Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Hydraulic Transients in the Presence of Air Valve
This paper focuses on the hydrodynamic behavior of liquid pipelines in the presence of air valves. The aim of installing such valves on pipeline systems is twofold: on one hand, they release the accumulated air content and on the other hand, they allow the outer air to entrain the system when the internal pressure falls beneath ambient pressure (i.e. vacuum formation). We study the hydraulic transients in the presence of such air valve by means of experimental and numerical methods. The experiments were performed using a special test section where the pipeline close to the air valve was built from plexiglas allowing visual access. Furthermore, pressure signals were recorded at several locations of the pipeline. Numerical analysis was also performed using the commercially available CFD software (ANSYS CFX). It was revealed that the entrained air separates well from the primary liquid and the mixture behaves as two distinct phases.