Flow regulators with a vortex effect

Flow regulators with a vortex effect

There are two main types of flow regulators: vortex flow regulators which primarily control flow with centrifugal force, and those that control flow without it. The following explains how vortex flow regulators control flow by means of centrifugal force, exemplified by the cyclone flow regulator.

When a normal, small water volume - the dry weather volume - flows through a pipeline, the water level is below the top of the inlet orifice opening of the regulator and the flow is not attenuated (Figure 2).

When it begins to rain, the flow increases; the water level rises in front of the regulator, and when the water rises over the top of the inlet opening but is still below the top of the vortex chamber, air is trapped inside the chamber which restricts the cross-sectional area of flow.  The increased resistance reduces the water volume that can flow through the regulator (Figure 3).

When the water rises over the top of the regulator, this pressure causes the water inside the regulator to rotate. The air takes up part of the outlet's cross-sectional area of flow and the water rotates faster as it approaches the tip of flow-regulator's outlet. This causes a loss of pressure - precisely as intended - and creates appropriate resistance to the water flow (Figure 4).

Decreasing rain lowers the flow (Figure 3).

The water level in the chamber and the higher pipeline gradually falls below the top of the regulator. The loss of pressure causes the vortex to collapse. It is replaced by air, which, with some delay, is sucked into the regulator, which does not return to normal function until the water level is just below the level at which the formation of the attenuating vortex began (Figure 2).

 The collapse of the vortex causes a sudden increase in the flow of water through the flow regulator, flushing out any upstream sediments along with it. See the typical peak of the characteristic in Figure 5.

In certain situations, the best solution is the centrifugal flow regulator (a different design in Mosbaek's range of regulators). In other words, where the need to control the flow involves small water volumes.

The centrifugal flow regulator's orifice opening is bigger than that of the cyclone flow regulator, and in this situation it lessens the risk of clogging, making the centrifugal regulator the most appropriate for this situation. There are two main types of centrifugal flow regulators: horizontal (used for waste water), and vertical (for rainwater). The design of the centrifugal flow regulator differs from that of the cyclone flow regulators, but it functions by the same principle.


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