This paper presents the results of an empirical study undertaken to assess the appropriateness and applicability of a simple, analytical model of pump-piping system flow instability. The analysis is used to describe behavior actually observed in a well defined, simple, pump-piping system. The frequency and amplitude of the flow oscillations observed during pump surge and the range of the pump-piping system characteristic parameters for which unstable flow oscillations occurred are in good agreement with the behavior predicted by the analysis. The results of this work provide a quantitative basis for investigating modifications to the lumped-parameter model in order to make it also appropriate for the analysis of more complex pump or compressor system. Although the analytical model displayed here is not new, a direct comparison of model predictions against similar measurements of first-order pump surge has not been published prior to this work.

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