Pressure Surge Analysis Software - Flowmaster V7

Pressure surge and cavitation can cause significant damage to pipelines, often resulting in significant downtime in process plants and distribution systems. The use of Flowmaster V7 can help you calculate pressure drop and predict the areas of your piping systems where this is likely to happen.

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Often time dependent changes to the operation of the systems such as a slower valve closure time can help to eliminate this concern; however some systems require the addition of surge suppression equipment. Flowmaster V7 includes several types of surge suppression methods, including relief valves and accumulators that can be added to the model and analysed before being added to the physical system.


Modelling Pressure Surge in Flowmaster V7

This video uses a simple process plant system to highlight how Flowmaster V7 can be used to analyse whether events such as pump start-up and shutdown might cause pressure surge or cavitation


Why is pressure surge a problem?
Unless surge protection measures are taken, the life expectancy of the installation may be reduced or sudden failure may result. Sub-atmospheric pressures can cause pipe wall collapse or allow air or water ingress. If the pressure drops below the fluid vapour pressure, then vapour cavities will form and subsequently collapse, causing additional pressure surges.

How can a system be analysed?
Although an experienced engineer will quickly assess vulnerabilities to pressure surge in simple systems, complex systems require the use of network analysis software such as Flowmaster V7 with a transient analysis capability. A transient analysis will predict the time history of pressures (and flows) throughout a system. From the results, an experienced engineer can determine whether surge protection is required.

Carrying out surge analysis early in the design process
Flowmaster V7 allows engineers to carry out surge analysis at the concept design stage of a vulnerable system (typically a pumping station or hydropower plant). Checks can be carried out to ensure the geometry of a system will provide desired system performance. A variety of options for surge protection can be modelled, depending on the fluid as well as the system layout.


pressure-surgeAn example how a sudden surge in pressure smashed a huge hole in a power plant in russia

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