Completely free and anonymous downloads :-
You need to download AAINFO.EXE first by clicking on the button below and saving it on your computer. When run, you can choose FREESHP and my other FREE software packages as required. For more information, see Program #1 of 14 on my HOME page.
Introduction to FREESHP :-
FREESHP is a completely free Sprinkler Hydraulics Program for the NFPA 13/15 and FM Global Rules in metric units for use by sprinkler contractors, installers, designers and reviewers worldwide except in America and Burma (who still use imperial units).
It is the simplest such FREEWARE program available and uses a unique numbering system of "references / tags" at just the junctions (tees / crosses only) to show a 3D drawing on the screen so one can view plans, elevations and isometrics, allowing you to zoom in, pan around and zoom out again. All the calculations are based on the latest NFPA/FM Rules, both 'demand' and 'source' options, with or without velocity pressure for terminal end-fed, looped or gridded sprinkler systems of any hazard including roof + rack, ESFR, deluge, drencher, spray etc. arrangements.
FREESHP now stores all your project data as a DXF file and you can easily add a building layout drawing as another DXF file so that you simply "draw" your pipes (in 3D) on this background to make sure everything matches up with the other services. FREESHP will then automatically produce a 2D sprinkler layout drawing (for single level protection eg. roof only or ESFR) or 3D X, Y and Z co-ordinates (for multiple level eg. roof + in-rack or birdcage) into the SAME DXF file. Therefore your layout drawing AND project data will ALWAYS be in-step. So there is no longer any question about whether you do the CAD drawing OR the hydraulics first - with this program, you do both together. How many times has your Reviewing Authority found the inevitable differences between the CAD drawing and the corresponding hydraulic calculations? Was this because you have used different programs or even different people to enter what is essentially the same information?
Click here for tutorial [24th January 2013 - about 9kb - just "Save" it to somewhere on your hard disk]. I have redone this as as .RTF file so users with HD screens can just reduce the width of FREESHP and have WORDPAD or similar running alongside, making it easier to step through the various options and see the program in operation.
You can change the decimal separator (. or ,) in your "International / Regional Settings" and swap data files between users across borders eg. Denmark to/from UK, where they will get exactly the same answers of course and have the originators name on the results presentation. The "Tree" and "Grid" wizards simplify the entry of symmetrical mains and branch lines groups. This is what the main screen of FREESHP looks like :-
Unique noding method :-
If you are familiar with 'node' numbers you will be aware how involved these can be and what errors can result from inadvertently typing 3997 instead of 3797! Besides they take a long time to enter and reference back to the drawing. Existing software products force you to adopt this long winded approach because node numbers are easy to program and people just expect them to be there! However, I am sure you have realised that you only actually need node numbers at tees or crosses, when 3 or 4 pipes meet, and where there is a choice of whether you continue numbering through the junction or round the branch. Everywhere else (elbows, head tees, joints or change of pipe type or size), you can only carry on from the previous pipe section until you get to another tee / cross or reach the end of that main or branch line. You then go back to any previous 'end' reference / tag until the whole pipework system (from the source out to all the operating heads / nozzles OR from the pipe to the furthermost head back towards the source as YOU choose) has been specified.
In other words, "each pipe is fed from the previous one, unless an earlier 'start' reference is given and this has to be an 'end' reference that has been quoted before".
This quick and easy-to-follow numbering method is therefore UNIQUE to FREESHP. You only need give a reference like T1, T2, R1, R34 etc to the appropriate junctions - that is all. How many tees can you see in the above drawing? Yes 2 - my new scheme only needs 2 references / tags (R1 and R2 above) to describe the complete pipework arrangement of how 24 separate pipe sections fit together to get from the source out to the 12 heads in this instance. The computer can easily allocate node numbers for all the pipes itself as needed for the results presentation. Of course, for compatability with previous programs, you can still enter the pipes as 100>110, 110>120, 120>130, 130>131 etc. but you are making extra work, and perhaps introducing errors, if you do so.
