Modeling with bentley plantflow v8i

Item #14, Question:

Why is PlantFLOW unable to calculate a simple system with one inlet with two outlets. What they really want is they know both pressure and consumption for inlet, and want Plantflow to calculate pressures and consumption for both outlets. I know our rule is no of K’s = no of Unk’s. Is there a way to explain why we need this? And is there a way to figure out if user doesn’t really know for both outlets? What is the industry standard practice for this case.


Usually you can solve for the two outlets if enough conditions are specified, in your case you need one more condition which could be consumption or pressure at the outlets. For example if they think the flow is split equally, they can enter a consumption at one outlet.  One thing we do not have in PlantFLOW is the ability to set two outlets to have same unknown pressure or consumption. But ultimately you need 3 equations or conditions to solve for 3 unknowns and there is no way around that.

Item #12, Question:

In the system attached, I know that the flow is 14 gpm inlet for each tank. I also know that pressure at the outlet of the tanks is 14.4 psia. However, the piping downstream cannot handle that much flow as the outlet is at atmospheric pressure and the piping has very little slope. My problem is this, if I take the tanks out and put the known pressures at the piping inlets and outlet, I get a very high flowrate that does not reflect reality (granted this could be due to another error in my model). I am trying to find a way to input the flowrate into the tanks as well as the pressure downstream without overspecifying controls or creating an unstable system. 


In this particular users model:

Pressure was specified as atmospheric at outlet I13 and also at DR52 which is upstream. This cannot be the case since there no pressure change to drive the flow.

Also specifying flow rates may be unrealistic for tanks, since the elevation is usually what controls in that case. The consumption may drive flow into the pipe or make the water level rises and so it is not appropriate. The water level is what drives the flow. PlantFLOW does not give you the change in elevation as a function of time, you would have to solve for different levels and evaluate that.

When working with water it is best to work with pressure units of ft of water. You can change that under Tools/Units and change the abs. pressure unit (not pressure drop) to ft.H2O. Atmospheric pressure would be 33 ft.

I computed the elevation head between outlet and the two inlets and then added that to 33 ft to get 55 ft and 61 ft of static pressure (absolute).

Item #10, Question:

Is it possible for Plantflow to accurately simulate saturated steam flow in a long pipe? Or does any sort of condensation invalidate the whole solution?


Bentley apologizes for the inconvenience, however this version of the program (Version 1) of PlantFlow only handles single phase flow, so if there is a situation where there is a phase change, then the results will no longer be valid.  If there is heat transfer, then we can run into this situation, without the heat transfer, we are «probably» ok.  

The pressure drops for 2 phase flow are totally different than for single phase.  If you have 2 phases, you need to take into account how much space the liquid takes up in the pipe, if it’s not horizontal, you have other issues, etc, etc, etc.  PlantFlow doesn’t handle this.  There is a part of the help file that says this (I put the stuff in bold as being the most important part):

 Phase Change Handling

 PlantFLOW solver assumes a single phase system. If phase change was detected, this would automatically invalidate all or part of the solution. PlantFLOW checks for correct phase at input and output as follows:

System Requirements

Processor Intel Pentium III or higher
Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3 or later OR Microsoft Windows Vista Business or higher OR Microsoft Windows 7

Web Browser Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or greater
Memory 128MB
Hard Disk 52 MB minimum free hard disk space
Graphics Card Any industry-standard video card
PDF Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.0 or greater

Before you install any software, you should confirm that you have adequate hardware and software capabilities to install and use the product. 


Bentley PLantFLOW was not designed to run on Win 8, Win 10 or higher versions of WIN OS. Installing on these non-official versions of Windows is at your own risk. There is no technical support available for this installation. With that said, the CAE development team did installed PlantFLOW version on Windows 10, 64 bit OS along with IEG version:, with the following findings:

» Program was successfully installed on a non-default path» Program activated successfully» Example model opened successfully» Program successfully created a new model» Model was analyzed without any issue» Output report was generated» Program prompts the user about any consistency check warning» Components were successfully inserted» Both the program’s editions, Standard and Plus, appeared to function» HOWEVER, installation does not create a program icon on the desktop

Note: a few users reported an InstallShield 1628: Failed to complete installation error message being displayed during installation. See WIKI here


Install PlantFLOW on an OS approved VM (Virtual Machine).


Based on our computer settings and our user permissions, appeared that PlantFLOW was installed on Windows 10. But, needed some help creating application icon on the desktop. Again, this was only a quick non-official test. This is not, in anyway, to be taken that the application can be installed on all computer with a non-officially tested Operating System. Again, this type of installation is at your own risk and without technical support.

Product Download and Installation

To download the products, create a MySELECT CD or to complete the licensing process, you must have the appropriate roles assigned by your Site Administrator. If you have not been assigned these roles you will need to obtain the name of your Site Administrator from the Bentley website at SELECTservices Online at Select MySupport Account / Permissions. Clicking on the List SELECTservices Administration button will access the Site Administrator at your company enabling you to request that the appropriate permissions be added to your profile.

