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M. Azhdary Moghaddam

Civil Engineering Department, University of Sist an and Baluchestan

Zahedan, Iran, mazhdary@hamoon.usb.ac.ir

(Received: Decembcr 9,2003 - Acccpted in Revised Form: October 14, 2004)

Abstract In a hydroelectric power plant or in a pumping station in order to avoid sudden large
increase of pressure due to instantaneous valve closure sometimes a surge tank is installed. The height
of surge tank is designed by the highest possible water level during the operation. The theoretical
treatment of oscillation in a surge tank is difficult because of the non-linearity of friction tern1 in the
governing differential equation of the system. The present study attempts to find a general solution for
the surge oscillation in a simple surge tank in terms of non-dimensional parameters. Equations for the
highest and the lowest water level in the tank, which are very important in the design of a surge tank
have been found.

Key Words Surge Tank, Pressure, Surge Oscillation, Non-Linear Differential Equation

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1. INTRODUCTION main functions of a surge tank are [5]:

1. It reduces the amplitude of pressure fluctuations
When the valve in a hydroelectric power plant is by reflecting the incoming pressure waves;
suddenly completely closed, because of its small 2. It improves the regulation characteJistic of a
inertia the water in the penstock stops almost at hydraulic turbine.
once [1,3]. The water in the pipeline, with large Depending upon its configuration, a surge tank may be
inertia retards slowly. The difference in flows classified as simple, orifice, differential, or closed. A
between pipeline and penstock causes a rise in the simple surge tank is defined as a tank or shaft of
water level in the surge tank. The water level rises constant horizontal cross sectional area that connects
above the static level of the reservoir water, the conduit of a hydroelectric power plant for
producing a counter-pressure so that water in the preventing the pressure surges entering into it (Figure
pipeline flows towards the reservoir and the level J). The maximum amplitude of water level (maximum
of water in the surge tank drops [4]. surge) can be observed when a fuIJ load is suddenly
In the absence of damping, osciJIation would rejected [6].
continue indefinitely with the same amplitude. The
extent of damping is governed by roughness condition,
restricted orifice, and so on. The flow into the surge 2. MAIN CONSIDERATIONS IN THE DESIGN
tank and water level in the tank at any time during the OF A SURGE TANK
osciHation depends on the dimension of the pipeline
and tank and on the type of valve movement. The in order to accomplish its mission most effectively,

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----- ~ H..

--- - --~ 1 ~



Figure 1. Simple surge tank system.

the surge tank dimensions and location are based between the surge tank and the pipeline, also the
on the following considerations [6], [7]: reservoir is considered so large that its level
I. The surge tank should be located as close to the remains constant [8].
power or pumping plant as possible;
2. The surge tank should be of sufficient height to 3.1. Derivation of Governing Equation To
prevent overflow for all conditions of operation; simplify the derivation of dynamic and continuity
3. The bottom of surge tank should be low enough equations that describe the oscillations of the water
that during its operation the tank is drained out and level in the tank, it has been assumed that
admit air into the turbine penstock or pumping (i) the conduit walls are rigid;
discharge line; and (ii) the water is incompressible; and
4. The surge tank must have sufficient cross (iii) the effect of entrance loss in comparison
sectional area to ensure stability. with the friction loss has been neglected.
The height of a surge tank is governed by the The equation of motion is written as [9], [12] :
highest possible water level that can be anticipated
during its operation. All available methods are av av ay
based on a linearized resistance relationship, since
at Ox Ox
(So- Sf ) (l.a)
the resistance law flow varies as Reynolds number
and relation roughness [2]. These equations describe
approximate values of peaks and downsurges. av + V av + g ay = -g az+ ahf (l.b)
at Ox Ox ( ax ax )
Integration (l.b) with respect to x between the limits
3. ANALYSIS OF SURGES IN SIMPLE x=O,x=L (see Figure I) and simplifying, one gets
L - + gh f + gy = 0 (2)
In a simple surge tank, there is very little head loss dt

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From continuity condition between tank and pipe, Combining 3 and 8 one gets
it can be shown that
fLV2 fLD2 d
V= DT 2 dy hf = 2gD~ = 2gD1 ( d~)
( Dp ) dt
With the change of flow direction, the direction of
That with use of 3 in 2 the following equation can
be found:
friction also changes. Hence (~~) 2 occurring in
D d2 . dy dy
L --.l -.r + gh + gy = 0 (4) 9.a should be splIt to- - . Thus 9.a changes to
dt dt
( Dp ) de f l l

