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CFD Simulation

What is CFD Simulation?

Also referred to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling, CFD simulation is the use of software to calculate and visualize the motions of a fluid to determine:

  • How it will behave over time (i.e. how and where it will flow)
  • How its properties will change (i.e. pressure, velocity, temperature, viscosity, etc.) under certain conditions and/or within specific operating environments
  • How the liquid and/or gas may affect objects that it meets as it flows

Steps in the CFD Simulation Process

No matter the software used, all CFD simulations are by following these generalized steps:

  1. During the preprocessing stage, various properties of the fluid, laws of physics, environmental objects, boundary conditions, and other variables are defined and translated into mathematical models, usually with the aid of CAD software
  2. The simulation begins iteratively solving the discretized equations. This step can require significant time or computing resources. For complex simulations, more enterprises are turning to cloud computing as a cost-effective solution to this issue.
  3. Lastly, a postprocessor animates a visualization of the resulting solution and provides analysis

Power Generation

CFD simulations are used in a wide range of engineering applications whenever there is a need to understand or predict fluid flow – and how that movement affects or interacts with the design of a product or system. Examples include:

  • Acoustical engineering (for reduction of unwanted noise by analyzing the movement of sound through fluids or air) 
  • Aerodynamics (for energy-efficient transportation design) 
  • Hydraulics (for designing motors and machinery powered by pressurized liquid) 
  • Pneumatics (for designing motors and machinery powered by pressurized gas) 
  • Architecture (for designing and validating HVAC systems) 
  • Meteorology (for simulating weather patterns and predictions) 
  • Naval architecture (for designing effective marine vessels and structures)