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Proposed Solutions

One of the first suspects for the problems occurring at the Abbot Power Plant would be cavitation. However, from the work we have done in the previous section, we can see that this is not possible. The pressure in the system is simply too great for cavitation to occur, since it only happens when the flow pressure is below its saturation point. Therefore we can conclude that the real problem is that of entrained air. However, the problem comes in how we can possibly fix this.

Entrained air happens due to some type of ‘leakage’ from outside of the system. In order to properly address this issue, we have to discover when this leak is happening. To do this, an inspector should go throughout the entirety of the pipeline and check for compromised seals or valves, cracks along the pipes and pumps. After this is done, and if a problem of this nature is detected, it should quickly be repaired by replacing, fixing, or patching the culprit part. After this is done, the air which is entrained in the system must be removed. In order to do this, if the cause of the leak is addressed, emptying and refilling the piping system should work, but be radically inefficient and expensive. Another option is to ‘flush out’ the entrained air which remains after the repair by increasing the flow rate to such a level to move the bubble throughout the course of the system to its exit.

However, we do come to the scenario that an inspector cannot find the source of the leakage of air into the system. If this is the case, our team is recommending that an automatic air eliminator, or a similar device, be installed into the system. This is an object that is placed into a piping system which bleeds out entrained air. We see this as a last resort measurement for fixing the problem at the Abbott Power Plant. We say this due to the difficulty and cost that the installation would take. Not only would all water needs to be removed from the system, but the plant would likely need to be down for many days which the new automatic air eliminator is fitted and the system can begin again.

auto air eliminator.jpg
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