Using PIPE-FLO® to Analyze Large Chill Water Systems

Overview

Shah Smith & Associates business is about striking a balance, increasing reliability, reducing life-cycle costs, maximizing energy efficiency, minimizing environmental impact, complex integration of systems, simplified maintenance protocols, and anticipating future needs.

Clients appreciate their focus on performance standards and cost objectives. Owners and architects value their willingness to look beyond the expected in designing systems to meet esthetic and sustainability requirements. Their attention to detail makes for a smoother construction process.

Jeffery N. Bolander, D.Eng, P.E. and Vice President at Shah Smith & Associates has been using the PIPE-FLO® product line to conduct hydraulic analysis for nearly 10 years. During this time he has used PIPE-FLO® on a variety of projects, often for large chilled water systems on expanding college campuses.

Shah Smith + Associates, Inc.

Shah Smith + Associates, Inc.

1946 South I-35 Ste. 305
Austin, Texas 78704

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The Challenge

Shah Smith & Associates faces the challenge of working with clients who are in the process of expanding or who have already expanded their chill water systems. Eventually, as these systems are expanded, their clients have trouble getting chilled water where it needs to go. Shah Smith & Associates needs to discover problems with their client’s current system and create options to resolve these issues. In addition, they need to plan for growth and understand how proposed future changes will affect the current system. This network analysis is too complicated to be done manually and the company needs a fast, easy, and reliable way to meet their client’s needs.

The Solution

Using PIPE-FLO®, Bolander models the current system as well as various scenarios for growth over time. This allows Shah Smith & Associates to not only meet the current needs of the client, but to plan more effectively for future growth.

As soon as we model the existing system in PIPE-FLO®, we can tell our client where their current problems are occurring and what needs to be done to fix the problem, Bolander said.

Once current issues are isolated and dealt with, Bolander can create different scenarios for how the system will change over time.

"Using the lineup feature I can keep the model consistent throughout each scenario. The more complex the system, the more scenarios I create. I may create up to 20 scenarios for an extremely complicated system. This could include the existing situation, along with buildings that are scheduled to be erected in 5, 10, or even 15 years down the road. I can look at the addition of each phase and understand how it will affect the current system," Bolander said.

Shah Smith & Associates uses the PIPE-FLO® documentation as an added value as they are able to hand the systems they create over to their clients, creating a lifetime document. This has helped the company bring in repeat business from past clients.

"We have a PIPE-FLO® system that we first created in 1995 for a client. When they decided to expand in 1998, we were able to update their system easily in PIPE-FLO®. The same was true when they expanded again in 2005," Bolander said.

"You really couldn’t do this type of network analysis by hand in any reasonable amount of time. You would have to make some pretty big assumptions. You can’t do a comprehensive evaluation without PIPE-FLO®. We simply wouldn’t do it any other way," Bolander added.