Full details are provided on the "Help" screens within the program, but essentially for each pipe, you just give the size (eg. 80), length (eg. 3.4), a direction and slope (eg. N for north or E@6 for east at 6 degrees), any fittings (eg. GV for gate valve) and if there is an operating sprinkler head at the far end (eg. U for upright, P for pendent and S for sidewall) - that is all, except where one needs to quote the start and/or end node reference to change the 'follow on from the previous pipe' arrangement and some extra lines to give the pipe type and head data as shown in the following screen shot - the project information is under Data ...
Note how you can copy + paste the common branch lines without worrying about duplicate node numbers or having to change them manually because there aren't any! You do not have to line up the items of data under the various headings eg. if you type > 80 3 N E (with a single [space] between each item) and press [Enter] then the diagram will be redrawn with the new pipe which will now read
> 80 3.000 N EIsn't it much easier to "see" the drawing immediately after typing in a new pipe rather than just entering one or more pipes on a data only screen and hoping you have not made any errors that will generate some weird 'warning' messages and then have to be fixed without knowing that your changes will work? If you click on a pipe on the drawing, then it will be highlighted on the data entry screen and if you click on one of the lines on the "Pipes" screen, it will be highlighted on the drawing. Please also note that you can save on the typing by using the ]ref and [ref codes (as shown above) such that any changes to the first pipe are automatically copied to the repeated pipes.
Whilst all sprinkler software, including my ones described here, uses "node" numbers to identify pipe junctions, operating heads and pipes, most demand that you MUST start at the source - pump, gravity tank or city / towns main and work OUTWARDS to the hydraulically demanding area. However, FREESHP is unique in only requiring "node refs" at the much fewer tees / crosses, not at the start and end of EVERY pipe in your system. This also means that you can begin at the pipe to the furthest operating head / nozzle and then specify the previous pipes leading BACK to the source one-by-one, updating the drawing each time and using the Copy / Paste options to repeat any common pipes (remember, no actual "node" numbers). Every few pipes / heads so added, you can use the "Calculate" option to ensure that any pipe sizes you give are correct for the corresponding flow rate before typing in the remaining upstream pipes. You will not get the right answer, of course, until you finish at the source but you may find this method more intuitive and quicker in practise than always starting at node 100.
If you do not agree with how I have produced FREESHP, then I offer the full source code of the core data entry, checking, calculations and results presentation parts in PASCAL and VISUAL BASIC on the SHP4FPC page. Both the languages / source codes are completely free, of course, so you can easily program your own specific version.
[17.04.13] If you are comparing the results from FREESHP against my previous AACALC7 program, then please note that some of the fittings have different names (eg. CV in FREESHP was called SV in AACALC7, ANV is the same as MV, GLV is the same as GL and TT, AV and ST are new to FREESHP).
[26.01.13] Modified the reading in of DXF files to cope with the different formats in CAD programs so that if you amended the drawing produced by FREESHP, those changes were sometimes rejected.
[14.09.12] There are some more "Help" screens to describe the three calculation options for those not familiar with the NFPA Rules and extra checks on missing / coincident or unnecessary node references in case these are misconstrued as pipe numbers!
[04.07.12] "Quick Calc" part added to skip the Results presentation when just making a few changes (eg. pipe size) in the existing "Quick Edit" option and then shows the previous source flow and pressure for comparison along with the other pipe properties on the drawing. All described in the Help section under "Show text item" and "Calculate".
FREESHP does NOT need a CAD program [such as LibreCAD (http://librecad.org) which is Free Open Source Software for the creation / amendment of standard DXF files] to operate, but if you have one, then :-
- prepare the building / other services / title block drawing and save it as a text DXF file
- select "New" in my program and enter the project data with the above file name in Q38
- start at the source and enter all the pipes (as just described) out to the operating heads
- you may need to revise Q36 and 37 to line up one of the pipes with the drawing co-ordinates
- at any appropriate time or when complete, select "Calculate" to perform the hydraulic calcs
- when satisfactory, exit FREESHP - you now have one text based DXF file containing the 3D pipe data AND the finished 2D/3D sprinkler layout drawing, without ever "drawing" it in CAD!
