I recently heard the phrase “Technology is a tool and not a solution,” used in a presentation, and the statement help me explain what hydraulic modeling is to a facility engineer. In recent months, we have been preaching the benefits of this unique “tool” to our clients with central chilled-water plants, and I have struggled to find a “layman’s interpretation” of what this software represented.
Because hydraulic modeling is not a concept commonly used by design engineers, little is known of this truly useful design-build-management (D-B-M) tool. Analogous to a traveler’s roadmap and automobile, hydraulic modeling clearly identifies the management destination: peak performance at minimum operating cost. It is the accelerator set on cruise control, as well as the indicator of miles per gallon consumed. Hydraulic modeling is also the gas gauge indicating remaining capacity. And finally, it is the “idiot light” that comes on and tells you that you are having a problem in performance and/or delivery.