This tech-note discusses how to configure the Surge Tank element for transient analysis in HAMMER.
A Surge Tank (also known as a “Stand Pipe”) is a surge mitigation device which can be modeled in HAMMER as a “Surge Tank” element. The surge tank supplies stored fluid (water) when pressures drop in the pipeline and takes fluid, when pressures increase (in case of two-way type).
The Surge Tank is a non-pressurized type of tank i.e. the free water surface of the tank is open to atmosphere. The normal water level is typically equal to the hydraulic grade line at steady state. A surge tank can also overflow and the user can specify the weir coefficient for overflow. If the water surface elevation is equal to the system hydraulic grade, the surge tank may need to be constructed very tall, with supports such as guy wires.
Note: if you are interested in a pressurized tank, see: Modeling Reference - Hydropneumatic Tanks
Surge Tanks can be of two types; simple or differential
A simple surge tank can operate in three modes under a transient analysis; normal when the tank water level is between the top and the connecting pipe(s) at the bottom; weir overflow when the tank water level is at the top in overflow condition; and drainage when the tank water level is at the elevation of the connecting branch(es). A simple surge tank can be a one-way or a two-way surge tank.
A one-way surge tank is a relatively small conventional surge tank, with a check valve in the connecting pipe, or riser, that only allows flow out of the tank. The tank water level is maintained by an altitude valve bypassing the check valve. The tank is located at the high point to supply water and prevent water-column separation. However, one-way tanks provide no upsurge protection to the system because no flow is allowed back into the tank. This is modeled in HAMMER by selecting "True" for the “Has Check Valve?” field.
A two-way surge tank allows stored water to flow out in the event of low pressure developing in the pipeline but also allows water to flow into it in times of high transient pressures. two-way surge tank controls transients by converting stored potential energy in the elevated water body inside the tank into kinetic energy, which supplements flow in the piping system at critical times (or vice versa, for pipe flow into the tank) during periods of rapid flow variation. The tank is normally located at the pumping station or at a high point in the system. This is modeled in HAMMER by selecting "False" for the “Has Check Valve?” field.
A Differential surge tank is a specialized surge tank within a larger tank which provides a fast response. This type of a surge tank contains a differential orifice installed at the inlet riser which serves two functions, it doesn’t allow the surge tank to fill up quickly during a high pressure event by causing a large enough headloss to dissipate the transient energy but at the same time, flow can leave the surge tank quickly (with little headloss) in case of a low pressure event.
There are different modes of operation for a differential surge tank. For "normal" operation, the tank water level is between the orifice and the top of the riser. Other modes are distinguished by the riser level relative to the orifice elevation and the tank level versus the top of the riser. During a powerful upsurge, the upper riser will overflow into the tank to complement the orifice flow.
The following is a description of the properties of the surge tank element.
Note: you may consider adjusting the minor loss coefficient to represent multiple losses through the tank assembly. For example you may have minor losses from bends, fittings, the tank inlet itself and the differential orifice assembly. In this case, you can set the "minor loss coefficient" value to represent all those losses, but remember that the velocity used to calculate them is based on the area of the "diameter (orifice)". Also, you'll need to set up the ratio of losses such that the losses through the entire tank assembly appropriately accounts for the additional loss through the bypass of the differential orifice
A surge tank is often installed near devices such as pumps and turbines, to keep the water column moving upon pump shutdown.
If the surge tank location is uncertain, you can compute the transient simulation without any protection and check your results (such as the min/max pressure envelope in the Transient Results Viewer.) By viewing these results, you can see critical areas of the pipeline and potentially find a good location for the surge tank(s). You can then add your surge tank(s), re-compute the transient simulation, re-check the results and make adjustments as necessary.
The pipe connecting from the main pipeline to the surge tank can be modeled in HAMMER either implicitly or explicitly. Basically, when laying out the surge tank, it can be modeled at a 'Tee' by laying out the connecting pipe, or can be modeled directly on the main line. When modeling on the main line (the typical approach), the influence of the short piping between the main and the tank can be represented by means of the tank inlet diameter and minor loss coefficient fields. (see more on those further below)
Although explicitly entering the short connecting pipes to the vessel is not incorrect in principle, it may lead to excessive adjustments in pipe length or wave speed which in turn may have an impact on the results. This adjustment commonly occurs with short pipes, due to the fact that HAMMER must have a wave able to travel from one end of the pipe to the other end in even multiples of the time step. So, since you can model the connecting pipe head losses via the minor loss coefficient field, it is often best to model the tank inline. However, you must also consider the effects of water momentum. For example if you're modeling large flows and large diameter pipes, the effects of accelerating that relatively large volume of water (in the connecting pipe) upon emergency pump shut down may be significant.
