable
Large vent cross-section for service if, on valves with electric
• The handling of waste water drawing in and venting large actuator, adequate protection is
calls for special designs. amounts of air during start-up provided for the actuating times
Air valves (Fig. 8.2-a) have to be and shutdown of pumping and the break points of the actu-
carefully designed. On large dia- systems. ation schedules or if, on valves
meter pipelines, one has to ar- Small cross-section for removing with hydraulic actuators, ade-
range air outlet valves on top of small amounts of air during op- quate safety elements, such as
domes, to make sure that the air eration against full internal pres- orifice plates or flow control
drawn into the system will col- sure. valves, are used. Proper valve
lect there. As long as the fluid functioning has to be checked at
flow has not reached the steady regular intervals with regard to
state, air drawn into pipes can, and out through a small cross- the actuating times and closing
under unfavourable conditions, section. characteristics.
have a very negative effect. Air
cushions normally have a damp-
ening effect. However, the air
drawn into the pipeline can also
give rise to dangerous dynamic
pressure increases. It has to be
pressed out of the piping slowly;
a large air outlet cross-section
would lead to sudden pressure
variations towards the end of
the air outlet operation. For this
reason, aerators and deaerators
have different nominal dia-
meters depending on which way
the air flows. Air normally flows
in through a large cross-section
Fig. 8.3-a: Motorised shut-off butterfly valve

*) With the friendly permission of VAG-Armaturen GmbH.

8 Surge Control Systems

8.4 Swing check valves unfavourable effect, because manner after the pump trips.
they take a long time to close, This feature is important on
The dynamics of swing check
which means reverse flow sets in pumps operated in parallel,
valves often have a major in-
while they are still partly open, when one pump fails whilst the
fluence on the development of
and the valve disc re-seats with remaining pumps continue to
surge, because the valve’s clos-
considerable impact. The pheno- run and deliver flow against the
ure, after reversal of flow, gener-
menon is known by the term tripped pump. In a case like this,
ates velocity changes which,
“check valve slam” and is much controlled closing is achieved by
according to Joukowsky’s equa-
dreaded. Since the closing time adjustable hydraulic actuators
tion (4.1), produce pressure
is the main criterion for check without external supply but
valve slam, limit position dam- with a lever and counterweight,
Check valves generally have to pers will improve the situation, with the free-swinging valve disc
meet the following two contra- but not eliminate the risk alto- opening in the direction of the
dictory requirements: gether. In waste water systems, flow and, upon actuation,
• bring the reverse flow to a nozzle check valves cannot be closing in one or two stages
standstill as quickly as used because they tend to clog according to a set closing
possible, up. This means that valves with characteristic.
free-swinging discs and limit po-
• keep the pressure surge gener- The operating reliability of
sition dampers are the only re-
ated during the process as check valves is relatively high. In
maining option, despite their
small as possible. operation, they have to be
checked for proper functioning
Drinking water pumping instal- Pump check valves installed in at regular intervals.
lations protected by air vessels the cooling pipes of a power
should ideally be equipped with station are designed to throttle
nozzle check valves. Free-swing- the reverse flow in a controlled
ing valve discs can have a very

Fig. 8.4-a: Swing check valve equipped with a hydraulic actuator and counterweight

Case Studies 9
9 Case studies a schematic diagram of the op- Fig. 9.1 shows the head and
erating principle is shown in Fig. flow curves of the system pro-
The case studies below were
8.1.1-a. In the present case, the tected by an air vessel arrange-
taken from surge analyses
throttling action is achieved ment plotted against time (heads
performed by KSB. Although we
with the aid of a short length of expressed in m above mean sea
have altered the system para-
DN 200 pipe fitted with a stan- level).
meters, so that the installations
dard DN 80 orifice. Fig. 2.1-b
concerned remain anonymous,
shows the calculated pressure
the problems involved and the
envelope with and without air
way these were resolved have
vessel. The maximum head
not been altered.
curve obtained with an air vessel
hmaxWK is now only slightly above
9.1 Case study: long-distance
the steady-state head curve hsteady
water supply system
and the associated minimum head
The system parameters are indi- curve hminWK runs at a wide safety
cated in Fig. 2.1-b. A steady- margin above the peak point of
state flow Qsteady = 500 l/s is the pipe.
pumped through a DN 600
pipeline of ductile cast material
with a total length of L = 2624
by three centrifugal pumps oper-
ating in parallel at a total head H inlet [m above MSL]:KN=1/Pipe No. System with air vessel
of the pumps hsteady = 122.5 m
into an overhead tank. The dis-
turbance under investigation,
which leads to excessive dyna-
mic pressures, is the simultane-
ous failure of all three pumps.
The dynamic pressure peaks Time s

produced by far exceed the per- Q inlet [l/s]:KN=1/Pipe No. 1 System with air vessel

missible nominal pressure of PN

16 (see hmax curve) in Fig. 2.1-b;
the minimum pressures drop to
vapour pressure in wide areas of
the system (see hmin curve) in Fig.
2.1-b. The system can be protec-
Time s
ted by installing an air vessel at
Water vol. [m3]:KN=1/Air vessel No. System with air vessel
the inlet of the long-distance
pipeline. Although the vessel di-
mensioned as shown in Fig. 2.1-
b will initially prevent the devel-
opment of areas of low pressure,
the water column in the pipeline
swinging back will still produce Time s
dynamic pressure peaks in
Fig. 9.1: Time plots for the long-distance water supply pipeline (Fig.
excess of 16 bar. Therefore, the
2.1-b); the example shows the head and flow curves of an air vessel-
reverse flow into the air vessel
protected system as functions of time (heads expressed in m above
has to be additionally throttled;
mean sea level)

