Free Sprinkler Hydraulics Program AACALC10 by Alan Ashfield


AACALC10 is a new and completely free Sprinkler Hydraulics Program for ALL Sprinkler Rules in metric units for use by beginners, students and first-time users worldwide except in America and Burma (who still use imperial units). Full technical support is offered by Email (my address is at the top) - just put AACALC10 in the "Subject" line - please scroll down this page for more detailed help and information on all its features and options.

AACALC10 - introduction

Download for free now :-

You can download AACALC10.EXE now by clicking here and "Saving" it to a suitable folder on your hard disk, such as C:\AA3PROGS. The latest version is dated 19th February 2015 and it is just 545 KBytes in size. Upon running you should see exactly the same screen as above so please take a few minutes to read the information on how to actually use it. You may also find some of my other programs of interest - especially AACALC8 - they are all "free".

Summary :-

AACALC10 is a very simple spreadsheet based program to enable end-fed, looped and gridded fire protection pipework systems to be quickly entered, analysed and evaluated so that you may learn about full hydraulic calculations of sprinkler systems for yourself. It runs on all 32 / 64 bit versions of "Windows" XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 and there is a minimum of typing in nor any complicated procedures to understand but still permits all types of layouts, sizes, head data, design parameters etc. to be easily compared. Remember, one only has to consider the most remote / favourable design areas of perhaps 10 to 30 operating heads / nozzles out of the possible 300 to 1000 actually installed in the building being protected so it really doesn't take long to enter the pipes taking the water from the source out through the feed mains to the branch lines / ranges supporting the heads.

Each pipe is defined by its position, bore, "C" factor, length, static change and equivalent lengths of any fittings. Each of the operating sprinkler heads / nozzles / hosereels / hydrants is defined by its "K" factor and minimum flow rate. Note there is NO DATABASE so you can enter whatever values you like.

Help with "NEW" :-

Before selecting "New" you should have sketched out a pipework design - an isometric or a plan and allocated "NODE" numbers at junctions, tees, heads and changes of pipe type or size. You will also need the EN12845 / NFPA 13 or 15 / AS2118 / DBI or other Sprinkler Rules to establish how many heads are operating, where they are, their spacings and by what route they get back to the water supply / source - I cannot describe how you do this here!

Help with "OPEN" :-

This just asks for the name of a previously entered job (none to begin with so select "Demo1", "Demo2" or "Demo3" if the first time you are using AACALC10) to get the familiar "Open Dialog" display. You can use the various directory options to choose another folder or library if the initial one is not where your job is stored - perhaps on a network or USB memory stick. When a file name is typed in or selected with the mouse, click on "Open" and it will then be read in and shown on the drawing screen.

Help with "DEMO" jobs :-

I have provided 3 demonstration examples to help you evaluate AACALC10 and quickly show you how to use and apply it to your projects. Demo 1 is a simple end-fed example :-

AACALC10 - after DEMO1 selected

Demo 2 is just 2 hydrants on a ring-main pipework system :-

AACALC10 - after DEMO2 selected

Demo 3 is a small spray system :-

AACALC10 - after DEMO3 selected

Just select these in turn and run through all the various options as described on the rest of this webpage. These 3 files are reset every time you select them so you can freely make any changes, edits, additions etc. you want, to try out all the various options as it does not matter if you screw them up completely!

Help with "EXIT" :-

Just select this to quit AACALC10 and return to your Windows Desktop. You do not have to save the latest data for your project as this is all done automatically for you.

Explanation of first 9 columns of data :-

These are the items you enter for each pipe and are normally shown in "blue". You simply move the different coloured "blob" around the spreadsheet (with the "arrow" keys or click on rectangle with your mouse), initially in the top left hand corner and type in the new or revised value in that row / column, press {TAB} to see the new source duty and the matching changes to the flows / pressure drops / velocities.

Column 1 = "From" node number

For the FIRST pipe - Enter a number in the range of 1 to 9998 being the place where where the water comes from - it cannot be used as another "From" or "To" node anywhere else in the network - it has to be unique. For SUBSEQUENT pipes - Enter a number in the range of 1 to 9998 that MUST be a previous "To" node given further up the list where this pipe is to connect on to - it may just be another pipe or a sprinkler head / nozzle.