- You can Email the two DXF files (text only so no viruses) and the FREESHP program to your Reviewing Authority (they do not need a CAD program)
- they just "Open" this job file and can then see ALL the pipework + building drawing in 2D / 3D for themselves and can simply "Calculate" to show the full results presentation on screen
Therefore, you only have to prepare ONE set of data for FREESHP without using a separate CAD program to draw everything out again (as with other hydraulics programs!) so the two can never get out of step. Your client / other members of the design team / reviewers will therefore get exactly the same results as you and can "see" your sprinkler system in 3D from the SAME set of data. When you think how long it takes you to draw out the CAD drawing and keep it up-to-date with the older hydraulics programs, then FREESHP will pay for itself very quickly - ohh, it doesn't cost anything to start with!
The 3rd picture shows part of the results presentation on the screen immediately after selecting the 'Calculate' button ...
The program can do lots of other sprinkler / spray systems including gridded systems - here showing the pipe sizes on a plan view - these all show how FREESHP operates under "Windows 7" ...
This shows an isometric of a deluge system confirming the flow rates / directions - the mouse is over the pipe highlighted in blue so it's details are shown at the bottom of the screen ...
If you wish to validate my program against any others, then try the following "Loop Test" using the Hazen-Williams pressure drop formula and Hardy-Cross iterations to balance the 11 loops automatically found. The flows must be equal in the 4 lower loops (at one eighth of the total) and showing zero flow through the top 4 branch lines as there is equal pressure at both ends ...
The next picture shows the water velocities in a "birdcage" system protecting a transformer or oil tank - there is no flow through some pipes because the layout is symmetrical and one can even include the 'drain' holes and change from the normal 30deg isometrics ...
May 2011 - the following picture shows how the new "Tree" wizard can automatically draw out common pipework layouts - one only has to type in 10 pipes and adjust 8 "sliders" to immediately see the effects and make 10 to 30 heads operating and that is the complete drawing finished!
May 2011 - the following picture shows how the new "Grid" wizard can automatically draw out a gridded pipework system and then adding in two "Tree" wizard parts to add the external canopy - only 8 pipes actually had to be typed in so the whole scheme was finished in 10 minutes.
May 2011 - the next picture shows how the new "Graph" part immediately draws out a flow / pressure drop / pipe sizes / velocities diagram for any of the pipe types stored in FREESHP ...
I have also added a "Flow / Pressure / Node" diagram to this program as a better way of visualising the hydraulics of any pipework system. The source will be in the top right hand corner with all the pipes flowing down to the bottom left hand corner to the operating heads / nozzles - if you hover your mouse over any of the blue circles, then that node number is confirmed.
I have also ensured that FREESHP (and all my other programs) will work on the latest Windows 8 as shown on the following screen shot of the "Grid" wizard in operation :-
Note how you can select several questions relating to numbers, spacing, slopes etc. and then move a little 'slider' bar to change that parameter and immediately see the resulting drawing - what could be easier? The text under the drawing is in red as there aren't any operating heads yet and that most of the buttons on the left hand panel can still change the pipe properties, view etc.
Please carry out a Technical Review of this program :-
I have thoughtfully provided 10 examples so your full technical review should only take a few minutes to see the advantages of my new unique "Tees/Crosses Only" numbering system AND storing all the input / output data in the same DXF file - you will not find these methods in any other hydraulics program because I developed them and didn't just copy what somebody else had done before. By publishing this numbering system / all-in-one DXF file on this webpage and my FREESHP program in March 2010, I have established my Intellectual Property rights over these aspects, so if YOU can provide details of any other Building Services computer programs (piping, ducting, cabling etc.) using these same ideas, then I will be sure to pay you a substantial "finders fee" when I pursue them for licencing costs.
If you want any extra pipe types :-
I have elected to store all the pipe types, sizes and fittings within the program so that everybody using it will get the same answers. You can therefore just attach the simple text data files to your email for the reviewer / authority having jurisdiction, rather than just printing the results or emailing static PDF files. However, you may need to email me details of any additional pipe and fitting types applicable to your projects in your country as you cannot expect me to know them all!
