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Simulation of flow transients in liquid pipeline systems

Koç, Gencer
Transient flow is a situation where the pressure and flow rate in the pipeline rapidly changes with time. Flow transients are also known as surge and Waterhammer which originates from the hammering sound of the water in the taps or valves. In liquid pipelines, preliminary design parameters are chosen for steady state operations, but a transient check is always necessary. There are various types of transient flow situations such as valve closures, pump trips and flow oscillations. During a transient flow, pressure inside the pipe may increase or decrease in an unexpected way that cannot be foreseen by a steady state analysis. Flow transients should be considered by a complete procedure that simulates possible transient flow scenarios and by the obtained results, precautions should be taken. There are different computational methods that can be used to solve and simulate flow transients in computer environment. All computational methods utilize basic v flow equations which are continuity and momentum equations. These equations are nonlinear differential equations and some mathematical tools are necessary to make these equations linear. In this thesis a computer program is coded that utilizes “Method of Characteristics” which is a numerical method in solving partial differential equations. In pipeline hydraulics, two partial differential equations, continuity and momentum equations are solved together, in order to obtain the pressure and flow rate values in the pipeline, during transient flow. In this thesis, MATLAB 7.1 is used as the programming language and obtained code is converted to a C# language to be able to integrate the core of the program with a user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI). The Computer program is verified for different scenarios with the available real pipeline data and results of various reputable agencies. The output of the computer program is the tabulated pressure and flow rate values according to time indexes and graphical representations of these values. There are also prompts for users warning about possible dangerous operation modes of the pipeline components.