A Spreadsheet Replacement for Hardy-Cross Piping System Analysis in Undergraduate Hydraulics

A Spreadsheet Replacement for Hardy-Cross Piping System Analysis in Undergraduate Hydraulics

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1 A S PREADSHEET R EPLACEMENT FOR H ARDY -C ROSS P IPING S YSTEM A NALYSIS IN U NDERGRADUATE H YDRAULICS David H. Huddleston 1 , P.E., Member, ASCE, Vladimir J. Alarcon 2 and Wei Chen 3 1 Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9546, Telephone: (662)-325-7193, Facsimile: (662)- 325-7189, Email: hudd@engr.msstate.edu. 2 Post-doctoral Associate, Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-9546, Telephone: (662) 325-2746, Facsimile: (662) 325-2746, Email: valarcon@pss.msstate.edu. 3 Coastal Engineer, Pacific International Engineering, PLLC, P.O. Box 1599, 123 2nd Ave South, Edmonds, WA 98020, Telephone: (425) 921-1708, Facsimile: (425) 744- 1400, Email: weic@piengr.com. Abstract The analysis of water distribution networks has been and will continue to be a core component of civil engineering water resources curricula. Since introduction in 1936, the Hardy-Cross method has been used in virtually every water resources engineering text to introduce students to network analysis. Implementation of the technique has evolved from manual solution, to programming assignments, to spreadsheet implementations but the basic technique has remained invariant. The technique’s amenability to manual calculation methods facilitated its integration into engineering curricula. However, the same subtle elegancies that facilitate manual calculations often obscure the primary engineering and physical principles of water distribution systems relative to the nuances of implementation. Herein, the authors illustrate the application of commonly available spreadsheet software (MicroSoft Excel) to more concisely and effectively solve typical undergraduate network distribution problems using linear theory. Application development is much more efficient and straightforward than the corresponding Hardy-Cross implementation enabling students to concentrate upon the engineering system and relevant design issues. The technique presented utilizes commonly available technology and is presented as a supplement to alternatives discussed in recent literature. Introduction As an applied science, there exists a natural tension between the study of fundamental scientific theory and instruction in the application of analysis and design methodologies within undergraduate engineering curricula. Most engineering courses are structured to emphasize the relevant physical, chemical and biological processes that are then reinforced by studying specific problem solving skills applied to systems Copyright ASCE 2004 World Water Congress 2004 Downloaded 18 Aug 2006 to 152.1.79.104. Redistribution subject to ASCE license or copyright, see http://www.ascelibrary.org/
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2 of engineering interest. In the area of water resources engineering, analysis commonly results in non-linear differential or algebraic equations or systems of equations. Consequently, the level of application complexity and realism introduced to undergraduates is often limited by students’ computational capability. Instructors
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A Spreadsheet Replacement for Hardy-Cross Piping System Analysis in Undergraduate Hydraulics

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