(not to be confused with the differential surge tank type described further above)
The piping connection between the surge tank and the system should be sized to provide adequate hydraulic capacity when the tank is discharging, as well as to cause a head loss sufficient to dissipate transient energy and prevent the tank from filling too quickly. Both of these requirements are met through the use of a piping bypass.
In HAMMER, the headlosses associated with this can be modeled by using the "Minor Loss Coefficient", "Ratio Of Losses" and "Diameter (Tank Inlet Orifice)" attributes of the surge tank. This is referred to as the differential orifice, because the ratio of losses allows you to have the inflow headlosses different from the outflow headlosses. In the above illustration, you can see that the check valve causes inflows to undergo larger headlosses as water passes through the bypass. So, the ratio of losses attribute is usually larger than 1.0 and applies to inflows.
The surge tank operation depends on how the surge tank is setup in the model. If it is a simple one-way type surge tank, the hydraulic grade observed would initially be above the tank water level as a one-way surge tank's check valve would close to only allow fluid / water to flow out during a low-pressure event to avoid water column separation. If the hydraulic grade during the transient simulation falls below the initial water surface elevation, the check valve opens and water exits the surge tank and enters the pipeline (to keep the water column moving during a "downsurge" transient).
In the case of a two-way surge tank, the hydraulic grade in the pipeline would be more or less the same as the tank hydraulic grade as water is allowed to flow out as well as flow in. When initial conditions are run, the surge tank would behave as a normal tank with level fluctuations as one would observe in an Extended Period Simulation. If your system hydraulic grade is very high at the surge tank location, a two-way tank may not be feasible since it would have to be taller than the hydraulic grade.
A note on "Treat as junction?"
If your surge tank "floats" on the system (hydraulic grade = system HGL, with zero inflow and outflow during normal operations), set the "Treat as Junction?" property to "true". This tells the initial conditions solver to treat the tank as a junction, and therefore calculate the HGL as if there is no tank present. The resulting HGL is then used as the starting water surface elevation of the tank, instead of the "Elevation (initial)". This provides an easier way to model a tank whose HGL floats on the system; otherwise you would need to adjust the "Elevation (initial)" until the tank had zero inflow and outflow, and may need to do so repeatedly for different scenarios and other changes to the model. With this option set to True, ensure that the resulting HGL does not fall below the "Elevation (minimum)" or above the "Elevation (maximum)".
Note: Sometimes the surge tank may fill up or empty too quickly to observe the mitigation of the transients produced. In such times, it is better to set up a higher “report time” and a smaller time-step to observe the tank filling and emptying. Refer this link for more details.
As of version 10.01.01.04, surge tank-specific output results are found in the Transient Analysis Detailed Report.
To prepare for viewing this information, first check your transient calculation options. "Show standard output log" and "Enable Text Reports" should be set to "true". Next, enter a number for the "report period" field of your surge tank. This represents how often extended text results will be reported. For example, if your time step is 0.01 seconds and you enter '10' for the report period, it means you'll see extended text results every 10 time steps or every 0.1 seconds.
To see a table of extended surge tank results, open the Transient Analysis Detailed Report, under Report > Transient Analysis Reports. Scroll down near the bottom, to the section starting with " ** Surge tank at node" and you will find a table of Level, Head, Inflow and Spill rate.
Note: if high and low alarms are setup to trigger when violated the same would be reported when the initial conditions are run. However, these would not be reported when Transient Analysis is performed. Refer this article for more details.
"Invalid tank Operating Range"
If you encounter a red user notification indicating that the tank operating range is invalid, check to make sure that the "initial" is between the "minimum" and the "maximum" field in the "Operating Range" section of the properties. If the "operating range type" is set to "level", note that the minimum, initial and maximum values represent distances above the "base" elevation.
Hydraulic grade above top of one way surge tank
How can I see the amount of inflow or outflow occuring for a particular surge tank during the transient simulation in HAMMER?
What happens when a tank becomes empty or full?
How can I model a Vent Pipe or Stand Pipe in HAMMER?
Using the Ratio of Losses field for hydropneumatic tanks and surge tanks
Determining the Headloss Coefficient for a hydropneumatic tank or surge tank