9 Case Studies

9.2 Case study: stormwater

conveyance pipeline
Starting from a waste water
pumping installation, a new DN
350 stormwater pipeline with a
total length of L = 590 m was rat
laid to an aeration structure.
Pumping operation was by Im
means of three identical pumps sy
by m w
pa ith
running in parallel, each equip- ss ae

ped with a non-return valve and

a motorised gate valve to control Fig. 9.2-a: Schematic diagram of the stormwater conveyance pipeline
pump start-up and run-down.
When a surge analysis was final- Model parameters
The first 100 m of pipe made of
ly ordered, its objective was:
high-density polyethylene were Besides the parameters indicated
laid under ground, the remain- • to determine what caused the in Fig. 9.2-a, the following sys-
ing 490 m were of steel and laid surge pressures and forces that tem data were entered into the
above ground supported on pipe had been observed, calculation:
bridges. Fig. 9.2-a shows a sche- • to devise some protective meas- Pump characteristic shown in
matic of the model installation. ures or surge control equipment Fig. 9.2-c
The nodes connecting the above- that would prevent the excessive
ground single pipes of the model Model pipeline L1:
dynamic pressures produced by
are 90° elbows. The engineering Material: high-density polyethy-
a pump failure from occurring,
firm in charge of planning the lene (HDPE)
and to prove their effectiveness
plant neither performed nor or- Dinside: 354.6 mm
dered a surge analysis to accom- k: 0.1 mm
pany the project planning phase. a: 600 m/s (estimated value)
Min. permissible pressure: vacuum
During the first operating tests
Pressure class: PN 6
following the plant’s comple-
tion, several incidents, among
them a power failure which
caused all three pumps to fail at
the same time, caused the part
Stormwater pump 1470 rpm
of the piping laid above ground
to shake considerably, damaging
pipe fixtures and tearing off
some pipes altogether.

Fig. 9.2-c: Characteristic curve of the pump used in the stormwater

conveyance system

Case Studies 9
Model pipeline L2 to L10: Pump failure without surge control

Material: steel
Dinside: 349.2 mm
k: 0.1 mm
a: 1012 m/s
(from equation 4.1)
Min. permissible pressure: vacuum
Time s
Pressure class: PN 10
H inlet [m]:KN=1/Pipe No. 1 Pump failure without surge control

Nothing was known about the

pump check valves. For the pur-
pose of the model, it was there-
fore assumed – correctly so, as it
turned out – that the valves
would suddenly close upon re-
verse of the flow direction. Time s

Q inlet [l/s]:KN=1/Pipe No. 1 Pump failure without surge control

Calculation of actual duty
data, first results
The steady-state flow calculated
by the surge software for the pa-
rallel operation of three pumps
amounted to Qsteady = 187 l/s.
Time s
The first surge calculation of the
simultaneous failure of all three Fig. 9.2-d: Operating characteristics of the stormwater line without
pumps showed that macro- surge control plotted over time
cavitation and, as a result of it,
dynamic pressure peaks as high Längskraft auf
Longitudinal L8acting
force ohne on
Druckstoß -Sicherungen
L8 without surge control
as 15 bar would occur inside the
HDPE pipeline, i.e. considerably
in excess of the given nominal
pressure of the pipe of PN 6. 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
The calculation showed that the -20
pipe bridges between each pair
Force kN
Kraft kN

of 90° elbows had to temporari-
ly withstand longitudinal forces -60

of just under 100 kN, or in -80

terms of weight, the equivalent -100

of a thrust somewhere in the re-
gion of 10 t. Figs. 9.2-d and 9.2-e Zeit s
Time s
show some examples of the sys-
Fig. 9.2-e: Longitudinal force acting on L8 if the stormwater line is
tem behaviour without surge
without surge control
control plotted over time. Fig.
9.2-d shows the pump speed,
head and flow at the entrance of
ing on L8. This explained the
model pipe L1 (head in m above
violent shaking and resulting
pipe centreline); the curve in Fig.
damage observed.
9.2-e shows the axial forces act-

