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WinFlume - Computer Program

by Tony L. Wahl, Albert J. Clemmens, Marinus G. Bos, and John A. Replogle

Version 1.0, January 2000, (Cat. No. WINFLU), US $27 TO ORDER

CD-ROM includes: 32-bit WinFlume - 32-bit version, 16-bit WinFlume version, plus Manual

Order both the book and the computer program for $60 (WinFlume and FDC book)

WinFlume is a Windows-based computer program used to design and calibrate long-throated flume and broad-crested weir flow measurement structures. The WinFlume program has been developed through the cooperative efforts of the Bureau of Reclamation, the Agricultural Research Service, and the International Institute for Land Reclamation & Improvement. Primary funding for WinFlume's development has come from the Bureau of Reclamation's Water Conservation-Field Services Program.

Long-throated flumes have received increased emphasis in recent years as a practical, low-cost, flexible means of measuring open-channel flows in new and existing canal systems (Reclamation, 1997). MS-DOS based software to aid in the design of long-throated flumes has been available for several years from the International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, and was documented by Clemmens et al. (1993). To facilitate the future use of long-throated flume technology, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Agricultural Research Service have rewritten this software to operate in a Windows-based computing environment.
The WinFlume program is a native Windows® 95 and Windows® NT application, using the Visual Basic programming language. The application is compiled into a 32-bit executable for Windows® 95/NT systems and a 16-bit executable for Windows® 3.x systems. Graphical output from the program (e.g., head-discharge curves, plots of rating equations, comparisons to measured flows) is provided using an integrated third-party graphics library that is distributed with the application. The WinFlume program shares essentially all of the basic features of the FLUME 3.0 program described earlier. These include:

1. Ability to design flumes for specific head loss objectives, while verifying that the design meets criteria for maximum approach flow Froude number, adequate freeboard, maximum allowable tailwater, and desired discharge measurement precision
2. Support for both fixed- and movable-crest flumes
3. Support for seven possible approach and tailwater channel cross-section shapes, and 14 possible control-section shapes including circular, parabolic, and trapezoidal sections, and complex sections containing trapezoids within simpler sections
4. Ability to produce rating tables of discharge versus upstream head for direct field use and for use in constructing customized staff gauges graduated in head or discharge units for field installation
5. A curve-fitting module to develop power-law rating equations for use in automated data collection systems.

New Features: The WinFlume program contains a number of new and improved features. The most dramatic improvements are in the user interface, which takes full advantage of the Windows environment and includes such features as a standard Windows-style top menu bar, toolbars with tool tip help tags, tabbed dialog boxes to organize program features, grids to display rating table data, standard Windows common dialogs for loading and saving files, and support for exporting data and graphics to the system clipboard. All program output can be directed to a file, to the system clipboard, or to any printing device installed in the user's Windows system.
A key component of the improved interface will be an integrated online help system that will provide the user with both flume-design guidance and assistance with the details of program usage. The online help system will be constructed in combination with the preparation of printed documentation for the new software.

New File Format: WinFlume now saves each flume design into an individual data file with the default extension of .FLM. This is in contrast to FLUME 3.0, which stored all flume designs collectively in a single dBase file. The use of individual data files makes transfer of flume designs among different users more convenient. For backward compatibility, WinFlume is able to load designs from the FLUME 3.0 dBase file format and then save them to new individual files in the WinFlume format. WinFlume and FLUME 3.0 both work internally and save all data in metric units, but
WinFlume saves the user's units-system preferences for program input and output with each flume design, rather than as a program-wide preference as was done by FLUME 3.0. This simplifies working on multiple flumes in a variety of units systems. Data are also stored with better precision than was possible in the dBase file format, reducing problems with round-off errors that occasionally occurred in FLUME 3.0.

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