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ME3233

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

ME3233 UNSTEADY FLOW IN FLUID SYSTEMS


(Semester II : AY2009/2010)
Time Allowed : 2 Hours

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES:

1.

This examination paper contains FOUR (4) questions and comprises FIVE (5)
printed pages.

2.

Answer ALL FOUR (4) questions.

3.

All questions carry equal marks.

4.

Programmable calculators are NOT allowed for this examination.

5.

This is a CLOSED-BOOK EXAMINATION.

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ME3233

GENERAL INFORMATION

For transient analysis of flow in water pipeline, the governing equations are
C + characteristic equations:
VV
g dH dV g
+
+ V sin + f
=0
a dt
dt a
2D

[Eqn.1a]

dx
=V +a
dt

[Eqn.1b]

C characteristic equations:

VV
g dH dV g
+
V sin + f
=0
a dt
dt a
2D

dx
=V a*
dt

[Eqn.2a]

[Eqn.2b]

where H is the pressure head; V, the velocity; t, the time; g, the gravitational acceleration; a,
the wave speed; f , the friction loss factor; D, the diameter of the pipe; , the angle of
inclination of the pipeline and x, the distance.

The wave speed used in the above transient flow systems analysis of pressure surges in water
pipeline is given by

1 cD
a = +

K eE

1 2

[Eqn.3]

where K is the Bulk modulus of elasticity of the fluid; , the density of the fluid; E, the
modulus of elasticity of the pipe; D, the pipe internal diameter; e, the pipe wall thickness; c,
constant due to pipe-constraint condition.

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ME3233

Centrifugal pumps operating in the above fluid systems have the following characteristics:

Q
Q
= A1 + A2 + A3

N
N

Q
Q
T
2 = B1 + B2 + B3
N
N
N

H
2
N

Q
Q
= C1 + C 2 + C 3
N
N

[Eqn.4]

[Eqn.5]

[Eqn.6]

where H is the pump pressure head generated; T, the pump motor torque; , the pump
efficiency; Q, the pump flow rate; N, the pump rotational speed;
A1 , A2 , A3 , B1 , B2 , B3 , C1 , C 2 , C 3 are constants.

All other symbols used have their usual meanings.

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ME3233

QUESTION 1
(a)

What are the various possible causes of pressure transients in a fluid system?
(5 marks)

(b)

For a typical transient fluid flow in a water pipeline system, explain what is meant by
column separation in the pipe flow.
(5 marks)

(c)

Illustrate with diagrams the various type of pressure surge protection devices and their
typical installation locations along an undulating pipeline profile.
Describe and explain the functions of the various pressure surge protection devices
typically used in unsteady fluid flow systems with undulating pipeline profile.
(15 marks)

QUESTION 2
(a)

A valve initially fully opened at the end of a pipeline with a steady flow, is gradually
closed according to a valve closure function (t ) . Using the characteristic equations
given, obtain the finite difference governing equations necessary for the transient
analysis of the flow velocity and pressure head at the immediate upstream of the
valve. State the assumptions made.
(10 marks)

(b)

A four pipes branch connection of different pipe diameters is installed along a water
pipeline line system. Using the C + and C characteristic equations, obtain the finite
difference governing equations necessary for the transient analysis of the flow velocity
and pressure head at the junction of the four pipes. State the assumptions made.
(15 marks)

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ME3233

QUESTION 3
(a)

An upstream centrifugal pump is operating at steady state in a fluid system. When


power supply to the centrifugal pump in the fluid system is interrupted, only the
kinetic energies of the rotating impeller and motor of the pump are available to
continue the pumping. List the necessary governing equations and obtain the finite
difference governing equations necessary for the transient computations of the flow
velocity and pressure head at the immediate downstream location of the pump.
State and explain the assumptions made in the pump run down computations.
(15 marks)

(b)

For pipes made from Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) or similar materials of a matrix
construction in nature, describe and explain how the wave speed of the pipes may be
modeled for fluid transients computations. Under similar flow conditions, tabulate and
compare the fluid transient properties (with sketches where applicable) of GRP pipes
with those of steel pipes.
(10 marks)

QUESTION 4
(a)

From the demonstrations of the surge tower experiment that you have observed,
describe and explain the various ways you can control the magnitudes of the pressure
surges in the fluid system. The surge tower fluid system consists of an upstream
constant head reservoir, a length of horizontal pipeline and a surge tower with a valve
installed at the discharge end of the pipeline.
(5 marks)

(b)

From the laboratory experiments that you have performed for the study of water
hammer in a pipeline system when the solenoid valve was closed instantaneously,
explain the effects of friction and the effects of air bubbles in the pipelinea on the
measured water hammer pressure rise, wave speed of the fluid system and the
pressure-time diagrams.
(5 marks)

(c)

Suggest suitable modelling criteria for the study of attached surface vortex and
submerged standing vortex problems in the pump-sump model study for a fluid
pumping system. State the assumptions made and describe the limitations of the
modelling processes.
(15 marks)

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