Using PIPE-FLO® to Design New HVAC Chill Water Systems

After talking with customers from various engineering firms serving the commercial HVAC market, it was discovered that many use PIPE-FLO® primarily to add onto their existing design or troubleshooting HVAC piping systems. Much to our surprise, the majority of our customers in this market continue to use their Excel® spreadsheets when designing new systems. We decided to investigate a little further, why our users chose to continue this dual usage of tools, between PIPE-FLO® and EXCEL.

When asked why they did not use PIPE-FLO® on new systems, the most common response was they did not want to enter the entire piping system only to find the most hydraulically remote circuit needed for pump sizing. Or to take the time to enter the whole system.

The misunderstanding on how best to use PIPE-FLO® needed to be corrected. Users felt that with a spreadsheet, they only had to enter the pipelines going to and returning from the most hydraulically remote circuit, eliminating the need to enter all the pipelines in the system. Once we discovered more about the way these customers were using electronic spreadsheets such as in determining the head loss for their most hydraulically remote circuit, we came up with a method for using PIPE-FLO® to quickly build a model rivaling the simplicity of the spreadsheet method.

The remainder of this article describes the process.