Summary of key points of FREESHP :-
- Node numbers / refs are only required at tees / crosses not at each end of all pipes
- You give the size, length, direction and slope of pipes so a 3D picture is produced
- More intuitive than older 'spreadsheet' grid programs that cannot show a picture
- You can start at the source or the pipe to furthest head in design area
- You can enter data for the whole drawing or just for the hydraulically significant area
- When you move mouse near a pipe on the drawing then it is highlighted in data
- When you have the edit cursor over a data line then it is highlighted on the drawing
- Pipe fittings can be worked out automatically or specified as required
- MJCs, orifice plates or partially closed valves can be included
- Plans, elevations and isometric views on screen of all or "zoomed in" drawing
- Up to 20 pipe properties can be shown against pipes or for individual sections
- Heads / nozzles (operating or not) given by "k" factor / min flow in groups
- Comprehensive library of pipe types just specified by changes through system
- All in just one DXF file; your data and an integral 2D / 3D drawing for CAD
- You can have a 'background' DXF file of building, structural, other services etc.
- LibreCAD is Free Open Source CAD Software for standard DXF files
- Only a minimum of data about project is needed; most can be left at 'defaults'
- One click "Calculate" - no weird options to select or superfluous summaries
- You can skip the "Results" if only editing one or more pipe sizes to see the changes
- Simple screen editor data entry (just like letters / emails) so you can 'see' all changes
- Most suitable for 23/24/27" monitors - no tiny menus, all text easily readable and the 'Pipes' form can be moved so as not to obscure the picture
- Easy to copy groups or single pipes - remember no node numbers except at tees
- You can have comma (,) or full stop (.) as decimal point key
- Calculations for any density / hazard / numbers of heads for "demand" or "source"
- Velocity pressure easily included at intermediate heads
- Standard NFPA format results presentation for viewing, printing or to PDF file
- You can now 'double-click' on results listing to change the font
- Flow / pressure drop graph and flows / pressures / nodes diagrams
- Tree and Grid Wizards for quickly drawing out repetitive pipe layouts
- Less than 40 error / warning messages (not 400!) and plenty of help / demo jobs
- All options are shown in panel on left hand side of screen with large drawing area
- No menu, 'right clicking' or tiny pictures for you to remember what they do
- 10 example jobs provided to assist your technical evaluation
- You give the Size, Length and Direction for each pipe to automatically produce the Sprinkler Layout Drawing - what could be easier?
- If you have purchased any of the older CALCER, CALCPLUS, COMMERCIAL 5.8, DASHBOARD, FHC, FIRE, HYDRACALC, PIPENET, SHC, SPRINKCALC, WINSPRINK or other similar programs, then FREESHP will be suitable for all your future projects in metric units, including the new Windows 8 operating system
- Please look again at the above picture automatically produced as a DXF CAD file directly from your entered data. Isn't this easier to follow and to obviate errors inherent in the 'plain text' or 'spreadsheet' type programs? The only other program (apart from my ones) which shows a drawing forces you to type in the 'X' and 'Y' co-ordinates of each node - how time consuming is that and all you get for your effort is a plan! No isometrics or elevations at all
- Don't forget all this is FREE - just download AAINFO first and you can be using FREESHP in the next minute - no licence, no registration, no Email, no setup - who else offers such essential software, anonymously and for nothing?
I have moved the program listings about the Hazen-Williams pressure drop formula and the calculation of velocity pressure at heads with Microsoft Small Basic or Qbasic to the end of this page so you can create your own hydraulic calculator.
How to do full hydraulic calculations with FREESHP :-
Firstly, you will need a design to work from. You must determine the density / area of operation based on the building use, occupancy, risks and hazards, to work out the spacings and positions of all the sprinkler heads with reference to the walls, partitions, obstructions, rooflights, ventilation ductwork, electrical lights, cable trays etc. as given in the NFPA 13 / 15 Rules. You then need to draw out branch lines, cross mains and feed mains back to the water supply pumps / tanks / city mains. For FM Global, you will need to consider DA, TNOS, NORSBL and SKEW as appropriate. The resulting pipework layout can be drawn up in CAD, sketched out as a isometric or marked out to scale on architects / builders plans - if you do not have such a layout with dimensions, elevations and all pertinent details, then you cannot proceed with the hydraulic calculations.