With the appropriate privileges you can obtain the software as an electronic file from Web Downloads or the products may be ordered on a personal CD through MySELECT CD. Once you have installed the desired product you will need to complete the product authorization process by obtaining a license file from Bentley.

SELECT Services Online / MySELECT CD: When you order a custom CD from MySELECT CD the product directory structure for this product appears as shown. To install from the CD locate and run the setup.exe file and follow the online instructions.

The installation program will guide you through the process, prompting you for information when required.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of the application, it is highly recommended that you do not install this product over the previous version.

\ | |_plantflow

| |_06020005en

| |_install

| |_setup.exe — This initiates the install process

Downloading the files from SELECT Services Online/Download — the download process gives you a choice to save the file to a specified location, or to begin the installation from the download area.

d. Post Processing

After analyzing a system, users can click on the graphics model to instantly view pressures, flow rates, pressure drops, flow velocities, etc. Color coded results, and pop-up windows enable the engineer to more quickly identify and investigate critical areas without having to review a voluminous amount of batch output data.

Output report options allow users to pick and choose which reports to generate, with or without filters, for on-screen review or printing. Unique filter options allow the user to generate custom output reports based on user defined flow, pressure or velocity.

Using PlantFLOW’s graphical select options, users can graphically select points to be included in the output report. As an example, a user could generate an output report for only 2 points in a 1,000 point model.

Item #6, Question:

As we know we can insert a heat exchanger in PlantFLOW. Can PlantFLOW analyze heat exchanger performance or recommend the configuration of heat exchanger to meet the requirements.


In PlantFLOW, a heat exchanger is modeled as a component with specific properties. 

With regards to analyze heat exchanger performance, perform multiple analysis making changes to the model as required to evaluate the performance of the heat exchanger.

With regards to PlantFLOW recommending the configuration of heat exchanger to meet the requirements, this cannot be done with a simple heat exhanger element.

c. Flow and Heat Transfer Analysis

PlantFLOW uses an iterative non-linear matrix solver to analyze a system of boundary conditions, continuity equations, pressure-flow equations, and heat transfer equations for a complex piping system. Use of intelligent defaults allow the user to analyze complex piping flows without in-depth knowledge of this theory. The analysis algorithm can analyze flows for systems containing valves, reducers, fixed and variable pressure losses, centrifugal compressors, exchangers, orifice plates, turbine meters, strainers, straightening vanes, sudden expansion, and sudden contractions.

f. Tutorials

Contains a getting started section and the complete printed version of the tutorials. The printed tutorial is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file and requires that the Acrobat reader is currently installed on your machine. This version can be printed out from within Acrobat so that you can review the tutorials without a computer or execute the tutorials manually.

In addition, there a number of example systems installed with the application, see the following system folder:

C:\Bentley\PlantFLOW V8i\ 


1. PlantFLOW does not support Computational fluid dynamics (CFD). PlantFLOW uses linear (boundary conditions and continuity equations) and non-linear (pressure-flow and energy) equations, which can be represented by the vector function. The numerical solution of this system of equations is the primary objective of the PlantFLOW solver program. More details can be found under the «Modeling and Solution Techniques» section in PlantFLOW Help

OpenPlant Orthographics Manager

OpenPlant Orthographics Manager предназначен для оперативного автоматического генерирования ортогональных чертежей по 3D­моделям на основании настраиваемых правил.

Встроенный алгоритм оптимизации OpenPlant Orthographics Manager быстро находит свободное место на чертеже для простановки размеров и аннотаций к оборудованию, трубопроводам, арматуре и опорам. При этом он позволяет избежать пересечений размеров и аннотаций как друг с другом, так и с другими элементами чертежа.

OpenPlant Orthographics Manager может отображать трубопроводы одинарной или двойной линией, в зависимости от диаметра, контролировать отрисовку осевой линии, автоматически проставлять стрелки направления потока, символы уклона и многое другое.

Автоматическая трассировка трубопроводов

  • Быстрая автоматическая трассировка (как правило, на трассировку одной трубы требуется менее одной секунды).
  • Качество выполнения операции обеспечивается соответствием заданным правилам.
  • Высокая производительность автотрассировки поддерживается масштабированием множества трубопроводов — вплоть до сотен и тысяч.
  • Трассировка выполняется на основе технологической схемы.
  • При трассировке трубопроводов программа учитывает препятствия.
  • Автотрассировка может ограничиваться отметками и положением поворотов в плане.
  • Препятствием для автотрассировки может быть сканированный объект (облако точек).

Автоматическая трассировка трубопроводов с учетом отсканированного существующего объекта


Developed to meet the needs of companies involved in industrial piping system design, PlantFLOW utilizes Windows-standard commands, object oriented graphics technology, and CAD interfaces to enable users to create, modify, and review piping and flow models and their results quickly and easily.

