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What is a Surge Tank?

Surge tank is a water storage device used as pressure neutralizer in hydropower water conveyance system to resists excess pressure rise and pressure drop conditions.

Power Plant Surge Tank

Functions of Surge Tanks

The important functions of surge tank are as follows

  • It should Protects the conduit system from high internal pressures.
  • It should help the hydraulic turbine regarding its regulation characteristics.
  • It should store the water to raise the pressure in pressure drop conditions.

Location of Surge Tanks

The location of surge tank is also important to produce better results. It should be located in such a way that

  • Surge tanks are located near to the power house to reduce length of penstocks.
  • No limitations regarding surge tank height.
  • Location at which flat sloped conduit and steep sloped penstock meets.

Types of Surge Tanks

Various types of surge tanks used in the hydropower water conveyance system are as follows.

  • Simple surge tank
  • Gallery type surge tank
  • Inclined surge tank
  • Restricted orifice surge tank
  • Differential surge tank

Simple Surge Tank

A simple surge tank is like vertical pipe which is connected in between penstock and turbine generator. These are constructed with greater height and supports are also provided to hold the tank. Whenever the water flow suddenly increased the water is collected in the surge tank and neutralize the pressure.

Top of the surge tank is opened to atmosphere If surge tank is filled completely then it overflows to maintain the pressure neutralization.

Simple Surge Tank

Gallery Type Surge Tank

Gallery type surge tank consists extra storage galleries in it. These storage galleries are also called as expansion chambers. So, gallery type surge tank can also be called as expansion chamber type surge tanks.

These expansion chambers are generally provided at below and above the surge levels. Below surge level chambers are used to storage excess water in it and released when it is required or there is a brief drop in pressure. Upper surge level chambers are used to absorb the excess pressure.

Gallery Type Surge Tank

Inclined Surge Tank

In case of inclined surge tank, the surge tank is provide with some inclination. It is provided when there is a limit in height of tank. By providing inclined surge tank the overflowed water under excess pressure is entered into inclined tank and pressure destroyed.

Inclined Surge Tank

Restricted Orifice Surge Tank

Restricted orifice consists an orifice between pipeline and surge tank. This orifice is also called as throttle so, it is also called as throttled surge tank. This throttle or orifice have very small diameter.

If the water overflows it should enter into the surge tank through this orifice. Because of small diameter frictional losses will developed and excess pressure in main pipe line is destroyed. This will creates quickly a retarding or accelerating head in the conduit. To reduce the water hammer effect, diameter of orifice should be well designed for full rejection of load by the turbine.

Restricted Orifice Surge Tank

Differential Surge Tank

In case of differential surge tank, an internal riser is fixed in the tank. This riser have very small diameter through which water enters into the riser when it overflows. The riser also contains annular ports at its lower end.

Differential Surge Tank

These ports help the flow into or out of the tank. So, the excess pressure is destroyed by internal riser of surge tank and storage of water is done by outer tank. So, it is called as differential surge tank.

About Sadanandam AnupojuVerified

Sadananda is a Civil Engineer and is an Author, Editor and Partner of The Constructor since 2016.