Component Loss Calculations (for Heat Exchangers, Chillers, or other item)

Some components in a piping system will often have their own press drop performance curve, which defines the pressure drop introduced for fluid flowing through the component at a particular flow rate. This data is often provided by the component's manufacturer, based on the results of actual operational tests.

Flow versus Head Loss, Pressure Drop Performance Curve

Component Pressure Loss Curve for a radiator There are numerous components which may have their own pressure loss performance curve, including items such as heat exchangers, radiators, hot cylinders, air handling units and chillers.

A typical component pressure loss curve plots the flow rate against the associated pressure drop that this creates. As the flow rate through the component increases so the pressure drop introduced also increases.

To find the solution to flow in a piping network it is necessary to solve the system so that the calculated flow in a pipe, and the flow through a component, produce the correct pressure drop such that the steady state flow and pressure conditions throughout the network balance. This is not an easy task.

Pipe Flow Expert, our software for solving pipe networks, allows components to be included in the piping design, by specifying their associated flow versus pressure loss performance curve. When the system is solved, the operating point on the components performance curve is automatically calculated for the overall balanced condition, and allows the user to see the flow and pressure loss that will occur through each component.

Fixed Component Losses

Certain components may introduce a known fixed pressure loss, or a piping engineer may wish to include a maximum pressure drop for a component when running a set of design calculations.

Pipe Flow Expert also allows engineers to specify an exact fixed pressure drop for a component, and this will be taken into account when the system is solved.

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