Start FREESHP, select "NEW" and enter the project details as the various questions. Amend the initial PT and HT lines within "PIPES". Begin at the source and type in the size, length, direction and any special fittings (with one or more spaces between each) - upon pressing "Enter", that pipe will be drawn on the screen. Continue on from this pipe, to the next and so on out to the hydraulically most demanding area - you can ignore any end / centre fed branch lines not involved. When pipes end in an operating sprinkler head, put a U or P code at the end of the typed in line to see the head symbol drawn out. Continue to enter pipes until you reach the end of that branch line or main and then put in the 'Start ID' or 'End ID' tag at the matching previous pipe so that the rest of the pipes you type in will follow on from that place, until again you end that new branch line or main. You can copy / paste any previously typed in lines to another place in the data if a set of branch lines are all the same or can use the [ and ] options when you become an expert.
For a gridded system, I suggest you initially consider it as an end-fed system so please end each branch line (operating or not) at the backtrack before going along the fronttrack to the next branch line and so on. When all the branch lines are finished then just continue back down the backtrack, picking up the "End ID" tags of the previous branch lines.
You can click on "CALCULATE" at any time after one or more operating heads have been specified but you will not get the final answer until all the appropriate pipes / heads are on the screen. The RESULTS PRESENTATION should be quite clear but you may get some informative error / warning messages to highlight any problems with the design or the calculations. Perhaps you should start with a small two end fed branch line system to get used to the data entry / amendment options BEFORE you progress to a real job. I provide 10 "DEMO" examples so a quick study of these will soon have you familiar with FREESHP enabling you to do all your future sprinkler / spray systems.
For NEW projects :-
The FREESHP program can best be described as a Rapid Integrated Sprinkler Layout Drawing and Hydraulic Calculations Development Environment can be used for all new sprinkler / spray projects as it allows you to :-
- DESIGN : Import a background DXF file of building if you have a CAD program
- DRAW : After a few project data items, just type out your sprinkler system in one place, pipe by pipe, copy / paste groups of pipes, have "master" and multiple "copies" or use simple Tree / Grid Wizards to see 3D plans, elevations or isometrics immediately on screen - remember node numbers are only needed at tees and the drawing is redrawn / saved every time you add a pipe so you get instant feedback
- CALCULATE : One click will perform all the hydraulic balancing of flows / pressures to the hydraulically most demanding area of operation and promptly show the full NFPA format colour-coded results presentation on screen (or informative error messages) with all the pertinent design parameters back on the zoomable 3D drawing
- SEND : One or two more mouse clicks will printout the results or produce PDF files for the AHJ / Reviewer or you can just Email them the (text only) DXF file(s) as they can also have FREESHP and will therefore get identical answers
- ONE DATA FILE : The same DXF file contains the project data / pipe details and the automatically produced sprinkler layout drawing so the two can never get out-of-step as they can, and do, if you currently use 2 different programs
For EXISTING projects :-
FREESHP is also extremely useful in the hydraulic analysis of existing sprinkler installations :-
- If the building occupancy, storage risk, stacking heights etc. have changed then this program will enable you to determine the impact on the water supply, flows, pressures, densities and so on by simply changing a few design parameters and immediately seeing the results
- If the city / towns mains pressure has been reduced, then the lower densities / area of operation can be identified and, perhaps, some "key" pipes increased in size or end-fed mains "looped" to restore the original specification
- If the project was designed to pre-calculated or table pipe sizes, then the actual density of coverage over a set area of sprinkler operation can be evaluated for the new water supply / hazard classification - if you just have a quick site survey or only some faded design drawings to work from, then the "Tree/Grid" wizards will allow a quick appraisal to see the extent of possible changes required, before the detailed calculations need be considered
- You can account for the age, condition and possible contamination of older installations by reducing the pipe bores and/or "C" factor by a set percentage to gauge the effect on the head flows / pressures etc. This makes quite a lot of difference - try it and see!
