MME 313

Piping System Design Project
FALL 2009
Nick Helmuth, Alex Kaufman, and Steve Bray
Dr. Sommers
Miami University
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
December 11, 2009

A design team was assembled to determine the minimum lifetime cost of a coolant
system, which draws water from a nearby lake and cools off a fossil fuel power plant’s
condensers. This system, when simplified, involves a pipeline that spans a distance of 890 meters
and a pump that pulls water through this pipeline. The purchase and installation costs of this
pipeline are a function of the pipe’s diameter, while the pump cost is a function of the pump’s
efficiency. Thus, a “life cycle cost” analysis was used to determine the lower purchase,
installation, and operation cost of this entire system over its lifetime of fifteen years.
Several specifications were given to the design team to help with the “life cycle cost”
analysis of the system. Included in this specification sheet was a list of pipe surface roughness
values. This pipeline of this coolant system was unfortunately infested with “zebra” clams that
increase the pipe surface roughness each quarter of a year. These values as given are: 0, 4, 9, and
14 mm for their respective quarter. Due to this rapidly increasing surface roughness, the pipeline
is cleaned annually in order to return the pipe surface roughness back to a value of 0. These
changes in pipe surface roughness not only cause the need for cleaning, but the pump draws an
increasing amount of power throughout each year since the pump must supply a constant flow
rate of water of 3164 GMP.
The project goals are to determine an optimal pipe size for the coolant pipe and to select a
suitably efficient pump, both of which are selected based on the minimal lifetime cost to
purchase, install, and operate. Also, it is necessary to determine the maximum cooling capacity
of this system, being that the EPA stipulates that the water’s temperature cannot change by more
than 6ºC before it is returned to the nearby lake.

In order to effectively determine an optimal pipe size and select a suitable pump to draw
water through this pipeline, a “life cycle cost” analysis was conducted, as previously stated. This
approach, when correctly employed, will show the intersection of an increasing pipeline cost and
a decreasing pump cost, both in respect to an increasing pipe size. This type of approach is
essentially an effective method for selecting the minimum combination of material costs and
energy costs.
To carry out this method, a minimal background in pipe flow characteristics is necessary.
A short summary of the important pipe flow characteristics leads to four subjects: friction factor,
Reynolds Number, major losses, and minor losses. The important notes on these four topics are
that the velocity of a fluid in a fully-developed flow is zero at the pipe wall since the fluid
particles are subjected to frictional forces. The friction factor, a dimensionless number used to
categorize the level of this friction force, determines the effects that the pipe wall surface has on
the fluid. The total amount of “energy” that is lost from friction at the pipe walls is called head
loss and is divided into two categories. Major losses reflect the lost “energy” along sections of
straight pipe, while minor losses reflect the lost “energy” along various pipe components. Lastly,
Reynolds Number is a dimensionless value that classifies fluid flow. It is a function of the fluid
velocity, pipe size, and fluid properties. This important value helps determine whether a fluid
flows either laminar or turbulent.

Analysis of the “life cycle cost” was conducted using Microsoft Excel, a powerful tool
capable of computing a large number of simultaneous operations. It was set up to take a given
pipe diameter, perform numerous calculations, and result in a total cost of materials, installation,
and operation for three different pumps; each of these pumps is rated at a different efficiency.
This was done by using both the system specifications and knowledge of pipe flow.
An important characteristic of pipe flow is that the cross-sectional area of a pipe and the
fluid velocity are inversely related, where:

Since the volumetric flow rate was given and the area is a function of the pipe diameter, the fluid
velocity was able to be calculated. This calculated value was essential to determining Reynolds
number, a dimensionless value that classifies fluid flow based on fluid velocity, where:

Once computed in Excel, the Reynolds Number value was used in the Haaland Equation. This
simplified version of the Colebrook Equation is used to estimate a friction factor, f. The Haaland
Equation is given by:

where є is the given pipe surface roughness for each quarter, respectively. As previously stated,
the lost “energy” in the pipeline is proportional to this estimated friction factor, where:

Not only is this value helpful in determining a loss of pressure along a pipeline, but it is crucial
to computing work of the pump. The work done by a pump is a function of many variables, but
simplifications were done after a few assumptions were made. The first assumption was that
velocity did not significantly change between the pipe inlet and outlet. Similarly the pressure was
assumed to not significantly drop between the pipe inlet and outlet. These two assumptions were
possible because they are much small in value compared to the changes in elevation and head
loss of the system. Thus, once simplified, the work done by the pump was given by:

where the change in elevation was specified as an increase of 7 meters. The estimation of work
done by the pump made it possible to compute the power consumed by the pump, where:

The amount of power consumed by each of the three pumps was used to determine an operating
cost over a period of 15 years for respective pump. Knowledge of the cost of electricity,
$0.09kW/hr, and the total number of days for each quarter over a lifetime of 15 years, 1370 days,
were essential in this estimation for total operating cost for each respective pump.
After each operating cost was found for each pump, the material and installation cost of
the pipe itself was determined. This cost, which is a function of pipe diameter in inches, was
given by:

Since this value does not depend on the pump efficiency, the cost of the pipe for a given
diameter was complied together to yield a total for both the pump operation and pipe costs.
Lastly, the pump costs were added to the operation costs and pipe costs, to yield a “life
cycle cost.” It should be noted that the cost of each pump was dependent upon the efficiency of
the pump.

