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MODELLING WATER DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS 7

3. The Equations of the Elastic Model as an Envelope For all the Models

From mass and momentum balances (Abreu et al.(1995)a) the following equations can
be obtained:

ap +V ap + pa2 av = 0
at ax ax
aV +v av +! ap + g sen e + f V IV I =0 (I)
at ax pax 2D

Where:

V, velocity; t, time; x, location of the current pipe section; p, water density p, pressure;
g, gravity acceleration; 6, slope of the pipe; f, friction factor; D, pipe diameter; a, wave
celerity.

If, as usual, convective acceleration and fluid weight terms are neglected. and using the
variables H (piezometric head) and Q (flow rate) instead ofp (pressure) and V (velocity
as well), we get this final system(Abreu et al.(l995)a).

aH + ~ aQ = 0
at gA. ax (2)
aQ + g A. aH + f Q I Q I = 0
at ax 2DA.

To solve these partial differential equations, the method of characteristics (MOC)


(Abreu et al.(1995)a)is the most convenient one. It provides a numerical solution for the
functions Q=Q(x,t) and H=H(x,t), which describe the system response in terms of flow
and pressure to a given boundary conditions (e.g. the instantaneous closure of a valve,
a pumping station failure, etc ... ).

We fall easily into the rigid model (incompressible fluid and rigid pipe)throughout the
concept of the pressure wave velocity, a: