An Efficient Iterative Method for Looped Pipe Network Hydraulics Free of Flow-Corrections
The original and improved versions of the Hardy Cross iterative method with related modifications are today widely used for the calculation of fluid flow through conduits in loop-like distribution networks of pipes with known node fluid consumptions. Fluid in these networks is usually natural gas for distribution in municipalities, water in waterworks or hot water in district heating systems, air in ventilation systems in buildings and mines, etc. Since the resistances in these networks depend on flow, the problem is not linear like in electrical circuits, and an iterative procedure must be used. In both versions of the Hardy Cross method, in the original and in the improved one, the initial result of calculations in the iteration procedure is not flow, but rather a correction of flow. Unfortunately, these corrections should be added to or subtracted from flow calculated in the previous iteration according to complicated algebraic rules. Unlike the Hardy Cross method, which requires complicated formulas for flow corrections, the new Node-loop method does not need these corrections, as flow is computed directly. This is the main advantage of the new Node-loop method, as the number of iterations is the same as in the modified Hardy Cross method. Consequently, a complex algebraic scheme for the sign of the flow correction is avoided, while the final results remain accurate.