Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

PIPE-FLO Professional and Flow of Fluids version 12.0.19520 was released on 2/28/2013.

Major Changes Between PIPE-FLO Professional 12 and 2009

PIPE-FLO Professional 12 is a major update with significant improvements to the user interface and underlying architecture of the program. Many features have been improved and calculation methods have been updated. Some features in PIPE-FLO 2009 are not available in version 12.

User Interface

Dockable Windows: Windows can be docked, tabbed, closed, or undocked and placed outside of the main window. This allows you to take full advantage of a multiple monitor setup, but also accommodates laptop use.

Property Grid: In general the new user interface has far less reliance on dialog boxes and this is most apparent with the entry of device design data. The dockable property grid is used to enter design data for devices and configure some general information for your project. When a device is selected the design data and calculated results for that device is displayed in the Property Grid. Most design data is edited directly in the device's Property Grid, but some information is entered into dialog boxes that are accessed from the Property Grid. Selecting the FLO-Sheet brings up the project Property Grid which allows you to configure authorship information, grid settings, calculation settings, and what information is displayed on the FLO-Sheet.

List View: Editing in the List View window is no longer supported, but the Property Grid and Group Edit features provide a better way of quickly editing design data. The information shown in the List View has been expanded to show all design data and calculated results. Additionally, selecting and even multi-selecting in the List View selects the devices on the FLO-Sheet, providing a convenient way to view and edit information.

Toolbox: The device and annotation tools are now available in the Toolbox window. The Toolbox lists the name of the tool in addition to the icon, which helps in learning the new tools. The tools are are also available on the Toolbar, providing an alternative to the Toolbox that requires less screen space.

FLO-Sheet: The FLO-Sheet and system drawing should be familiar to anyone that has used previous versions. In general, group selection of objects on the FLO-Sheet has been improved by adhering to common software implementations such as:

    • The selection box no longer relies on a pop-up menu. You now simply draw the selection box and then perform the intended action (move, cut, copy, paste, delete, edit design data, etc.)
    • Holding the Ctrl key and clicking objects allows you to add or remove items from the group selection.
    • Device text can be group selected and moved independent of its device.
    • Moving, copying, and deleting of groups of objects can now be done without the objects being connected.
    • Inserting a vertex in a pipe is now done by holding Shift and clicking the pipe. Previously the Ctrl key was used.
    • Resizing capabilities of the image, rectangle and DXF tools has been improved.
    • Text is shown for accurate placement when moving it.
    • All design and calculated data can be shown on the FLO-Sheet.
    • Text may be hidden for any particular device. This works well in combination with Group Edit allowing you to easily show or hide text for any selected group of devices.


Some devices that were a single device v2009 have been split into multiple devices with more specific functions. When opening v2009 files the information is translated into the new device depending on the settings of the original device.

    • Pumps: The single pump device in v2009 is now represented by three different devices in v12; Sizing Pump, Centrifugal Pump, and Pressure Gain Device. The Sizing Pump is equivalent to the "Size pump for" setting in v2009 and is only for determining a design point for pumps or similar equipment. The Sizing Pump will calculate the total dead or pressure rise required to meet a set flow rate. The Centrifugal Pump requires a pump curve and may be set to fixed or variable speed. The Centrifugal Pump performance data may now only be specified in units of head and volumetric flow rate. The Pressure Gain Device is a generic device for modeling any flow vs. pressure gain relationship. Performance data for the Pressure Gain Device may be entered in any unit set.
    • Control Valves: The single Control Valve in v2009 has been split into a Sizing Valve and a Control Valve. The Sizing Valve is for sizing a control valve and does not require any valve data. A setpoint, either flow or pressure, is specified for the Sizing Valve and the resulting pressure drop and flow coefficient are calculated. The Control Valve requires complete valve data and is intended to model an actual known valve.
    • Components: The component in v2009 has been split into the Fixed dP Device and the Curve dP Device in v12. The devices are still used to specify a pressure drop or head loss for a variety of equipment but you must choose between the two depending on whether you want to specify a performance curve or a fixed loss.
    • Demands: The Demand in v2009 has been split into the Flow Demand and Pressure Boudnary in v12. The Pressure Boundary is equivalent to the "Spray" and "Boundary Pressure" settings for the Demand in v2009. The Flow Demand has the same "Flow leaving the system" and "Flow entering the system" settings as v2009.


Units for display and data input may now be updated at any time. The current unit settings serve as the unit set for viewing any design data or results and serve as the default unit for data input. The unit for an individual input may be changed at anytime where the value is entered. There is also increased control over unit definitions for different quantity types and a greater selection of units available.

