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Emptying of Large-Scale Pipeline by Pressurized Air

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sandy Anderson


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Emptying of an initially water-filled horizontal PVC pipeline driven by different upstream compressed air pressures and with different outflow restriction conditions, with motion of an air-water front through the pressurized pipeline, is investigated experimentally. Simple numerical modeling is used to interpret the results, especially the observed additional shortening of the moving full water column due to formation of a stratified water-air "tail." Measured discharges, water-level changes, and pressure variations along the pipeline during emptying are compared using control volume (CV) model results. The CV model solutions for a nonstratified case are shown to be delayed as compared with the actual measured changes of flow rate, pressure, and water level. But by considering water-column mass loss due to the water-air tail and residual motion, the calibrated CV model yields solutions that are qualitatively in good agreement with the experimental results. A key interpretation is that the long air-cavity celerity is close to its critical value at the instant of minimum flow acceleration. The influences of driving pressure, inertia, and friction predominate, with the observed water hammer caused by the initiating downstream valve opening insignificantly influencing the water-air front propagation. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000631. (C) 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Laanearu J, Annus I, Koppel T, Bergant A, Vuckovic S, Hou QZ, Tijsseling AS, Anderson A, van't Westende JMC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering

Year: 2012

Volume: 138

Issue: 12

Pages: 1090-1100

Print publication date: 01/12/2012

ISSN (print): 0733-9429

ISSN (electronic): 1943-7900

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers


DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000631


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