- It is well known that most fires in sprinklered premises are extinguished by 4 or less heads, so this program will easily allow you to simulate the densities achieved by starting with just 1 head operating and then turning others "on", one by one, whilst monitoring key values on the 3D on-screen drawing and minimum / maximum results summaries
- There are lots of other "what if?" changes that you can carry out to determine any weaknesses in the original design layout and offer appropriate cost-effective recommendations for improvement, whilst keeping impairment time to a minimum
- As this program is free, a consultant / designer can prepare the data files and email them to the client, insurance company or installer, who can then "see" the project for themselves on their own computers
I offer the following listings about pipe pressure drops ...
There are a number of free computer programming languages on the Internet, so if you would like to try out the following example, please search for Microsoft Small Basic, download and install it on your PC, start the program and then type in (or Copy/Paste) these 11 lines ...
pipe = 10 bore = 25 hwcf = 120 flow = 100 bore487 = Math.Power(bore, 4.87) hwcf185 = Math.Power(hwcf, 1.85) pdrop = 605000 * pipe * Math.Power(flow, 1.85) / hwcf185 / bore487 TextWindow.WriteLine("Pressure drop = " + pdrop + " bar") area = Math.Pi * bore * bore / 4 vel = flow / area * 1000 / 60 TextWindow.WriteLine("Velocity = " + vel + " m/s")
Click on "Run" (or press 'F5') and you will see the pressure drop given as 0.67189 bars and velocity of 3.395 m/s, if you have typed it in correctly. The various parts of the lines are colour coded and the first 4 lines give the pipe length in m, diameter in mm, Hazen Williams "C" factor and flow in L/min. The next 2 lines calculate those values raised to the given power (I only did it this way else the next line was too wide to fit on this page), the variable pdrop is then calculated and displayed. The last 3 lines calculate the area, then the velocity (the 1000/60 converts the L/min into m/sec) and that result is displayed. If you want to try different values, just overtype the first 4 numbers as appropriate (spaces are important) and hit 'F5' again and you can save this little program by clicking on the "Save" icon. There are lots of extra options and features in Small Basic and are explained in the "Introduction" PDF file. Yes I know this may not be very user-friendly, but what did you expect in just 11 lines? There are over 8000 lines of Delphi Pascal code in FREESHP!
... or if you still have the original W95, W98 or XP CDs :-
You might wish to copy qbasic.exe and qbasic.hlp from the /TOOLS/OLDMSDOS folder on the Microsoft Windows 95, 98 and (some) XP Home installation CDs to a new / existing folder on your PC. When run, QBASIC will display a blank text box where you can type ...
CLS pipe = 10 bore = 25 hwcf = 120 flow = 100 pdrop = 605000 * pipe * flow ^ 1.85 / hwcf ^ 1.85 / bore ^ 4.87 PRINT USING "Pressure drop = ##.##### bar"; pdrop area = 3.14159 * bore * bore / 4 vel = flow / area * 1000 / 60 PRINT USING "Velocity = ##.##### m/s"; vel
If you press 'F5' to run it, you should get the same answers as the above example and can save it with [ALT] F S and type a name. Use [ALT] F X to exit, just like we still do over 16 years later! There is a page on Wikipedia about Qbasic with some download links. Once you have got the above version working, you can easily add some more features to suit your own requirements. If you upgrade to the free Microsoft Visual Basic Express 2010 (or similar; Delphi XE Starter Edition is less than £200), then you could even put such a program on your website and allow designers to download it, in return for their Email address - I doubt if you would get many takers though as it is so simple for people to do one themselves. The sprinkler head "K" factor equation is really too trivial for a program, although you could include specific gravity I suppose!