With initial condition at t=O h = fLDi dy dy (10)

f 2gD: dt dt I l

y = -hfo (5.a)
In which 8[11]
dy = Dp
2Vo (5.b) 0.12
dt ( DT J
Equation 4 is the governing differential equation 64
8 9.5 -
for surge oscillation in a simple surge tank. ( -Re ) +
f-I- ~-'vv

3.2. Adopted Methods for the Solution Depending

on the nature of friction loss, the following
l~+ ~~; j-l~ j j J
Dp e (11)
particular cases arise:
Substituting 10 in 4 one gets
3.2.1. Frictionless Flow In this case hf = -hro= O.
Thus Equation 4 changes to
d2y + fDi dy dy + gD~ - 0 (12)
d2y+gD~ =0 dt2 2D~ dt dt DiL y- I l

dt2 D2LY
The initial conditions prescribed on 12 are at t=O
Solving 6 for the initial condition 5.a, 5.b one gets

. y=-h fO -- foLV2
2.. (13.a)
DT 2gD2p
Y= V0 -
Dp If-
SIllt (7)

Equation 7 describes sinusoidal oscillations[ 10]. dy = ~ 2 Vo (13.b)

dt ( DT J
3.2.2. Laminar and Turbulent Flow In this
case head loss is expressed by Darcy-Weisbach In order to reduce the number of parameters, the
equation following dimensionless groups are formed:

hf = fLV2 (8) y.=y~ rg (14.a)

2gD2p DpVo~L

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TABLE 1. Coefficients of Equation 20.

S.No S C kl kz k3 Max.Error %
I Ypl* 1 (20.a) (20.b) (20.c) 4

2 tpl* 7r/2 (20.d) (20.e) 0.587 3

3 YtI* -1 (20.t) (20.g) (20.h) 5

4 ttl*
37r/2 1.9 1.49 0.653 4.2

5 YtOl* -1 (20.1) 0.914 -0.946 4.4

6 !pz* 57r/ 2 3.0 1.362 0.7 4.6

and the initial conditions for sudden valve

t, = t Dp rg (l4.b) opening are
dy, =-1 (l9.b)
The conduit velocity may be expressed as dt,

v = V0- dy, (15) Being non-linear it wil1 be very difficult to find a

dt, closed form solution of 18. A numerical solution,
using a fourth order Runga Kutta method, can be
Substituting 15 in 11 one gets attempted. From this numerical solution one can
see that the various properties of the solution like

Re = R 0-dy* (16) Ypl', tpl" Ytl', and ttl' are functions ofRo, ~, and
dt, Dp

Ro = VoDp (17) With varying 0::; ~

::;0.02 the following
v Dp
empirical formula for finding the mentioned values
in which Ro is the initial Reynolds number has been suggested:
defined as using non-dimensional variables 12 k3
reduces to: , kZ

S = C [ 1+ [ 01~~,J ]
dZy, +~h ,dy' , + ,=0 (18)
dt; fo fO dt* dt, l y In which the values of S, C, kt, kz, k3 can be found
from the Table I.
The initial conditions for sudden valve closure at '

] .85! 1+0.35 -~-_O

" [ Dp)

dy, = 1 (l9.a) (20.a)

dt, k)= (i~32:'"R~oiT--

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1'1 2 3 4
«>. -0.2 -~~~~==--=-
-0.8 - - - - Eq. 20.
1 I


Figure 2. Surge Oscillation in Simple Surge Tank.

kz = 1.896R:.OIl (20.b)
k, = 1.66 + 1.227( ;pJ
k3 = 0.946R:.oI (20.c)

k, =0.786+ k3 = 0.57(1+ 1.6R:.04' )

O.037 20.i)

Dp y:o;
(1+(& (lOs +Ro) (20.d)
1+ 0.054( ;pJ
Figure 2 shows a typical plot of surge oscillation
kz = 1.73+ . 7:~ for sudden valve closure obtained by solution
Equation 18 using fourth order Runga Kutta
method. Analysis of a large number of surge
(1+19.6{;,)' )(3162+R:') oscillation curves suggest the following empirical
(20.e) equation for h fO'< 1.5 :

- 1.36( 1+0.05(
1.5 + R °
J )
y. = h:o. (exp(-at.)+exp(-r3t.))sin(ro.t. -~)

in which
0.OZ4 )
k Z -- 0.462(1.92 + RO~83 (20.g)
1+ 0.6 ~ (2 1.b)
( Dp J ro. = tpz' - tpl'

