There have been many Minimum Energy Loss structures built in the past, particularly in Queensland and Western Victoria, (in the Stawell region).
With a very narrow barrel, MEL structures can be significantly cheaper than a conventional culvert. With their very low energy loss characterisitcs, they are also particularly useful in situations where a water level rise (afflux) is to be avoided. A further feature of an MEL structure, thanks to the smooth streamlining of the outlet fan is the virtual elimination of erosion problems.
The design section of the program solves the complex iterative equations required to compute the shapes of smooth inlet and outlet fans, the bed profiles and energy losses. Other parts of the suite are used to check the design at off-design flows, for sensitivity analysis or with sediment input.
With the design reduced to a simple procedure, it becomes very easy to compare essential features, and cost, of an MEL design compared to a conventional culvert design.