After the previously presented approach was carried out successfully, it became possible
to illustrate the intersection of the pump operating costs with the pipe materials and installation
cost. As shown in figure 1, the decreasing pump costs and increases pipe costs intersect within
close values of each other.

Figure 1

To more accurately predict the total “life cycle cost,” the pump costs and pipe costs were
added together to yield a graph with a local maximum. As shown in figure 2, each local
minimum for a given pump correlates to a diameter of pipe and a total costs if that pump was
selected for the system
0.28 0.30 0.33 0.36 0.38 0.41 0.43 0.46 0.48 0.51

Pipe Diameter (m)
Pump Costs and Pipe Costs
Pump 1
Pump 2
Pump 3
Pipe Cost

Figure 2

After a pipe with a diameter of 0.33 meters and a pump with an efficiency of 84% were
selected as optimal purchases, some analysis was conducted on the cooling system with these
parameters. This analysis included the determination of the power required to run the selected
pump. Being that power is dependent upon the pipe surface roughness, the power requirements
varied between the four quarters. The pump requires 17.99kW, 23.71kW, 27.41kW, and
30.73kW, respectively. The pressure drop over the length of the pipe similarly is dependent upon
the pipe surface roughness, where pressure drops as pipe surface roughness increases. The
pressure drop over the length of the pipe is 7.14kPa, 31.21kPa, 46.80kPa, and 69.78kPa,
respectively. Lastly, the maximum cooling capacity of the cooling system was investigated
because EPA stipulates that the water must not return to the nearby lake at a temperature change
0.28 0.30 0.33 0.36 0.38 0.41 0.43 0.46 0.48 0.51

Pipe Diameter (m)
Total Cost of Cooling System
Pump 1 and Pipe
Pump 2 and Pipe
Pump 3 and Pipe
greater than or equal to 6ºC. Thermodynamic knowledge made this computation possible, where
the maximum cooling capacity is a function of the mass flow rate, specific heat of the fluid, and
specified temperature change. When analysis was completed, it was determined that the
maximum cooling capacity is 270,913 kJ per second. This extraordinarily high cooling capacity
is the resultant of a very high flow rate.
The sensitivity of the previously presented analysis is somewhat significant. Several
simplifications were done, as stated in the approach, to allow for the project to be completed with
the limited number of specifications. This was most prevalent when computing the work done by
the pump, where it was suggested that the changes in fluid velocity and pressure were
insignificant compared to head loss and elevation changes. This limited number of specifications
also led to several estimations, including an estimation for the nearby lake’s water temperature.
Since temperature is directly related to fluid density, a temperature different than assumed, 20ºC,
could potentially have a significant effect. It should be noted that the previously presented
analysis, as a whole, was conducted under reasonable parameters to reduce the level of

Based on the analysis conducted on the cooling system, it is recommended that the
highest efficient pump be purchased, Pump 3. It is also recommended that a pipe size of 0.33
meters (13 inches) be purchased as well. If this recommendation is followed, the “life cycle cost”
can be minimized to a value of $825,692 over a span of 15 years.


Purchase Costs Operation Costs Total Costs
Diameter (m)
Diameter (in) Pipe
2 Pipe 3 Pump 1 Pump 2 Pump 3 Pump 1 Pump 2 Pump 3
0.08 3 $49,927 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $773,253,266 $601,419,207 $451,064,405 $773,359,193 $601,538,634 $451,241,332
0.10 4 $71,466 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $140,839,497 $109,541,831 $82,156,373 $140,966,963 $109,682,797 $82,354,840
0.13 5 $96,072 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $38,730,979 $30,124,095 $22,593,071 $38,883,051 $30,289,667 $22,816,143
0.15 6 $123,745 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $13,813,036 $10,743,473 $8,057,604 $13,992,781 $10,936,717 $8,308,349
0.18 7 $154,484 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $5,939,738 $4,619,796 $3,464,847 $6,150,221 $4,843,780 $3,746,331
0.20 8 $188,289 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $2,968,448 $2,308,793 $1,731,595 $3,212,738 $2,566,582 $2,046,884
0.23 9 $225,161 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $1,691,556 $1,315,655 $986,741 $1,972,718 $1,610,316 $1,338,903
0.25 10 $265,100 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $1,085,557 $844,322 $633,242 $1,406,658 $1,178,923 $1,025,342
0.28 11 $308,106 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $774,513 $602,399 $451,799 $1,138,619 $980,005 $886,905
0.30 12 $354,178 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $604,402 $470,091 $352,568 $1,014,580 $893,768 $833,746
0.33 13 $403,316 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $506,358 $393,834 $295,376 $965,675 $866,651 $825,692
0.36 14 $455,522 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $447,304 $347,903 $260,927 $958,826 $872,925 $843,449
0.38 15 $510,793 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $410,372 $319,178 $239,384 $977,165 $899,472 $877,177
0.41 16 $569,132 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $386,514 $300,622 $225,467 $1,011,646 $939,254 $921,598
0.43 17 $630,537 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $370,661 $288,292 $216,219 $1,057,198 $988,329 $973,756
0.46 18 $695,008 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $359,862 $279,893 $209,919 $1,110,870 $1,044,401 $1,031,928
0.48 19 $762,547 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $352,342 $274,044 $205,533 $1,170,889 $1,106,090 $1,095,080
0.51 20 $833,152 $56,000 $69,500 $127,000 $347,002 $269,890 $202,418 $1,236,153 $1,172,542 $1,162,569