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~= 1t 5t p 1* - tp2*
(2 1.c)
2 tp2* - tpl* Dp Diameter of Conduit
Dpo Minmum Conduit Diameter
Putting t* = tpl* in Equation 21.a and equating it DT Diameter of Simple Surge Tank
DTs Stable Diameter of Tank
to Ypl* one gets:
f Friction Factor
fo Friction Factor for Initial Velocity
exp(- atpl*)+ exp(- r3tpl*)= 2y pl*sin ~ (22) g Gravitational Acceleration
hfo* hi Free Board in Tank
h2 Cushion Level in Tank
Also by putting t* = tll* in Equation 21.a and hf Head Loss
equating it to y IJ*one gets: hjV Initial Head Loss
hj{}* Non-Dimensional Initial Head Loss
Ho Desired Head
exp(-attl*)+exp(-~ttl*)= 2YII*sin~ (23) HT Height of Tank
hfo* Cost Parameter for Conduit
KT Cost of Tank per Unit Area
The quantities of a and [3 can be obtained by L Length of Conduit
solving Equations 22 and 23, simultaneously [1]. m Cost Parameter for Conduit
Figure 2 shows the result obtained by solving Desired Power
Equation 21.a and compares it with the result
obtained by numerical solution of differential Qo Initial Discharge
R Reynolds Number
Equation 18 by Runga Kutta method. The Y*
Ro Initial Reynolds Number
versus t * curve can be converted to a y versus t
t time
curve via using Equations 14.a and 14.b.
1- Non-Dimensional Time Parameter
tpl The Occurrence Time of First Peak
t pl* Non-Dimensional Time of Occurrence
4. CONCLUSION First Peak
t p2* Non-Dimensional Time of Occurrence
In the present study a general solution for surge Second Peak
oscillation in a simple surge tank and an optimal tll The Occurrence Time of First Downsurge
design of system has been discussed. The main
conclusions are as follows:
t tI * Non-Dimensional Time of First Downsurge
v Velocity
1. Equations for maximum surge height and VO Initial Velocity
corresponding time of occurrence have been Y Height of Surge
2. y* Non-Dimensional Height of Surge
Equations for minimum downsurge and the
corresponding time of occurrence have been ypl Height of First Peak
developed. Y pl* Non-Dimensional Height of First Peak
3. An equation for the occurrence of a second Ytl Height of First Downsurge
peak of the surge oscillation has been Y 11* Non-Dimensional Height of First Downsurge
obtained. Bottom Level of Tank
4. An equation for surge oscillation has been
Zo Level of Reservoir

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E Roughness of Conduit 3. Jakobsen, B. F., "Surge Tanks", Trans. ASCE, (85), (1956),
110 Steady State Efficiency 4. Jeager, c., "Engineering Fluid Mechanics", Blakie and Son
Ltd., London, U.K., (1956).
Viscosity of Water 5. Marris, A. W., "Large Water Displacement in Simple Surge
v Kinematic Viscosity of Water Tank", J. Basic Engrg. ASME, (81), (1959), 446-454.
6. Parmakian, J., "Water Hammer Analysis", Prentice-Hall Inc.,
p Mass Density of Water New York, U.S.A., (1955).
7. Pickford, J., "Analysis of Surges", Macmillan and Co. Ltd.,
bath, U.K., (1969).
8. Rich, G. R., "Hydraulic Transient", Mc Graw-Hill Book Co.
Inc., New York, USA, (1951).
6. REFERERENCE 9. Rouse, H., "Engineering Hydraulics", John Wiley & Sons
Inc., New York, USA, (1950).
1. Azhdary Moghaddam, M., "Simple Surge Tank Analysis and 10. Sutton, B. A., "Series Solution of Some Surge Tank
Design", M. E. Thesis presented at Univ. of R06rkee, Problems", Proc. Instn. Civil Engrs., (16), (1960), 225-234.
Roorkee U.P. India, in Partial Fulfilment of Required for the 11. Swamee, P. K., Jain, A. K., "Explicit Equation for Pipeflow
Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering, (1992). Problems", J. Hyd. Div. ASCE, 102(5), (1976), 657-664.
2. Chaudhary, M. H., "Applied Hydraulic Transients", Van 12. Wylie, E. B., Streeter, L., "Fluid Transients", Mc Graw Hill
Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, USA, (1987). Inc., New York, USA., (1978).

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