Group Edit

The new Group Edit feature allows you to edit the design values, text settings, symbol settings, and notes for any group of devices using a composite Property Grid. This greatly increases the speed at which you specify and edit the system design information. The ability to select the devices from either the List View or the FLO-Sheet provides flexibility in creating group selections to edit. The Advanced Operations section in Group Edit allows you to adjust set flow rates by a factor or convert control valves to their calculated position.


The help file has been considerably enhanced to provide comprehensive program usage information and calculation methods. Help is integrated throughout the interface to provide quick access to the information you need to understand your model. There is also a Property Tips Box at the bottom of the Property Grid. The content of the box changes to provide information about whichever field is selected in the Property Grid. DataLink field and table names and hyperlinks to related information in the help file are also provided in the tips box.


Pipe friction factor: Serghide solution is now used to determine the pipe friction factor for calculating head loss using the Darcy-Weisbach equation. The Serghide solution more closely corresponds with the Moody friction factor over a wider range of Reynolds numbers than the Swamee-Jain relationship that was used in v2009.

Control Valves: Calculations have been updated to correspond with most recent standards; ANSI-ISA 75.01.01-2007 and IEC 60534-2-1 Ed. 2.0b:2011. The most significant change to calculation methods from the 2009 version were for transitional and laminar flow in control valves. Also, all factors and intermediate quantities used in valve calculations are now available results.

Control Valve Data Estimator: The data used in the estimator has been updated per the ANSI-ISA 75.01.01-2007. The estimator now uses the updated table for FL, xT, and Fd values of different valve types and the typical FL profiles for certain valve types.

Sizing Valve: Now calculates a flow coefficient corresponding to the calculated flow and pressure drop for convenience in valve sizing.

Flow Meters: Calculations have been updated to correspond with the most recent standard; ASME MFC-3M-2004 (Addenda 3Ma-2007). This includes some changes to the method for calculating discharge coefficients and updates to some calculation warnings per the limits of use stated in the standard. Also, all factors and intermediate quantities used in flow meter calculations are now available results.

Hydraulic Grade: Hydraulic grade at junctions is now calculated using an average of the static pressures calculated at each connected pipe.

Unit Conversions: All unit conversions are now based on the NIST Special Publication 811 2008 Edition, Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI).

Display precision: Values are rounded for display, but full precision inputs and calculated results can now be accessed. For input fields, selecting the field will display the full precision value. Also, full precision design data and results can be used in custom reports and exported to a spreadsheet or database application using the DataLink feature.

Tanks and Fluid Zones: You now have the option of assigning a fluid zone to a tank. This is intended to accommodate situations where you have fluids of different densities entering and leaving the tank. When a fluid zone is assigned to a tank, that fluid will be used to determine the pressure at the pipe connections based on the tank liquid level and penetration heights.

Results Warning Messages

Messages window: The new Messages window provides persistent detailed calculation messages for your system.

    • Selecting messages in the window selects the device on the FLO-Sheet and vice versa in order to effectively evaluate the calculation messages for your system.
    • Each message has a specific identifier that links to the help file for more information on the messages.
    • The message list can be sorted and messages are assigned levels from 0 (calculation error) to 4 (informational).

Message Colors: 2 colors are now used to indicate calculation messages for devices. Red is used for severe warnings that invalidate results, while yellow is used for less severe warnings that require inspection but may or may not need to be corrected.

New Messages: More messages have been added to more precisely communicate problems in the system. Centrifugal pump messages that were previously only displayed in the pump graph window are now also listed in the message window.


Fluid Zones: The properties of a fluid zone is no longer a lineup setting. Instead, the fluid zone assigned to a pipe is a lineup setting. This is more intuitive and with the ability to group edit the fluid zone assigned to a pipe, changing the fluid zone between lineups can be easily accomplished.

Demands: Since the demand tool was split into two separate devices, pressure boundary and flow demand, you can no longer switch between set flow and set pressure on different lineups. However, you can workaround this by attaching the flow demand and pressure boundary to short pipes and open or close the pipes between lineups to isolate one of the devices.

Input Curves: The Curve dP Device (previously the Component) and the new Pressure Gain Device can vary their performance curves between lineups.

Lineup Values Window: This new window provides a view of the lineup settings for a single device. The active lineup can be changed from this window which when used in conjunction with the property grid provides a convenient way of specifying lineup settings for a device. Lineup values can also be reverted to the Design Case value from this window.


