Autolayout Function in the Design of Spherical Tank Cooling Water System


In a major oil refinery in the Southern United States, a cooling water system needed to be designed for a large spherical tank used in the refinery. PIPENET was chosen to design this due to the ease of use of the Autolayout feature.

Design Considerations

The key design requirement was to cover the lower hemisphere of a 48ft diameter sphere with at least 0.1 gallons per minute (gpm) of water per square foot at every point.

This problem presents us with a continuum of potential solutions due to the large number of degrees of freedom present. Namely, there are trade-offs between the flow rate, the number of nozzles and the distance between nozzles, although others exist. It must be noted that Autolayout bases its assumptions upon the NFPA15 code of practice (National Fire Protection Association), which states that cooling water must be delivered at a flowrate per unit area of 0.25 gpm/ft-2 , as opposed to the 0.1 gpm/ft-2 required by the system.

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