Few people actually know that you can perform a proper pressure network analysis with an EPANET based system directly within Civil 3D. I initially developed this tool while at Prokon from 2010 until early 2015, and Prokon has since continued to improve and update this tool in my absence. Let me show you how it works:

 

1. Download the tool from the Autodesk Exchange Store, or from Prokon's website directly (The Autodesk Exchange Store download has not been updated for 2016, use the Prokon website instead)

2. Yes, the tool costs money, but it's very cheap (in the vicinity of $100), and you get 20 trial analysis runs to test it out first, so open the sample model after the installation from here: "[Install Folder]\Prokon\ProNET\Epanet\Samples\LARGE DEVELOPMENT SAMPLE.dwg"

3. This model contains an existing pressure network, you can use your own model as an example, but make sure that your model is correct, the most important thing to check for is that each pipe must have a start node and an end node. Now Civil 3D does not have nodes when it comes to pressure network objects, so we use Fittings instead (or appurtenances). Fittings represents nodes in Civil 3D. Each pipe must have a start fitting, and an end fitting (or appurtenance). You can choose whatever style to represent this fitting, whether it is visible or not, whether it represents a reservoir symbol, a house connection symbol, or whatever it is that you would like to represent, it does not matter, as long as it is there. The program will try to warn you when it comes across pipes that does not conform to this though, and the program can zoom to or focus on elements dynamically.

4. It helps to be familiar with EPANET, and the EPANET basic model requirements. ProNET uses the EPANET engine in the background for the Analysis, and Civil 3D for the modelling interface. Dialogs are also usually modeless, so this means that you can have it open while navigating or performing other functions in the model. This is useful when you are assigning and locating objects in a large model. From the "ProNET" ribbon menu in Civil 3D, select "Design Parameters" to open the dialog that will assign Demand values to fittings (nodes / junctions), assign Reservoir / Tank properties to fittings, assign Pump / Pipe / Valve values to pipes (links).

5. Now specify the values under the categories that you wish to assign, one at a time, and click "Select" to assign them to the appropriate elements (Pipes / Fittings / Appurtenances), in my example, I will specify a value of 0.25 (LPS - you can change the units!) then click on "Assign" and create a selection rectangle around entire pressure network - ProNET will filter for the correct elements automatically. Press Enter to accept the selection.

 

6. Now I will assign a "Tank" to the first node located at the bottom left of the network using the following parameters:

 

7. So now we have demands at all the other nodes, and a water supply. BTW, the 15m value of the Tank (Additional Elevation) will be added to the existing elevation at that point on the surface which the network refers to. In other words, it will be added to whatever the ground level at that location is. We need to specify some properties for the Pipes (links), so assign them using the same methodology, with the following parameters:

 

 8. We now have the minimum required information to run the analysis. To do that, click on "Water Analysis" from the ProNET ribbon menu:

 

9. Now simply click on the "EPANET Analysis" button to perform the Analysis...

 

10. You will now see two messages in succession, one is a result summary, the next is an error in the network. Do not panic, this is merely to warn you that there are negative pressures present in the network, which is usually not a good sign in terms of the design...

 

11. To rectify this, let's add a pump to the model, close the Analysis dialog, and click on "Design Parameters" again. Click on "Valve", and assign it to the long pipe at the bottom of the network (the horizontal one running from the Tank)

 

12. Launch the Analysis dialog again, go to the "Settings" ribbon tab and choose "Pump Curves"

 

13. Specify a new Pump Curve using 600 as the first value in the column under "Flow" and 150 for "Head". Click "OK", then click "Exit" (this is important). The pump curve will only update after you click "OK"

 

14. Run the Analysis again - Success!!

 

15. OK, now to get some data back into the model. Click "Hide Results" from the Analysis dialog ribbon, then click on "Color Map". Now Click on "Auto Fill" to automatically calculate the ranges for the selected Pipe and Fitting Data (Flow and Demand by default). Now click "OK", the C3D model is updated!

 

16. You can also view the results by clicking on "ProNET Properties" from the ribbon menu, then select a pipe or fitting object. It will display only the results of the selected elements in step 15 from the Color Map data. To view other data, open the Analysis dialog, click on "Analyse", but choose "No" in order not to re-Analyse, but to retrieve the previous analysis' results. Now use the color map to retrieve other results, or use the 3D results to plot 3D graphs on top of pipes (use the Multipliers to scale correctly):

 

  17. You can also generate decent reports from the "Publish" options:

 

For more information on this tool, contact prokon: www.prokon.com or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Regards,

Chris