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Flow Pro 2.0 - User Guide and FAQ

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Getting Started

Choose a Channel Type

The first step in computing a water surface profile is to select the Channel Type. You can do this by clicking the Channel Type menu and selecting Trapezoidal, Circular, Ushaped or Elongated Circular. The program title will reflect your selection, and the input fields will change accordingly.

For presentation purposes and to keep track of your projects, you may select Custom Channel Name from the Channel Type menu. This invokes the Custom Channel Name dialog box where you can select a channel type and enter any name you desire for the channel. This custom channel name will be saved with the profile and will be printed in the output as well.

Choose a System of Units

To choose a system of units for the channel calculations, select Units from the main menu. There you may choose either English or SI units. English units are measured in feet, with a gravity constant of 32.2 ft/s*s while SI units are measured in meters, with a gravity constant of 9.81 m/s*s.

Enter the Required Inputs

Flow Pro needs certain channel characteristics in order for it to compute a water surface profile. You can enter these characteristics in the text boxes labeled Channel length, Flowrate, Diameter, etc. Use the TAB or ENTER key to switch to the next text box after entering a value. The captions of each input field may change depending on the channel type or system of units you selected.

Compute a Water Surface Profile

Once a channel type has been selected and all of the requires inputs have been entered, you can compute the water surface profile by selecting Compute from the Tools|Water Surface Profile menu. Flow Pro will compute the profile along with the normal and critical depths, the profile and flow types. The water surface profile grid will contain the tabulated data, which can be saved and imported into any spreadsheet for further analysis.

Flow Pro will continue to calculate the profile along the length of the channel until the depth reaches normal or critical depth, or the channel ends (whichever occurs first).

If you wish to use critical depth for the control depth, then leave the control depth field blank. Flow Pro will automatically use critical depth for the control depth if this field is empty or set to zero. If you forget to leave this field blank, then you will probably get several zeros in the length column of the water surface profile grid. This is because Flow Pro has computed the profile from the value you gave to the exact decimal value of critical depth, and then stopped the computations. The accuracy of the grid output is only to the thousandth, but the accuracy of the profile computations is greater than that, and so the change in length is too small to be noticed. A simple solution: go back and recompute the profile with the control depth field left blank.

You can also import the water surface profile data into a spreadsheet or graphing program. First save the profile by selecting Save from the File menu. Then open the saved file using the spreadsheet/graphing program. In Microsoft Excel, the text import wizard will guide you through each step of importing a text file.

Plot a Water Surface Profile

Once a profile has been computed, the tabulated data in the water surface profile grid can be plotted. This will provide you with a graphical representation of the water surface profile. To plot the profile, select Plot from the Tools|Water Surface Profile menu. The Water Surface Profile dialog box will appear with a graph of the profile.

To print a copy of the graph, click the Print button on the Water Surface Profile dialog box, or click the Copy button to copy it to the clipboard for placement into your report.

You can also customize the plot by clicking the button labeled "Customize" You will be presented with the Plot Setup dialog box, where you can select graph type, line styles, and customize chart title and axis captions. You can also choose the values that will be plotted. For example, if you only want to look at the depth, then uncheck the other options and click OK. The profile will be replotted with only the depth shown.

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