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HM 156 Water Hammers and Surge Chamber
Education / GUNT Hamburg / Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology / Examples of Transient Flow /

In water-bearing structures such as hydroelectric power stations, or in systems for supplying water, changes in flow rate – such as during startup and shutdown of hydraulic machines or by opening and closing shut-off elements – result in pressure fluctuations. There is a distinction to be made between rapid pressure changes that propagate with the speed of sound (water hammers) and slow pressure changes caused by mass oscillations. Pipeline systems use air vessels or surge chambers to dampen water hammers and mass oscillations.
  HM 156 is used to generate and visualise water hammers in pipes and to demonstrate how a surge chamber works. The trainer contains a pipe section with ball valve and surge chamber and a second pipe section with solenoid valve.
  In the first experiment a water hammer is produced by rapidly closing the ball valve. The sudden deceleration of the water mass releases kinetic energy, which is converted into potential energy in the surge chamber. The resulting pressure vibrations are measured by a pressure sensor behind the surge chamber and displayed in the software as a pressure curve. The vibration can also be seen as oscillation of the water level in the surge chamber.
  In the second experiment a rapid closing of the solenoid valve in the second pipe section produces a strong water hammer. The water's kinetic energy is converted into pressure energy. The water hammer and the subsequent vibrations are detected by two pressure sensors in the

pipe section and displayed in the software as a pressure curve.

  The water is supplied and the flow measured by the supply unit.
  The well-structured instructional material sets out the fundamentals and provides a step-by-step guide through the experiments.


Learning Objectives / Experiments

- demonstrate water hammers in pipes
- determine the velocity of sound in water  
- understand how a surge chamber works
- natural frequency in the surge chamber


[1] operation of a surge chamber
[2] pipe section with ball valve and surge chamber
[3] surge chamber designed as transparent PMMA tank
[4] pressure sensor behind the water chamber for measuring the pressure wave
[5] pipe section with solenoid valve and two pressure sensors for measuring the water hammers
[6] volumetric flow measurement via supply unit
[7] representation of the pressure curves with LabVIEW software
[8] LabVIEW software for data acquisition via USB under Windows XP or Windows Vista


Technical Data

Pipe section for pressure vibrations
- copper
- l: 5.875mm, di: 26mm
- ball valve
- surge chamber, PMMA
  height: 825mm
  di: 50mm
Pipe section for water hammers
- copper
- l: 5.875mm, dia: 26mm
- distance between sensors: 3.000mm
- solenoid valve, closing time: 20...30ms
Tank: 50L 

Supply unit
- power consumption: 550W
- max. flow rate: 230L/min
- max. head: 11m
Tank: 1x180L, 1x40L

Measuring ranges
- pressure (pipe section): 2x 0...16bar abs.
- pressure (surge chamber):  0...0.3bar


Dimensions and Weight
LxWxH: 6.720x760x2.100mm
Weight: approx. 174kg
Required for Operation
230V, 50/60Hz, 1 phase or 120V, 60Hz/CSA, 1 phase
Scope of Delivery
1 trainer with supply unit
1 CD with LabVIEW software
1 set of instructional material 
Order Details

070.15600  HM 156  Water Hammers and Surge Chamber