A graphical representation of the model is displayed as it is being developed, providing instant visual feedback. PlantFLOW performs extensive error checking as the data is being entered and alerts the user if the model does not comply with the regulatory standards of piping design.

Using PlantFLOW’s object oriented graphical select options, users can insert, delete, or modify pipe properties, supports, or offsets across an entire range of points with one command. Graphical selection of ranges is also used for cut, copy, & paste operations.

Item #16, Question:

I’m trying to model a seawater intake chambers with two rectangular pipes. Is there’re any way I can model a square straight pipes and bends (fitting losses) using PlantFLOW?


Yes, select a pipe with the same equivalent hydraulic radius for the square pipe / duct. search Google:

For pipe fittings:

Miller, Internal flow systems, 2nd Ed. includes charts for rectangular ducts. PlantFLOW did not implement these charts. But based on the comments on page 78 and charts on page 211-213, the losses are not much different between rectangular and circular ducts for bends. The user can override any loss by entering a user loss factor.

PlantFLOW  uses charts in Miller for circular pipes


Program Help:

Detailed feature information may be accessed directly from the calling application by selecting the Help command, or by pressing the Help button from any of the application dialogs. Be sure to explore the program Help for answers to your questions.


Documentation for PlantFLOW is provided online in the Adobe.pdf format. These files are accessible from the Help Menu. All documents can be browsed, searched, or printed with the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information and how to download a FREE copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader can be obtained from

It is highly recommended that you obtain the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you do not have access to the World Wide Web, please contact us so we can provide you with the necessary files for using the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Bentley SELECT Server V8i Licensing

Upgrading Your Current Product

PlantFLOW Standard, PlantFLOW Plus, and add-ons are are all supported on the SELECT Server V8i Licensing. If you are upgrading from an earlier version of the product, it is highly recommended that you do not install this product over the previous version. Older versions of PlantFLOW 6.0, and 6.1 will run under SELECT Server XM Licensing using the SELECT Server XM Gateway Service and the older SELECT licenses. For more information on the SELECT Server XM Gateway Service see the PlantFLOW Quickstart.pdf.

The PlantFLOW products can be authorized as Standalone Licenses (formerly called Fixed Licenses), fixed to one user workstation or as Concurrent Licenses (formerly known as Floating Licenses) running from a local or Bentley hosted SELECT Server V8i.

Authorizing Concurrent Licenses to Run on SELECT Server V8i

Concurrent Licenses (formerly known as Floating Licenses) are now managed through Bentley SELECT Server V8i, a benefit of Bentley SELECT. Using SELECT Server V8i requires a valid Bentley Serial Number, site server name and activation code to authorize the application. The Serial Number you received when you purchased the application is used to obtain a License File to complete the authorization process. For more licensing information see the PlantFLOW Quickstart.pdf.

Important: A signed SELECT agreement must be on file in order to convert your licenses from Floating Licensing to Concurrent Licensing.


Bentley, the «B» logo, PlantFLOW, MicroStation, ProjectWise, SELECT, and MDL are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated, or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.


2015, Bentley Systems, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

Including software, file formats, and audiovisual displays; may only be used pursuant to applicable software license agreement; contains confidential and proprietary information of Bentley Systems, Incorporated and/or third parties which is protected by copyright and trade secret law and may not be provided or otherwise made available without proper authorization.

Complete copyright information can be found in the product by choosing Help > About.

For reference, a copy of the End User License Agreement named «EULA.pdf» is included in the «PlantFLOW» folder of the product installation.

Corporate Headquarters

Bentley Systems, Incorporated685 Stockton DriveExton, PA 19341-0678 USAPhone: (1) 610 458-5000 FAX: (1) 610 458-1060 WWW:

International Headquarters

Bentley Systems Europe B.V.Wegalaan 22132 JC Hoofddorp THE NETHERLANDSPhone: (31) 23 556 0560FAX: (31) 23 556 0565WWW:

Asia Headquarters

Bentley Engineering Software SystemsUnit 1402-06, Tower 1China Central Place, Beijing 100022CHINAPhone: (86) 10 5929 7000FAX: (86) 10 5929 7001WWW:

OpenPlant Support Engineering

Поставляется с обширным каталогом изделий различных производителей (Lisega, Anvil International, Bergen­Power, Carpenter & Patterson, Inc., Piping Technology and Products, WookWang Industrial Co Ltd и др.), который содержит больше 22 тыс. опор и опорных узлов.

OpenPlant Support Engineering служит для проектирования, моделирования и размещения опор и сложных опорных узлов из каталогов производителей для трубопроводов, воздуховодов и кабеленесущих систем.

Программа OpenPlant Support Engineering автоматически сгенерирует сборочные чертежи, которые включают ведомость материалов и сварных швов.

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