Surge Analysis Forum

The 15th International Pressure Surge Conference

It is a privilege to stand as chairman for the 15th International Pressure Surge Conference and with your support we are committed to delivering another exceptional conference in the series. As previously, it will be a unique opportunity for crucial disciplines to meet and develop understanding and methodologies in addressing the complex field of fluid transients. Leading academics will meet with engineers, designers and manufacturers and surge analysis experts to

Removing a service reservoir can halve a distributions system’s peak capacity

There is an increasing trend from private water companies to reduce operational costs and to ensure adequate water turnover. This trend involves the removal of service reservoirs making networks pump only supplies. This is often implemented without a good understanding of the hydraulic implications of the intervention.  The instant response of a network is a function of the pressure of the network and pipe capacity of the network and the

14th International Pressure Surge Conference

The conference in TU Eindhoven was a resounding success with excellent support from sponsors and outstanding contributions from both academia and industry. It provided essential collaborative environment for anyone involved in surge analysis and pressurised pipe system.

Can variable speed drives (VSDs) replace surge vessels on pumping systems?

There is a temptation to avoid the use of air vessels on pumping systems and a plethora of options that are proposed to avoid their use, from surge anticipation valves, through triple acting air valves to variable speed drives.  Maintaining poorly designed surge vessels can make life difficult for those responsible for ensuring they are compliant and working correctly. In view of financial pressures in the water industry,  poor decisions

Imbalanced Air Vessels

The nature of copy and paste engineering is that fundamental design errors are reproduced many times. One fundamental error in banks of surge vessels is to forget to ensure multiple vessels are connected by inertially equivalent connections. This leads to an instability that undermines the vessel performance and can nullify the protection provided. This paper was published at the 11th International BHR Pressure Surge conference in Lisbon 2012 but sadly

Check Valve Slam

Check valve slam is a major contributor to pressure surges in pipeline systems and one which is poorly understood. The major damage caused by check valves is related to delayed closure of the check valve and not rapid closure as many would presume. Delayed closure will allow a reverse velocity to develop before the valve closes. When the valve closes on a moving column of fluid, it sets up a

Surge Anticipation Valve – Friend or Foe

The surge anticipation valve is a pilot operated globe valve. When there is a sudden drop in pressure (associated with a pump failure), the valve automatically opens rapidly, and then closes gradually.  The time for opening and closure is configurable by the designers. The philosophy of the valve’s operation is to ensure there is discharge to atmosphere when recoil pressures are at a maximum. In reality it has very limited


A particularly dramatic pressure surge effect is vapour cavity formation and collapse which occurs when pressures surges allow the fluid to reach vapour pressure. This causes “cold boiling” which creates vapour cavities through the fluid. When pressures recover, the collapse of these cavities is extremely rapid, and can cause very high localised pressures that can burst pipes, accelerate fatigue and damage linings.  While many 1D software packages attempt to model

Air Valves and Vacuum Breakers; a modelling nightmare

Pressure surge analysis undertaken by many organisations do not address well the limitations and complications associated with air valves. It is important that any analysis addresses these complications if air valves are involved in a pressure surge event. We published this paper addressing many of these issues at the 13 International Pressure Surge Conference (BHRGroup) in Dublin 2015. The findings are still significant and modellers ought to be aware of

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