Hydraulic Model Calibration and Performance Assessment of Pressure Managed Areas with Multiple Inlets
Pressure management is a widely adopted technique in the toolset of drinking water distribution system operators. It has multiple benefits, like reducing physical losses in pipe networks with excessive leakage, prolong the expected lifetime of the pipes and protecting home appliances from unacceptably high pressure. In some cases, even legislation compliance can be the motivation behind pressure management: It is mandatory to supply water at the customer’s connection between 1.5 and 6.0 bar in Hungary since 2011. Diaphragm pressure reducing valves are widespread in the drinking water distribution networks. Although, their sensitivity for gas pocket accumulation in the valve house makes hydraulic calibration of these pressure managed areas a challenging task for hydraulic modelers and network operators. This is especially true when more than one inlet is used to supply the same area in order to increase resilience and flow capacity.
This paper investigates the hydraulic properties of pressure reduced areas with multiple inlet points. Model calibration using a single valve and minor loss was found insufficient because the additional pressure loss referenced to the pressure setting has a non-quadratic relationship with flow-rate on the discharge side under real-life circumstances. This phenomenon can be handled by using a PRV (pressure reducing valve) + GPV (general purpose valve) in series.