Improved Standard Reports: The layout of the standard reports has been improved and they now include more information.

Print Selection: Reports may be printed for the entire system or for only the selected devices in the system.

Custom Reports: The included Report Designer allows you to create your own PIPE-FLO reports. The provided standard reports can be used as a starting point.


System Resistance Curve: The system resistance curve is now displayed in the main pump graph window. Additionally, control valves can now be set to a manual position if you want the resistance of the valves included in the system curve.

Device Graphs: The system must be calculated to create graphs for all devices except the Centrifugal Pump. Graphs for various devices have been expanded to include more data and the loss curve for a set position control valve can now be graphed. These graphs no longer provide the ability to click on graph locations to read the values, but the data used to generate the graph can be easily extracted from the graph window.

Gradient Colors

A dockable window now serves as both the color key and the place to configure the colors and criteria. New criteria includes:

    • valve position
    • installed valve and fittings head loss and pressure drop
    • head loss and pressure drop now applies to all devices whereas previously it only applied to pipes

Some criteria are not available in this initial release:

    • pressure
    • elevation
    • head loss and pressure drop per 100 length of pipe
    • pipe nominal size
    • specification
    • fluid zone and fluid temperature
    • pipe total K value

Pump Selection

The pump selection interface has been streamlined so that pumps can be selected in fewer steps. There are no longer separate manual and design point search routines. The pump selection dialog now provides an always-present selection list of pumps that is filtered on-the-fly as selection criteria is changed. The following features are not included in the new pump selector:

    • Life cycle cost calculator 
    • Resistance curves
    • Pump and curve limit advanced search criteria
    • Curve corrections and losses
    • Ability to save the selection list, no longer support .ufs files


There are no longer user-definable autonaming conventions for pipes and nodes. Instead all devices are autonamed when they are inserted on the FLO-Sheet. The autoname convention is the device name followed by a number that is incremented (e.g., Pipe, Pipe 1, Pipe 2...). You can rename a group of devices using group edit. The specified group name will be applied to all devices with an incremented number at the end. The devices will be numbered in the order that they were selected which provides more control over how the devices are renamed.

Used often in conjunction with autonaming was the "~NAME" feature. Placing a tilde at the beginning of the device name provided the ability to show or hide the text for that device. The tilde feature is no longer supported, but the text for individual devices can now be turned on and off. Using group edit, FLO-Sheet text can easily be hidden or shown for any selected devices.


A new DXF annotation tool can be used to place DXF drawings on the FLO-Sheet. This allows the DXF to be resized at any time and allows for multiple DXFs to be placed on the FLO-Sheet. This functionality replaces the DXF import feature in v2009. DXF export is no longer available.

Fly-by Viewer

This feature is no longer available in the program. The Property Grid and Messages window communicate much of the same information as did the Fly-by Viewer. Also, the List View window can be minimized to show a single row of information and used in much the same way as the Fly-by Viewer for showing design data and results.


Tagging is no longer available, but similar functionality is realized through other features. Using group edit, FLO-Sheet text can easily be hidden for any selected devices. The print selection feature can be used as a replacement for creating reports of only tagged items.


You can now have up to 1 GB of undo information. The exact number of undo actions will vary with system size, but you will typically have hundreds if not thousands of undo actions, whereas v2009 only allowed ten. Also, now any action in the program can be undone whereas v2009 was more restrictive. 

System Summary

There is no longer a System Summary dialog available, but much of the same information is available in a System Summary report. This report contains totals for system devices, valve set flow rates, and pipeline volume. 

Data Tables

Data from the fluid, pipe, and valve tables is now loaded into the PIPE-FLO file when specifications and fluid zones are created. This enables you to edit pipe sizes and installed valve and fittings even if you don't have the data tables that the file was created with.

Additional loss data has been added to the standard valve and fitting table. The new table includes; close pattern return bends, several new check and isolation valve types, and flow conditioners.

Device Symbols

There is now a single symbol file used by PIPE-FLO called flo.shape and located in the tables directory. New symbols have been added to the this file. The program no longer supports user created symbol files, but custom symbols that you may already have can be added to flo.shape. Details on this procedure are detailed here.