Velocity pressure calculation :-
[New 7th June 2011] I have had several Emails asking about the calculation of velocity pressure at intermediate (not end of branches) heads in a sprinkler system as it is not well covered in NFPA 13. Well, that is because there is a better explanation in NFPA 15! Whilst I am offering some BASIC programs, this is how this step by step process works. For Demonstration 2 in FREESHP, without velocity pressure [Q24 = No], the head pressure at node 117 is 0.6066 bars, so for a "K" factor of 80, it's flow rate is therefore 62.31 L/min adding on to the end head of 58.50 L/min. If you change Q24 to Yes, then the pressure is the same, but the flow rate reduces to 61.21 L/min for a velocity pressure of 0.0212 bars in a 32mm S40 pipe - look at the status line at the bottom of the FREESHP screen for the second pipe on the middle range. I have therefore entered the matching values below for lines 2 to 6; flow is the downstream flow rate, headpress is the pressure at the head (from the end head + friction loss + static difference), headkfact is the head "K" factor, bore is the internal diameter of the supply and fluidsg is the specific gravity of water.
CLS flow = 58.5 headpress = .6066 headkfact = 80 bore = 35.1 fluidsg = 1 area = 3.14159 * bore * bore / 4 headflow = headkfact * SQR(headpress / fluidsg) PRINT USING "Head flow without VP = ###.## L/min"; headflow diffflow = headflow WHILE diffflow > .000001 vel = (flow + headflow) / area * 1000 / 60 velpress = .0049924 * vel * vel newflow = headkfact * SQR((headpress - velpress) / fluidsg) diffflow = ABS(newflow - headflow) headflow = newflow WEND PRINT USING "Head flow with VP = ###.## L/min"; headflow PRINT USING "Velocity pressure = ##.#### bars"; velpress
The area and head flow rate are calculated and a loop is begun, calculating the velocity, velocity pressure (the 0.0049924 is the metric version of the velocity pressure equation in the NFPA Rules) and a new head flow rate including the velocity pressure. The difference between the old and new head flows are stored in diffflow and the WEND causes the loop to try again until it is less than 1 millionth of a L/min, when the final two lines give the results - in this case 61.21 and 0.0212. So here we have an example of why computers are used for sprinkler hydraulic calculations as you could never do this with just a pocket calculator! This is just for 1 head! So if you type this little program into QBASIC, then you only need amend lines 2 to 6 to check any velocity pressure calculations - remember F5 to run it. You can cut / paste the above lines of code and store them as (say) velpress.bas in the folder / directory where you have QBASIC to save on typing.
All modern hydraulics programs used throughout the world already include this option automatically but it does not make much difference in a sprinkler system as there are only a few heads operating - demo 2 changes from 775.1 L/min at 3.072 bars to 759.8 L/min at 3.008 bars with velocity pressure. However for large deluge, drencher, spray etc. systems, the reduction will be much more, perhaps meaning that smaller pipe / pump sizes could be adopted. Please note that although FREESHP calculates the velocity pressure in all the pipes (so it can point out where this exceeds 5% of the end pressure as the NFPA Rules specify), it is ONLY applied at intermediate heads (not at end of branches, on rise / drops or within gridded systems) if you require it by setting Q24 to Yes, otherwise Pv will be zero.
AACALC8 program added 1st November 2012 ...
The first screen above determines the minimum number of sprinkler heads of a given coverage in a room or building - you just move the 3 'sliders' to suit and the best arrangement is highlighted with other valid arrangements shown. Note how the spacings between heads has been rounded to the nearest 5 mm that all expert designers apply.
The second page is in two parts - the top section allows you to vary a sprinkler head "K" factor, the flow, pressure, density, area and specific gravity to see the remaining 'sliders' adjust accordingly. As you would expect, all the 6 controls affect one or more of the other values following the standard formula. The "K" factor can be all the standard ones - 57, 80 and 115 as well as 112, 143, 160, 200, 242, 322 up to 362 for ESFR heads. The bottom section takes this head / nozzle flow / pressure down a end-fed or centre-fed range of 6 pipes of a set slope and pipe type (M, MW, DIN or S40) but you can vary the maximum velocity as required and see how the density / pressure values change - very useful for selecting the pipe sizes in a subsequent full hydraulic calculation.