Column 2 = "To" node number

Enter a number in the range of 2 to 9999 to reference the end of this pipe - it must be different from the "From" node or the very first source node and is usually higher than the "To" node if you are numbering away from the source. If this is the same as a previous "To" node, then a loop will be formed (see Demo 2).

Column 3 = Bore in mm

Enter the internal diameter of this pipe section in the range of 1 to 999 mm but values under 15 or over 250 will be shown in purple. If you do not know the bore, then enter the nominal diameter (eg. 25, 32, 40 etc) instead. If this size is bigger than the upstream pipe, you will get a "pop-up" warning and that pipe size will be shown in green.

Column 4 = Hazen-Williams "C" factor

Enter the relative roughness of this pipe type in the range of 60 to 180 but values under 100 or over 150 will be shown in purple. If you do not know this number or the actual pipe type yet, then use the standard value of 120 - they normally go up in 10s eg. 100 110 120 etc.

Column 5 = Length in metres

Enter the total length of this pipe section between the node numbers specified in the range of 0.1 to 999 m but values under 0.25 or over 100 will be shown in purple. You can be as accurate as you like or just to the nearest m as needed.

Column 6 = Static change in metres

Enter the vertical height difference in m between the two node numbers in the range of -99 to 99 but values under -20 or over 20 will be shown in purple. In any case, this cannot exceed the pipe length of the previous column. If the "To" node is ABOVE the "From" node (ie. the pipe is rising upwards), then this value will be positive (eg. 3) or if the "To" node is BELOW the "From" node (ie. the pipe is falling downwards), then this value will be negative (eg. -4.5) or if the pipe is horizontal, enter 0 as no change.

Column 7 = Fitting Equivalent Length in m

Enter the allowance for elbows, tees, adaptors, control / stop valves etc. in this pipe section in the range of 0 (for none) to 999m but values over 100 will be shown in purple. Do NOT enter the fitting on which any head / nozzle is mounted as these are included in its "K" factor. You may need to refer to the Sprinkler Rules table for the required numbers and have a calculator to hand to work out the total length for multiple elbows and tees or this can be left as 0 if only an approximate calculation is needed at this time.

Column 8 = Operating head / nozzle "K" factor

Leave blank if there is NOT an operating head / nozzle / hosereel etc. at the "To" node (end) of this pipe section - otherwise put in the appropriate factor (eg. 57, 80, 115, 143 etc) in the range of 1 to 999 but values under 10 or over 500 will be shown in purple. For hydrants and other items, calculate this number from the flow in l/min divided by the square root of the required pressure in bars eg. for 500 l/min at 4 bars, the "K" value would be 250.

Column 9 = Flow rate in litres / minute for the "K" factor

Enter the required minimum flow in l/min from the operating head or nozzle given in the previous column in the range of 1 to 9999 but values under 20 or over 500 will be shown in purple. For sprinkler heads, this is normally the area covered in sq.m times the density in mm/min for the hazard classification (eg. for 9 sq.m and 10 mm/min, enter 90). Where a minimum pressure is necessary, calculate the flow "Q" from "K" factor times the square root of the pressure "P" (eg. for K=57 and P=0.7 gives 47.7 l/min). If you change the flow of the furthest head from the source, then all the other column 10 values (and the source duty) will change but if you revise one of the other column 9 figures, then nothing else will change because it does not affect any of the calculations.

Explanation of columns 10 to 15 :-

These are all calculated by the program and are normally shown in "dark blue" with the source duty given just above the spreadsheet grid.

Column 10 = Actual flow at head / nozzle in l/min

The value shown will be the actual flow rate in litres / minute out of the operating head / nozzle / hosereel / hydrant etc. where a "K" factor was specified. It will be equal to your entered minimum value just for the most remotest head - all the others are nearer to the source and will therefore have higher flows because there is more pressure (see the next column). If the value calculated is too high, then you can reduce the pipe sizes up to this head to absorb some of the excess pressure. If you have given a fixed source pressure / flow and there is not enough for this head, then this value will be shown in red to warn you.

Column 11 = Actual pressure at head / nozzle in bars

The value shown will be the actual pressure in bars at the operating head / nozzle / hosereel / hydrant etc. where a "K" factor was specified. It will be equal to the calculated pressure (flow Q divided by the "K" factor all squared eg. for K=115 and Q=90, P = 0.612 bars) just for the most remotest head - all the others are nearer the source and therefore have a higher pressure. If you have given a fixed source pressure / flow and there is not enough for this head, then this value will be shown in red to warn you.