My Engineering Files Directory

The default locations for the My Engineering Files folder has changed to better accommodate the Libraries feature in recent Windows operating systems and to avoid installation issues. The My Engineering Files folder contains the data table, pump catalog, graph, and report files used by PIPE-FLO. In addition, there are example and tutorial systems placed in this location on install. It is recommended to move any specific data tables and pump catalogs used in your systems over to the new file location. You may navigate to the new folder location by:

    • Libraries path:  Libraries>Documents>Public Documents>My Engineering Files
    • Directory: C:\Users\Public\Documents\My Engineering Files

Opening Previous Version Files

PIPE-FLO 12 will only open 2009 files. Any pre-2009 PIPE-FLO files will first need to be saved in v2009 before being opened in v12. See the knowledge base article Updating Old PIPE-FLO Project Files to Version 2009 for more information.

Due to differences between the versions 2009 and 12, a 2009 file must first be translated into the new version format. This may result in some minor changes to the system, but should not affect how the system calculates. When a 2009 file is opened in PIPE-FLO 12 a text file will be generated if there are any changes made to the file to make it compatible with the new version.  The text file will give a detailed explanation of the exact changes made to the system. These messages should be evaluated to determine if the changes are acceptable or if additional changes need to be made to the model.

Once a file has been opened and saved in PIPE-FLO 12 it cannot be opened in previous versions. A backup of the 2009 file is created when opened in PIPE-FLO 12. The backup is located in the same directory as the original file and named: filename.v2009backup.pipe 

Opening Files

In addition to conventional methods, files can now also be opened by dragging and dropping the file onto an already opened instance of PIPE-FLO. This provides an easy way to open files without having to navigate to the file through PIPE-FLO's interface.

The Recent Files list now has been expanded to 10 files for convenience.

Design Files

Design files are no longer supported in the new version. Similar results can be achieved by using the new Default Project feature. You can have one default project that may contain any information that can be saved in a normal PIPE-FLO file. The Default Project will then be loaded anytime you create a new system. This allows you to define units, pipe specifications, fluid zones, and various drawing options for any newly created systems, much like how design files were used. The Default Project can also contain anything from a few devices to a complete system.

Read-only Files and PIPE-FLO Viewer

PIPE-FLO Professional 12 does not contain a separate PIPE-FLO Viewer program and cannot create Viewer files (.psv file extension).  The read-only functionality and license-free use of PIPE-FLO Viewer have been more closely integrated into the program to further enhance its security and usability.

Generating Read-only Files: Users of PIPE-FLO Professional 12 can now password protect their system project files. These secured projects can be viewed and calculated but not edited or modified in any way without the correct password. The password protected file may be viewed by anyone who has downloaded PIPE-FLO Professional 12, regardless of whether they own a PIPE-FLO license.

Viewing Files: PIPE-FLO Professional 12 can now be downloaded and installed free of charge. Running PIPE-FLO without a license allows you to view all PIPE-FLO files (.pipe file extension), but restricts editing capabilities to non-password protected files which have less than 5 pipelines. If you do not wish to install PIPE-FLO to view a file then you may choose a “Demo Run” during installation which allows the program to install to and run from a temporary directory. This “Demo Run” does not require administrative privileges.

The XLink feature has been replaced by DataLink which offers far greater flexibility with the programs that it can connect to. With DataLink all design data and calculated results (rounded or full precision values) can be exported to an ODBC data source that can be read by Microsoft Excel or any spreadsheet or database application. DataLink can also be used with a function that works very similarly to the XLink functions. However, the previous XLink functions are not compatible with DataLink. At this time DataLink does not have the capability to update design data in PIPE-FLO.


PIPE-FLO 12 does not yet support Overtime. If you wish to use Overtime on some systems, you will need to keep PIPE-FLO 2009 installed on your computer to use with Overtime. It is recommended to maintain any files that are to be used with Overtime in the 2009 version file format. PIPE-FLO 12 files will not work with Overtime and cannot be opened in v2009.

Tank Geometry

You no longer have the ability to specify the geometry of a tank. For PIPE-FLO calculations the geometry of the tank does not affect the system calculations and this feature mainly existed to support the Overtime program. Tank geometry will be added back to PIPE-FLO once the next version of Overtime is developed.

Other features not available in version 12

  • Flow meter and balancing orifice sizing: As a workaround, sizing a meter or orifice plate for a certain flow or pressure drop can be arrived at fairly quickly by iterating on size.
  • Operating Cost Calculator
  • Export to Compressible
  • Valve and Fitting Pressure Drop Calculator
  • Adjust sizes: As an alternative all text and symbol sizes can be group edited to achieve a similar effect.
  • Snap to DXF
  • Ability to hide device symbols, pipe arrows, nodes, FLO-Sheet text labels and units

1 Comment