ACO Launches Vortex Flow Control Calculator for Attenuation Tank Design and Specification


With stormwater flow control critical to avoid flooding, ACO has launched its new online Vortex Flow Control calculator to help find the right attenuation configuration while saving time and money.

Part of ACO’s QuAD Design Tools, the Vortex Flow Control (QuAD-VFC) calculator is a free cloud-based software that supports the design and specification of its Q-Brake and Q-Plate range. Both ranges are used to prevent downstream flooding by controlling the release of stormwater before it discharges into a watercourse or sewer.

Created to support architects, specifiers, consultants and contractors involved in stormwater attenuation, QuAD-VFC uniquely calculates the vortex flow control dimensions to achieve the required head and flow rate. These rates, along with the flow curves, are then instantaneously displayed on screen. With calculations able to be made instantly, the new tool helps to speed up specification, by taking into account other parameters such as the chamber design and outlet dimensions.

Dr David Smoker, Technical Director at ACO Technologies, said: “As we have seen recently through storms Arwen, Dudley and Eunice, the UK’s weather ecosystem is becoming more and more volatile, and we’re receiving large amounts of rainfall in short times that are overwhelming watercourses and sewage systems.

“This makes the planning of stormwater attenuation tanks and chambers all the more vital. With our new Vortex Flow Control software, users can ensure they get the right flow control solution, quickly and easily. Designs can also be shared by email to help make decision making faster. Another key benefit is that the tool can help potentially save money on projects by reducing attenuation volumes, instead using a Q-Brake to release water from the system in a controlled manner throughout the rainfall event.”

The Vortex Flow Control calculator comes with a raft of other functions alongside its automatic calculations. This includes downloadable designs that can be saved or shared as PDFs, password protected project management so projects can be retrieved (and edited) at a later stage, and exportable head and flow data for input into third party hydraulic design software.

Q-Brakes work by using ‘vortex control’ to control the release of stormwater. Each unit is custom built to suit the site requirements and is available from 2-100 litres per second and up to 3m design head.

For projects where vortex flow control is not suitable, users can specify ACO’s Q-Plate solution instead. The orifice plates are also tailored to specific performance requirements to provide optimum hydraulic efficiency.

Both the Q-Brake and the Q-Plate are manufactured from grade 304 stainless steel to withstand corrosion. The ranges are available with either a curved back to install directly onto the wall of a chamber, or a flat back to mount on a headwall.

Alongside the QuAD-VFC software, ACO has also recently launched its StormBrixx Configurator for stormwater tank specification, with both geared towards helping planners better manage sustainable drainage system (SuDS) projects and bring stormwater control to the forefront.

“At ACO, one of our key objectives is to help those in control of urban planning and development to better mitigate the potential for flooding,” said Smoker. “By creating these tools, the right configuration of flow control, chamber design and tank volume can be achieved, ultimately helping to prevent flooding damage and disasters while saving costs.”

For more information about the Vortex Flow Control Calculator, please visit