Column 12 = Height in metres

This is the height above the source (first "From" node) to the "To" node (end) based on the static changes specified and is a useful check on those values as similar ranges should be at roughly the same elevations. The height will be negative only if it is below the first "From" node.

Column 13 = Flow rate in pipe in litres / minute

This is the total flow from all the operating heads / nozzles given allowing for their position in the system - if this does not feed any heads, it will be blank or values above 30000 l/min will be shown in red. The flow is positive if it is from the "From" node to the "To" node but could be negative in looped / gridded pipework systems to mean that the direction is from "To" node to the "From" node.

Column 14 = Pressure drop in pipe in bars

This is the pressure drop calculated in this pipe section based on the flow rate, bore, H-W "C" factor and the total pipe length, including fittings. If it exceeds 10 bars, it will be in red. The pressure drop is positive if it is from the "From" node to the "To" node but could be negative in looped / gridded pipework systems to mean that the flow direction is from the "To" node to the "From" node.

Column 15 = Velocity in pipe in m/s

This is the speed of water within the pipe given by the flow Q divided by 0.04712 times the bore squared (eg. 1000 L/min in an 80.00 mm pipe is 3.3 m/s). It will be in red if over 10 as shown below where the wrong "K" factor has been entered.

AACALC10 - wrong 'K' factor

Other options and operations :-

To ADD another pipe to the end of the current data, just click your mouse in the "From" node on the next blank line and type in the data, pressing {TAB} each time.

To INSERT another pipe in the middle of the current list, just click on the "Pipe No" on the far left where you want to add this new pipe and a blank line will open up so you can type in the "From" node, "To" node etc. pressing {TAB} each time - the calculations will be blank until you get to the length column - if you get a warning message about incorrect node numbers then you will need to amend the data accordingly.

To DELETE a pipe if no longer needed, then RIGHT click the mouse when over the "Pipe No" column for that particular row - a message will 'pop-up' asking if this is, in fact, the line you want to remove - click on "Yes" or "Cancel".

To AMEND all similar values under any column 1 to 9, just RIGHT click your mouse over the first of the cells to get a 'pop-up' message prompting you to enter the replacement text in the place where the current value is shown and then click on "Yes" or "Cancel" - the spreadsheet will be updated and the calculations repeated with the new number(s).

Project data items that can be changed :-

1) Job name or title - just for reference (all these items have 'hints' that are show if you hover your mouse over them)

2) Metres to bars - enter the conversion factor, usually 0.098 but any value from 0.08 to 0.12 can be typed in

3) Specific gravity - enter the SG of the liquid, usually water at 1.0 but any value from 0.7 to 1.3 can be typed in and will therefore affect the calculated results

4) Source - Normally left blank but if you wish to prefix the source duty, then enter a value 1 to 100 for constant pressure in bars or 101 to 50000 for constant flow rate in l/min - upon pressing {TAB}, the calculations will be repeated to meet this specification but you may get some cells coloured in "red" if too high or too low flow / pressure / velocities in one or more pipes as shown below if you have 10 bars at the source of Demo 1 :-

AACALC10 - 10 bars!

5) Auto Calculate - normally left selected so the calculations are done each time the data is changed but you can 'untick' this if too distracting while you are entering information.

There is also AACALC11 from 19th March 2015

If you prefer to see a drawing of your scheme, I have modified AACALC10 to allow the node numbers to refer to its position on a graph. Each node number must be 4 digits long - the first being the "X" position as a percentage 00 to 99 (from left to right) and the second 2 digits being the "Y" position as a percentage 00 to 99 (from bottom to top) like the graphs you drew at school. If you choose to draw a "Plan", then vertical pipes will have to be shown as horizontal (same Y% in "From" and "To" nodes) or vertical (same X% for both nodes). If you choose to make an "Isometric" view, then horizontal pipes should be drawn on a slope at approx 30, 120, 210 or 300 degrees and vertical or near-vertical pipes can be shown going up or down as required.

Click here to visit the new AACALC11 page.

AACALC11 - Demo1


Copyright 2015 by Alan Ashfield