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Visual Hydraulics Overview




What is Visual Hydraulics?

Visual Hydraulics is a state of the art, flexible hydraulic analysis tool.  It is used primarily for modeling the hydraulic characteristics of water and wastewater treatment plants, and is capable of analyzing entire hydraulic profiles.  The program follows the traditional method for analyzing water surface profiles: a downstream control point is selected, and the hydraulic profile is then determined upstream of that control point.

What can Visual Hydraulics model?

Visual Hydraulics covers most of the hydraulic features typically encountered in a treatment plant application.  A user may analyze the following features: full flow pipes, open channels (rectangular, trapezoidal, triangular, circular) and channel contractions/expansions, combining/dividing tees, tanks, orifice/baffle/gate(s), weirs (v-notch, rectangular notch, rectangular, sharp crested, Cipolletti, contracted, and broad crested), flumes (Parshall, rectangular, trapezoidal, cutthroat), racks/screening devices, tank launders, filter media, contraction/enlargements, control valves, and Venturi meters.  Submerged weir and flume analysis is also included.

Other Features 

In addition to the standard hydraulic features that may be analyzed with Visual Hydraulics, other special features are available that offer the designer additional flexibility.  The special loss tool allows the designer to formulate head loss equations for any hydraulic feature if the hydraulic behavior of that feature is known.  The program takes user supplied flow vs. head loss points and formulates a best-fit head loss equation using regression analysis.  This equation can then be applied to the hydraulic profile.  The flow split analysis tool allows the designer to analyze how flow will be split between unequal sets of pipes or weirs.  The designer provides the overall flow and characteristics of each pipe or weir in the system, and the program uses an iterative method to determine what flow values through each pipe or weir will create an equal head loss or head value for the overall flow.  In addition, a manifold/diffuser tool is provided that performs the full hydraulic analysis of diffuser type systems, such as outfalls or trickling filter distributors.

Program Modes

Although the default mode for this program is the “full profile” mode, the user may also analyze any unit individually, or in “individual section” mode.  In full profile mode the program will analyze an entire hydraulic profile, while in individual section mode sections can be analyzed separately and independently of the current hydraulic profile.  The user may switch between either mode during design.