In the pipeline system of nuclear industry, shock wave pressure in a pipe will be caused by the fast closing check valve after the pumping stops. This phenomenon is known as water hammer, which brings hidden danger to the security and reliability of the pipeline system. Specially, water hammer may cause serious damage on the pipeline system by the valve misoperation, by the valve malfunction, or by other unexpected events. A vortex diode is used as a highly reliable check-valve in nuclear applications, where it mainly benefits from the intrinsic properties of no moving parts and no leakage. In this paper, we proposed a novel method based on a vortex diode to protect water hammer.
In the traditional analysis, a simple one-dimensional (1D) model is often used to simulate the water hammer. However, it is difficult to get the transient flow characteristics in a vortex diode using a 1D model. Thus, a three-dimensional (3D) model using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is proposed to analyze water hammer in a pipeline system with a vortex diode. The 3D model was firstly verified by comparing the numerical results of CFD with experimental results of a water hammer test. Based on the 3D model, the water hammer was simulated at different inlet conditions in a pipeline system with a vertex diode. In order to investigate the vortex diode used as a leaky check-valve, the inlet pressure was decreased by the corresponding value of pump head to simulate the pump stop after the quasi-steady state was achieved in the vortex diode. It is found that the pressure fluctuation of water hammer is comparable to the pump value, which is not varying with initial velocity in the pipeline system. Thus, we have proved that a vortex diode in the pipeline system acts significantly in suppressing pressure fluctuation of water hammer. This study presents a CFD-based numerical method for water hammer and could be useful in protecting water hammer in nuclear industry.