Surge Analysis

What is a Surge Analysis?

Surge analysis is the study of pressure Change caused by a change in the piping system. The pressure change may be due to a valve opening or closing, or something more complex like a pump, or multiple pumps, turning on or shutting down, either in a planned or unplanned manner.

Why surge analysis is required?

Pipelines are the safest and convenient way of transportation of fluids, either liquid or gas. Any pipeline has fittings such as valve, elbow, reducer, etc. In addition, there are curvature and difference in elevation along the path of the pipeline. When the flow through the pipeline is suddenly stopped due to any emergency or operational reasons, the sudden change of momentum contributes to increase or decrease the pressure very quickly. The impact of such sudden increase or decrease in pressure is quite significant and this can have a severe effect on the operation and safety of the entire pipeline. Therefore, Surge analysis has become critical for the design and maintenance of the pipeline to avoid any catastrophic failure.

When to do surge analysis?

Surge analysis starts somewhere at a predefined steady state setting. Thereby an event or string of events happens which cause the flow to be transient. Thereby Transient Surge analysis is carried on until the flow and pressure transient is no more and thereby some new steady state condition is resorted.

What is piping surge?

A piping surge occurs when the linear flow rate of a fluid in a pipe changes abruptly, during starting or stopping of pumps, opening or closing of valves with fast acting actuation devices, or due to movement of entrapped air within the Piping  system.

Hydraulic Surge analysis in a pipeline is a hydraulic model that considers the maximum permissible operating pressure of valves, pipes, fittings, the pressure control and shutdown settings of pumps, the relief system potentiality, performance and location of automated and remote valves.

Surge analysis Calculation formula

Surge analysis in pipeline can be calculated using the Joukowsky formula ∆P = – ρ c ∆V. Where   ∆P = magnitude of the pressure surge caused by the velocity change

              ΔV = velocity change causing the surge

               p = density of the fluid

               c  = wave speed.

Surge Analysis and Modelling

IFluids engineers are experts in performing the surge analysis for the whole pipeline, including the pumps and valves. During the analysis, the characteristics of the pipeline are collected from the client. The inputs for performing the surge analysis are

  • Characteristics of the pipeline
  • Type of fluid
  • Type of pumps, valves, and fittings

Based on these inputs, the surge analysis is performed by using various software packages. The simulation is performed by manipulating the parameters, like changing the flow rate, tripping off the control valves, operating conditions, closure of valves, etc. and studying its effect on the pipeline.  

Surge Analysis Software’s:

  • Pipeline Studio
  • Hytran
  • Flowmaster
  • Hammer
  • AFT Impulse
  • PASS/Hydro system
  • Flownex Simulation Environment

After performing the simulation, it depends on the technical expertise and experience of the analyst, to examine and suggest a desirable solution. We have the team to provide you the necessary support and deliver the expected result. The deliverables are mainly

  • Basic engineering design
  • Surge analysis report and necessary recommendation
  • Technical assistance
  • Control philosophy


The flow chart depicts the surge analysis step by step methodology.
Various scenarios can be considered as a part of study in transient simulation. 
These cases will determine the maximum pressure developed in the pipeline 
due to sudden valve closure and pump trip/startup operations

Our Experience:


Indian Oil Corporation Ltd

Client Location

Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh


Surge Analysis Study of Product Pipelines at Rajahmundry Terminal


Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Client Location



Surge Analysis Study of station Piping of HAZIRA, Ralam and Navagam Terminals


Gail (India) Limited

Client Location

Vijaypur, M.P.


Surge Analysis of 06″ DIA. GPU Vijaipur to IOCL LPG Pipeline


Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited

Client Location

Kolakata, West Bengal


Surge Analysis Jetty PL @ Kolkata