Free Sprinkler Hydraulics Program AACALC11 by Alan Ashfield


AACALC11 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). It is an extension to AACALC10 I did in February 2015 and shows a simple drawing of the scheme based on the node numbers you enter. Full technical support is offered by Email (my address is at the top) - just put AACALC11 in the "Subject" line - please scroll down this page for more detailed help and information on all its features and options.

AACALC11 - introduction

Download for free now :-

You can download AACALC11.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 6th June 2016 and it is just 555 KBytes in size and allows Hazen Williams "C" factors from 20 to 200. 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 :-

AACALC11 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, 8.1 and 10 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. As we are drawing a "2D" view of the pipework layout, 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) - see Demo3. 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. 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 AACALC11) 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 AACALC11 and quickly show you how to use and apply it to your projects. Demo 1 is a simple end-fed example :-

AACALC11 - after DEMO1 selected

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

AACALC11 - after DEMO2 selected

Demo 3 is a small spray system :-

AACALC11 - 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 AACALC11 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. The thicker line on the drawing will reflect the current row (pipe) number and the adjacent text will be that column name.

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.

AACALC11 - 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).

To MOVE a "From" or "To" node just move your mouse over that node on the picture, hold the left hand button down and slide the mouse in the direction you wish (to see the pipes move accordingly and on the spreadshhet) and release the button when done.

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 :-

AACALC11 - 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.


If you do not want to bother with a drawing, I offer the AACALC10 program which is just a spreadsheet grid and you can see more of the pipes at once. Click here to visit the previous AACALC10 page.

AACALC10 - Demo1


Copyright 2015 by Alan Ashfield