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Unsteady Hydraulics and Model Selection:

Balancing Accuracy, Efficiency, and Complexity

CIV 1303 Water Resources Systems Modeling

Johnathan Nault | Ph.D. Student


Tuesday October 6, 2015
Outline
Background Unsteady Flow
Modeling Transient Hydraulics
Waterhammer, RWC, and Quasi-Steady Models
Model Comparison and Selection
Adaptive Hybrid Models
Other State-of-the-Art Research
Higher-Level Considerations
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Waterhammer Phenomenon
Rapid changes in boundary conditions, such as rapid
valve closure, can induce surges:

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Wave Dynamics and Fluids
Governing
equations of 1-D unsteady-compressible
pressurized hydraulics:
Momentum:

Continuity:

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Fundamental Assumptions
1. Uniform, 1-D, and axisymmetric flow

2. Isothermal environment

3. Single-phase fluid

4. Pressurized conditions

5. Fluid-wall behave linear elastically

6. Steady-state wall friction approximation

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Modeling Approaches
Three key modeling approaches, each with different
additional simplifying assumptions and trade-offs

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Waterhammer Models
Assume that the advective terms , , and are
negligible
Simulate unsteady-compressible flows
Simplified governing equations:
Momentum:
Continuity: Pair of
hyperbolic
PDEs

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Rigid Water Column Models
Simulate unsteady-incompressible flow

Presume that flows vary slowly enough such that


the fluid is approximately incompressible
Assume that is very large

Only momentum equation remains:

, where

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Quasi-Steady Models
Simulate quasi-steady flow

Presume that flow changes occur very slowly such


that inertial effects are negligible
Assume that

Momentum equation further reduces to:

, where

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Which Model to Use?
Waterhammer models:
Consider compressibility effects, fluid inertia, and friction
Complex and require more computational effort
Quasi-steady models:
Simple and readily implemented
Assumption of slow changes often invalid

Trade-Off
Accuracy Efficiency
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Model Comparison
Consider a slow valve closure operation for a
reservoir-valve-reservoir system:

75% Uniform Valve Closure Over 500 s 12


Model Comparison (cont)
Next, consider a moderate valve closure operation:

75% Uniform Valve Closure Over 50 s


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Model Comparison (cont)
Now, consider a fast valve closure operation:

75% Uniform Valve Closure Over 5 s


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Waterhammer MOC

Wood, D.J. (2003). Waterhammer Analysis: Essential and Easy (and 15


Efficient). J. Environ. Eng., 131(8), 1123-1131.
Waterhammer WCM

Wood, D.J. (2003). Waterhammer Analysis: Essential and Easy (and 16


Efficient). J. Environ. Eng., 131(8), 1123-1131.
Adaptive Hybrid Models
Individual
models:
Solve:

OR
Hybrid models:
Solve:
where

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Other Ongoing Research
Mixed flow conditions (i.e., free surface and
pressurized hydraulics)
Unsteady energy dissipation
Leak and obstruction detection via waves
Coupled 1-D and 3-D models

Improving computational efficiency

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Models, Models, Models
Why does this matter?
Appropriate model selection
Interpretation of results
Understand a system
Higher-level concepts:
Looking at vs. looking along a model
Underlying assumptions: are they reasonable? Valid?
Accuracy-efficiency trade-off

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Key Takeaways
1. Model selection AND underlying physics
2. Consider both the application of a model as
well as the model itself

3. Check the validity of assumptions


4. Consider the trade-offs

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Ultimately
there will always be trade-offs as responsible
modelers, we must balance accuracy (quality),
efficiency (time), and complexity (cost) accordingly

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Questions?

Johnathan Nault | Ph.D. Student


johnathan.nault@mail.utoronto.ca

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