Impact of Pipeline Pressure Surge on Seawater Treatment for Injection

Wang, Xuesong (Amec Foster Wheeler USA Corporation) | Yurchevich, John D. (Amec Foster Wheeler USA Corporation)



The objective of this paper is to describe a method that simulates an energy recovery system (ERS), which exploits water hydraulic power to boost inlet flow pressure. The impact of pipeline pressure surge (water hammer) on water treatment units was investigated. Surge pressure and pressure rise rate were calculated.

A novel methodology has been developed in this paper to simulate an energy recovery system and estimate pressure rise rate. This method integrated an energy recovery system into an existing pipeline simulation model. The energy recovery system model was developed using basic hydraulic pump equations. Actual system efficiency was used. Both maximum surge pressure and pressure rise rate are calculated each model time step. This same method can be used for other energy recovery systems hydraulic analysis.

In this study, a high-pressure feed pump with a discharge pressure of 630 psig was analyzed. The model was used to calculate the maximum surge pressure downstream of the ERS.

In this analysis, downstream of the ERS there is an RO (reverse osmosis) filtration system. The maximum pressure and rate of change of pressure must be controlled so as not to damage the filter membranes.

Different surge scenarios were investigated. For the cases analyzed it was possible to keep the maximum surge pressure to 1117 psig that is below the maximum membrane design pressure. It was also possible to keep the maximum pressure rise rate for all cases simulated to below 5.2 psi/second. The membrane warranty for the cases analyzed limited the pressure rise rate to 10 psi/second and stipulated a maximum pressure or 1200 psig. The simulation results also provide design parameters for sizing surge relief devices and designing the required control system.

Traditional surge analysis tools can properly estimate surge pressure within the pipeline system. However, energy recovery system behavior in a surge scenario was not simulated previously. The provided method can simulate energy recovery systems, calculate maximum surge pressure and pressure rise rate. The method sheds light on simulating energy recovery system and can be adopted for different simulation tools.