Condensation-Induced Water Hammer - Overview and Own Experiments
NURETH-14 - 2011 September 25-30

Presented at:
2011 September 25-30
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
B12-2 Minisymposium on Pressure Surges in Nuclear Power Plants

Stefan Dirndorfer (Universität der Bundeswehr München)
Michael Dörfler (Universität der Bundeswehr München)
Helmut Kulisch (Universität der Bundeswehr München)
Andreas Malcherek (Universität der Bundeswehr München)


A condensation induced water hammer is a severe effect that has caused damages and even fatalities worldwide. This effect is not limited to the nuclear industry only. Generally it can occur in every pipe that contains water and steam (two-phase-flow). To date many experiments were executed to study this effect and to validate existing water hammer codes. But theoretically versus measured results show a very high degree of deviation. Information about those experiments was obtained by literature review. This information is presented additionally to a test facility, which has been developed in order to generate water hammers. The test device is introduced in this paper and its main functions are briefly explained.

In contrast to other experiments, water hammers at the UniBw are performed under controlled conditions. Air in water is a disruptive parameter that causes vigorous deviations between the theoretical system code and the experimental measurements. As in the test device presented in this paper, deionised water without air is used, this effect is ruled out. Furthermore the inception of a water hammer is controlled by a scientist. The experimental results will characterise the dynamic response of the test device as a function of system pressure, filling degree and sub-cooling.

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