9 Case Studies

Pump failure in a system equipped with an aerator Surge control measures

and a bypass as surge control devices

To eliminate the macro-cavita-

tion developing after pump fail-
ure, a second simulation calcu-
lation was run with a DN 150
aerator at the outlet of L2, the
highest point of the piping. De-
Time s
spite the addition of a surge con-
H inlet [m]:KN=2/Pipe No. 1 Pump failure in a system equipped with an aerator
and a bypass as surge control devices
trol device, the HD-PE pipe was
still found mathematically to
contain unacceptably high pres-
sure increases a few seconds af-
ter pump failure. In order to eli-
minate these highly undesirable
pressure peaks, it was eventually
Time s decided to add a shut-off valve
Q inlet [l/s]:KN=2/Pipe No. 1 Pump failure in a system equipped with an aerator with a bypass between the inlet
and a bypass as surge control devices
of L1 and the pump suction
tank which would be automati-
cally opened by a maintenance-
free electro-hydraulic lever and
weight type actuator if all three
pumps were to fail at once. To
Time s valve manufacturers today, sys-
tems like this are more or less
Fig. 9.2-f: Operating characteristics of the stormwater line with part of their standard product
surge control plotted over time range. After adding surge con-
trol devices, i.e. an aerator and a
bypass fitted with an automati-
cally opening shut-off valve, the
simulation finally showed that
the dynamic pressure peaks re-
Longitudinal forcesLängskraft
acting on L8auf
if the system
L8 mit is protected
Belüfter by an aerator/bypass combination
und Bypass
mained below the steady-state
40 initial pressure, and that the
longitudinal forces acting on the
pipe bridge sections laid above
0 ground had diminished to no
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

more than 5% of the initial

value. The calculation further


revealed that the existing check
-60 valves could be dispensed with.
Fig. 9.2-f shows – on the same
scale as in Figs. 9.2-d and 9.2-e
-100 to facilitate comparison – the n,
H and Q curves of the surge-
protected system plotted over
Fig. 9.2-g: Longitudinal force acting on L8 if the stormwater line is time; Fig. 9.2-g shows the forces
suitably protected

Case Studies 9
of the surge-protected system
plotted over time. The global
pressure envelope of the rehabi-
litated installation, as well as the
curves of the system without
surge control, are shown in Fig.

Pressure envelope with mit

Druckeinhüllenden andund
without surge control equipment
ohne Druckstoß-Sicherungen (DS) (SC)



mean sea level

h ohne DS
maxwithout SC

Elevation in mKote



hhmax with SC
max mit DS

hhmax ohne DS
minwithout SC

hh mitSC
with DS Rohrkote
Elevation of pipeline

0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Pipeline Rohrlänge
section in m covered by the m

Fig. 9.2-h: Pressure envelope of the stormwater conveyance pipeline with and without surge control

10 Additional Literature

Additional literature Authors

1. Dynamische Druckänder- Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke,
ungen in Wasserversor- born in 1943, Diplom-Physiker,
gungsanlagen (Dynamic developed process engineering
pressure changes in water and fluid dynamics software
supply systems), Techn. whilst employed with BASF AG,
Mitteilung, Merkblatt Ludwigshafen; professor at Hoch-
W303, DVGW, Sept. 1994 schule für Technik und Wirtschaft
2. Horlacher, H.B., Lüdecke, (HTW) des Saarlandes (University
H.J.: Strömungsberechnung for Technology and Economics of
für Rohrsysteme (Flow mod- Saarland) since 1976; numerous
elling for piping systems), publications on the subject of flu-
expert Verlag, 1992 id flows in pipelines; co-author of
the book “Strömungsberechnung
3. Zielke, W.: Elektronische
für Rohrsysteme” (Flow model-
Berechnung von Rohr- und
ling for piping systems) (expert
Gerinneströmungen (Compu-
Verlag); as a member of the Water
ter analysis of flows in pipes
Hammer Committee of DVGW
and channels), Erich Schmidt
(German Association of the Gas
Verlag, 1974
and Water Sector), involved in the
4. Wylie, E.B., Streeter, V.L.:
revision of Surge Guideline W
Fluid Transients, FEB Press,
303; currently supports and
Ann Arbor, MI, 1983
advises KSB in the field of surge
5. Chaudry, H.M.: Applied analysis.
Hydraulic Transients, Van
Dipl.-Ing. Bernd Kothe, born in
Nostrand Reinhold Com-
1955; graduate from “Otto von
pany, New York, 1987
Guericke” Technical University at
6. Sharp, B.B.: Water Hammer,
Magdeburg; joined Pumpenwerke
Edward Arnold, 1981
Halle as a development engineer
7. Parmarkian, J.: Water- for power station pumps. From
hammer Analysis, Dover 1993 to 1998, whilst employed in
Publications, 1963 the engineering division of KSB
8. Publication of all papers AG, in charge of surge analyses
presented at the Internatio- and complex flow modelling for
nal Conference on “Pressure waste water systems. Since 2002,
Surges” held by bhra fluid Manager Sales Support of the
engineering, Great Britain, Waste Water Competence Center
in the years 1976, 1980, at Halle.
1986, 1992, 1996, 2000
9. Engelhard, G.: Zusammen-
wirken von Pumpen, Armatu-
ren und Rohrleitungen (Inter-
action between pumps, valves
and pipelines), KSB 1983
Edited by:
10. Raabe, J.: Hydraulische
KSB Aktiengesellschaft,
Maschinen und Anlagen
(Hydraulic machines and
systems), VDI Verlag, 1989 Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Christoph P. Pauly

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