What Is Surge Tank

Charlotte Miller

What Is Surge Tank?

Are you curious to know what is surge tank? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about surge tank in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is surge tank?

In fluid systems, maintaining stable pressure and flow is crucial for efficient operation and preventing potential damage. One important component that aids in achieving this stability is a surge tank. Surge tanks, also known as expansion tanks or accumulator tanks, play a vital role in regulating pressure variations and controlling water hammer effects. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of surge tanks, understand their significance in fluid systems, and discuss their role in enhancing system performance and safety.

What Is Surge Tank?

A surge tank is a reservoir or chamber connected to a fluid system, typically a piping network, to mitigate pressure fluctuations caused by sudden changes in flow rates. It acts as a buffer by absorbing excess pressure during surges or water hammer events and releasing it gradually back into the system when needed. Surge tanks are commonly used in various applications, including water supply systems, hydraulic systems, and industrial processes.

Significance Of Surge Tanks:

  1. Pressure Stabilization: One of the primary functions of a surge tank is to stabilize pressure within a fluid system. During sudden changes in flow rates, such as pump starts/stops or valve operations, pressure variations can occur, leading to unstable system behavior. Surge tanks absorb the excess pressure, preventing sudden spikes or drops and ensuring a more consistent pressure profile throughout the system.
  2. Water Hammer Mitigation: Water hammer, also known as hydraulic shock, is a phenomenon that occurs when there is a sudden change in fluid velocity, causing pressure waves to propagate through the system. These pressure waves can lead to pipe vibrations, equipment damage, and system failures. Surge tanks act as shock absorbers, dissipating the energy of water hammer events and reducing their impact on the system.
  3. Flow Compensation: Surge tanks provide a means of compensating for fluctuations in flow rates. In situations where the demand for fluid varies, such as in water supply systems or industrial processes, surge tanks store and release fluid to match the required flow rates. This helps in maintaining a steady supply and preventing disruptions or inefficiencies in the system.
  4. System Protection: Surge tanks play a crucial role in protecting the components of a fluid system. By absorbing excess pressure and energy, they prevent damage to pipes, valves, pumps, and other equipment. This not only ensures the longevity of the system but also reduces maintenance costs and the risk of unexpected breakdowns.

Design Considerations:

When designing surge tanks, several factors need to be taken into account, including the size of the system, the expected flow rates, and the desired pressure stability. The surge tank volume should be sufficient to accommodate the expected surge or water hammer effects without overpressurizing the system. The tank’s location and connection to the system should be strategically planned to maximize its effectiveness in controlling pressure variations.


Surge tanks are essential components in fluid systems, providing stability, protection, and efficiency. By regulating pressure fluctuations and mitigating water hammer effects, surge tanks contribute to the smooth operation of water supply systems, hydraulic systems, and industrial processes. Their ability to absorb excess pressure, compensate for flow variations, and protect system components makes them indispensable in maintaining a reliable and safe fluid infrastructure. When designing or operating fluid systems, incorporating surge tanks can greatly enhance system performance and longevity.


What Is The Purpose Of A Surge Tank?

Surge tanks are used to measure liquid flow rate and the combined shrinkage and meter factor. They are also used as a second stage separator, and hold a constant back-pressure by using an automatic pressure control valve on the gas outlet. Surge tanks are also used for storage.

What Is Surge Tank In Simple Words?

A surge tank (or surge drum or surge pool) is a standpipe or storage reservoir at the downstream end of a closed aqueduct, feeder, dam, barrage pipe to absorb sudden rises of pressure, as well as to quickly provide extra water during a brief drop in pressure.

What Is The Purpose Of Surge Tank In A Pipe?

Surge tank is a reservoir fitted on the penstock near the turbine to receive the rejected water when the pipeline is suddenly closed by the governing mechanism. It helps to reduce the water hammer effect in the penstock pipe line.

What Is The Formula For Surge Tank?

VDisplaced = Vrod * T * N Calculate the pressure rise where P.R. = Pressure Rise, VDisplaced = Displaced Volume and VS = System Volume.


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