CFD Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation

Computational Fluid Dynamics, or CFD, as the name suggests, is the branch of fluid mechanics that makes use of computers to analyze the behavior of fluids and physical systems. Fluid mechanics is the science that studies the physical behavior of fluids: liquids, gases, and plasmas. As such, it relates the forces acting on a fluid body and the consequent changes in internal fields such as velocities, pressure, density, and temperature. These relations are mathematically stated through differential equations, the Navier-Stokes equations being the corollary of the known laws for the behavior of viscous fluids.

On the other hand, heat transfer is the study of how thermal energy gets generated, stored, transported, and transformed. The main mechanisms it analyzes are:

  • Thermal Conduction: (Diffusion) The spread of heat across materials such as solids or fluids, from regions of high temperature to regions of lower temperatures.

  • Thermal Convection: The transport of heat with the flow of a fluid. Fluid flow can be driven by external work (forced convection) or by buoyancy, which is the movement of fluid with varying density in the presence of gravity (natural convection).

  • Thermal Radiation: The generation and absorption of heat through electromagnetic waves.

  • Phase Changes: The release or absorption of heat through transitions such as boiling, melting, condensation, etc.

 

CFD analysis allows for the modeling of fluid because of its versatility in numerically solving equations of state and physical behavior, expressed in differential or explicit form. Also, CFD modeling analyses as heat transfer problems are of paramount practical relevance, any competent simulation tool includes modules to calculate temperature distributions alongside pressure and velocities. Also, some applications can also include analysis of solids for elastic deformation or chemical reactions, among other non-fluid applications.

Some typical use cases for CFD modeling and CFD online simulation include:

  • Flow through piping and accessories such as valves, tees, and reductions, in order to predict pressure drops, velocities, and vortex formations.

  • Vehicle aerodynamics, including automotive and aircraft, in order to predict drag, lift, and downforce.

  • Wind engineering for buildings and wind analysis, to predict wind forces, vortex formation, and pedestrian comfort.

  • HVAC systems, to assess the performance of ducts or optimize thermal comfort for artificial or natural ventilation and for energy consumption.

  • Heat exchangers, to predict heat transfer and pressure drops.

  • Electronics cooling, to predict natural and forced cooling strategies performance.

  • Windmills, to predict blade lift, velocity, and power generation at given wind speeds.

  • Pollution dispersion and airborne contamination control, cleanroom design.

  • Ship and offshore structures for hydrodynamic performance.

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CFD simulations through a ball valve and pipe

In the aviation industry, the main application of CFD is also aerodynamics, with the aim of optimizing the lift/drag ratio and to study instabilities. Here is an example project on airplane aerodynamics, that touches on how simulation can give valuable insights into airflow and aircraft performance. Other important fields for online simulation within the aviation industry include ventilation and air filtration.

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CFD simulations on a commercial airliner

In the manufacturing industry, CFD is used to study the performance of the cooling system in consumer products, especially those making use of electronics. Here is an example project—enclosure design for a Raspberry Pi.

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CFD simulations on a Raspberry Pi

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CFD simulations on thermal comfort analysis to determine the occupant comfort

Contact us today for your CFD, simulation and or analysis projects. We have competitive pricing and quick turnarounds...