I had a discussion with one of our mechanical engineers. I learned some things and went through a fluid flow analysis on the metering manifolds and I have some interesting information to share.
With 1/2" plumbing and 2 90 degree elbows per line (manifold made from standard PVC fittings) like the one I shared originally, and probably what others are using, that system will have 11.44 PSI of loss and the head of the pump. If you make an identical system with 1" fittings, it will have .82 PSI of loss at the head of the pump. These figures assume 25 feet of pluming at either 1/2" or 1" and 2 90 degree elbows. I used 25 because I figured that’s about what someone might have from the buffer tank, through the manifold, then to the 12V pump. As you can see, there is a large difference. This loss is transferred through the pump and effects final reach of a softwash system, at least from my understanding so far. Obviously this would need to be confirmed, but it does make sense, to me anyway. If you disagree, please tell me and explain why. I’d love to know.
See headloss calculations below:
So it sounds like a custom manifold with high flow curves might not be necessary, but I’m having it quoted anyways for comparison. Once that is priced, I may have some changes made to it to make it more compact, but it may be too expensive anyway. After all, the whole point is to do this economically. But, a one piece manifold has less fittings to order and assemble and less joints for potential leaks. This means that even if there is no flow benefit of a one piece manifold over standard fittings (assuming 1"), there would be an application advantage to having the one piece manifold. So if cost isn’t too bad, that might be the way to go.
See below for one piece high flow manifold concept.
If you have comments, feedback, or suggestions, please let me know!