The third page is again in two sections - the top part allows you to adjust 'sliders' for pipe size, length, "C" factor and flow to determine the pressure drop (using the Hazen-Williams formula) and the velocity. I have added the reverse so you can adjust the pressure drop slider to recalculate the flow rate keeping the diameter and length constant and adjusting the velocity will recalculate the pipe size keeping the flow rate the same. The lower part just allows you to type in the same information to a higher accuracy or range and do the same pressure drop / velocity calculation, so you can do two comparisons at the same time or check any hydraulic program printouts.
The fourth page (added 17th April 2013) is the same as the GRAPH part of FREESHP and allows you to select the pipe type (in A-Z order), the Hazen Williams "C" factor and the maximum flow rate (from 100 to 50000 L/min) whereby the corresponding pressure drop is shown, with the velocity in green, for each of the applicable pipe sizes.
You will note that I have kept to the new Microsoft "everything is white now" concept in Windows 8 (but have added a bit of colour (sic) in my own inimitable way in larger font sizes but can easily change it to 10 point black and grey text if you prefer). I have also left room for any other little calculation routines you may wish to suggest by Email.
If you wish to question the originality of AACALC8 then just look up Page 14 of the February 1993 issue of the (now defunct) Fire Surveyor magazine where there was a very interesting article about "Sprinkler Calculation Computer Programs" by somebody called Alan Ashfield who offered the same 3 algorithms (+ one about orifice plates no longer applicable) to people who sent me a 3.5" floppy disk. I had about 50 requests - does anybody still have (or use) that DOS disk?
If you are considering my hydraulics programs against others ...
- I supply the full program, not just a 'demo' (or only a pdf file!), where you enter your name / address for the results presentation only, not for my records
- I tell you the cost of purchase (zero), support (zero), updates (zero) and training (zero)
- I show the input data and results presentations on this website - if others don't, you must ask why - perhaps they are too complicated, confusing, unclear or just not very good
- There are no adverts, links to authorised(!) partners or tracking of visitors on this website
- All programs have been written in the last 36 months, not 10 or more years ago
- I offer innovative input data alternatives, not perservering with an out of date format
- I regularily update the programs / website - other firms haven't changed theirs in years
- I suspect your company will only do a few full hydraulically calculated projects per year, so why buy an expensive software package which you will forget how to use when those jobs actually come along - hence the need to keep the software simple
- Other suppliers offer just one program, I now provide 5 alternatives with more to come!
- You don't need to send printouts / pdfs of results to your Reviewing Authority, just email them your (text-only) project file and they can also have a free copy of the appropriate program - they simply "Open" to find it and "Calculate" or "Results" to see the drawing / nozzle / pipe information on screen; what could be easier for them and for you
- If you are a designer, you can do work for several contractors by having copies of my programs in different folders on your computer; one for each address
- All my programs are portable and will run directly from a USB memory stick - no setup / installation required nor changes to registry so you are not limited to specific PCs
- You should always be wary of programs that have 'setup' or 'install' routines as these invariably create umpteen folders / libraries / icons / examples anywhere they wish on your computers hard disk and institute internet connections without your knowledge - I only have to supply one .exe file that you can store where you want on your PCs
- All new and prospective users can now take advantage of "no hassle" support packs for all my sprinkler hydraulics programs where you get the latest software and full technical support by telephone or email (no support tickets!) for :-
- Zero pounds, euros or dollars for 1 year
- Zero pounds, euros or dollars for 2 years
- Zero pounds, euros or dollars for 3 years
- There are no CDs / invoices to post or receive and these rates apply regardless of the number of copies of the programs in your various offices, at home or on sites with no action from you
- Most other suppliers who charge an update fee also arrange their programs to STOP working at the end of the year, so if you don't pay, ALL your jobs no longer can be calculated. You will never pay any support fees for my AACALC7, FREESHP, VSHP, 3RD, HYD, CO2 etc. programs