can be used as a design tool for a wide range of industries and applications.
From the concept phase, users can quickly conceptualize fluid system designs
with minimal geometric data and evaluate design alternatives against
performance targets. The cooling system of a large installation is too big and
too complex, in order to be completely analyzed with 3D simulations. It is
best practice to calculate it with the hydraulics formulas; this method is
used for the engineering of combined cycle and coal thermal power plants: for
the water-steam cycle, the closed-cooling water system, lube oil distribution
systems as well as other balance of plant systems.
As the flow calculation is an approximation, a multitude of conditions can be simulated: gas and fluids, stationary or time-dependent, closed or open system, compressible or incompressible flow, heating and cooling as well combustion and multi-phase flows.
These networks can be programmed in Excel, Fortran or in any programming languages. New networks tend to be developed with thermo-fluid sub-system software like FloMASTER, Amesim, SimulationX ®... These tools differentiate each other in the components library, where elements like pumps, fans, valves, bends, and junctions are predefined. Passive components like heat exchangers are defined by a constant or flow-dependent pressure drop.
Axial fan Radial fan ER..C © Ziehl -Abbeg
Pipes are defined by their geometry and mean wall friction. The flow can be calculated and the pipes sized with a flow network. As the complete system of pipes must be erected in a specific room, the arrangement of the system must be later checked with the generation of a complete 3D CAD model.
A fan is defined by its fan curve and its rotational speed; only the fan load (pressure generation and volume flow) has to be evaluated, in order to choose the corresponding fan in a fan catalog.
A pump conveys fluids; it is defined by its pump curve and head. If the system contains heat exchangers, then their cooling might necessitate the design of the corresponding fans as well.