When to use Computational Fluid Dynamics?
TotalSim often get asked by potential clients when, why or if they should be using Computational Fluid Dynamics. It’s a fairly tricky question to answer but there are some instances where it’s application is better suited…
When you need more insight
In some instances the only option to better understand your product or design is through CFD. CFD allows you to dig deeper into the performance of a design and gain understanding that sometimes you cannot get from any other form of testing. The ability to look in depth at a solution whilst freezing or rewinding time, allows you to find regions for development that you would not be able to find in any other way. Fluid flows in general are difficult to predict and visualise naturally, without some form of interaction. Internal flows are notoriously hard to visualise whilst in CFD they can be easily analysed.
When you need faster turnaround
The ability of Computational Fluid Dynamics to run iterations concurrently can be a huge advantage when time is against you. For one project TotalSim managed to test 366 design iterations in 5 working days, far outstripping the potential development rate of all alternative methods.
366 unique design changes were analysed in 5 working days…
When the alternatives are too expensive!
When you currently don’t do CFD, it seems like an expense you can do without. It maybe be that CFD can actually reduce your overall product development costs. Computational Fluid Dynamics can be a very efficient and cost effect route for product development. Ideas and concepts can be tested rapidly without the need for expensive prototypes or physical models. This is particular true when product costs are high. The Oil and Gas or Automotive industries are examples that fall into this category, where prototype costs can dwarf the costs of CFD. As part of a development project, cost per CFD run is often below £150.
Finally sometimes there is no option! Either because you want to simulate something that is too big or too small to test physically. Other examples include safety studies where the environment can be tested in a controlled and explicit method, to test any given scenario that cannot be replicated with alternatives.
**OpenFOAM® and OpenCFD® are registered trade marks of ESI.
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