How to protect pipe networks from pressure peaks with soft pipe filling

Filling pipes gradually can help protect them from the impact of water surges and pressure peaks. We explain how this problem can be overcome using a new soft pipe filling feature incorporated into ABB's drives.

How to protect pipe networks from pressure peaks with soft pipe filling

The challenge
When starting a pump system pressure peaks can occur which can severely damage pipe networks. For example, sewage flow rates can fluctuate so vigorously that pumps are started and stopped inconsistently. This can cause erratic flow rates to the treatment plant making it difficult to optimise the cleaning cycle. Furthermore, starting and stopping the pumps leads to water hammer or pressure shocks in the pipework. When a pump is stopped suddenly a shock wave ripples through the water damaging the pipework.

The solution
Soft pipe filling provides a pump with soft-start enabling a smooth build-up of flow in pipes. This avoids water hammer and pressure peaks, for example in irrigation systems, where pipes are momentarily empty and controlled pipe filling is demanded. The life time of the pipe work and pumping system is increased.

How it works
Soft pipe filling function starts the pumps at a low speed and then slowly increases the speed in user set increments or steps, until the optimum pressure is reached. The pump stays at each speed step until the pressure in the pipe stabilises, at which point it increases to the next step. When the pressure gets near to the final set point, then the drive itself enables the PID control. The drive uses measured pressure or PI set point ramp-up function; whichever is optimum for the application.

Key benefits of ABB's soft pipe function
- A smooth build-up of flow in the pipe increases the lifetime of the pipeline and pumping system.
- Soft pipe filling prevents overpressure and reduces burst pipes and damaged seals during pump start.
- It prevents water hammer and helps to reduce leakage.

Further information
For more information, please click on either of the links below:

ACQ810, drive modules for water and wastewater
Low voltage AC drives balance flow to wastewater treatment process
Controlling water and wastewater flow

N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher