Entrapped air in pipeline systems can compromise the operation of the system by blocking flow and raising pumping costs. Fluid transients are a potential tool for characterizing entrapped air pockets, and a numerical model which is able to accurately predict transient pressures for a given air volume represents an asset to the diagnostic process. This paper presents a detailed study on our current capability for modeling and predicting the dynamics of an inline air pocket, and is one of a series of articles within a broader context on air pocket dynamics. This paper presents an assessment of the accuracy of the variable wave speed and accumulator models for modeling air pockets. The variable wave speed model was found to be unstable for the given conditions, while the accumulator model is affected by amplitude and time-delay errors. The time-delay error could be partially overcome by combining the two models.

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