Design & Engineering

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Simulation Just Got Easier

23 January 2020 | Team EACPDS

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Computational fluid dynamics (CDF) may sound intimidating, especially if you don’t have any simulation experience, but it will definitely put your organization ahead. Modern CFD software solutions deliver never before seen abilities to accurately simulate complex physical models and interactions. Many even have the modeling versatility and computational precision needed to resolve the toughest design challenges.

CFD simulation can be used in more cases than you think

Despite its name, computational fluid dynamics software is not only for fluids – it can also be applied to airflow, thermal, and structural analyses.

Here are just a few of the examples of the problems CFD software has the ability to solve:

  • Accurately predict the performance, fuel efficiency and emissions of a gas turbine engine.
  • Help design wireless antenna towers that resist wind loading while keeping costs to a minimum.
  • Help engineers optimize the air flow and aggregate movement through an asphalt dryer.
  • Optimize the conflicting objectives of pressure drop and uniform velocity in designing a heat exchanger.
  • Enable engineers to optimize any product or process that involves fluid dynamics.

CFD applications go far beyond simulating water moving through a pipe. (although it can absolutely do that too)

Now the rub… powerful software typically comes with complexity – complexity is often the result of the challenge to achieve accurate results in less time.

Challenge of Achieving Accurate Simulation Results in Less Time

Today, with global competition intensifying and product complexity increasing at a rapid rate,

your engineers need to accomplish tasks in less time and with less training than ever before.

Their time should be devoted to improving the performance of your products or processes instead of understanding how to operate CFD software.

They shouldn’t be wasting time crawling through a plethora of options that are irrelevant to their task at hand.

In fact, your CFD software should presenting the right choices to reduce the amount of experience and user input required to ensure a successful simulation.

This is exactly what ANSYS technology does, and it is changing the game.

A CFD Simulation Game Changer: ANSYS Fluent

ANSYS has undertaken a large initiative to overhaul the Fluent user experience with these goals in mind:

  • Provide a single-window CAD-to-Post solution in Fluent
  • Accelerate the workflow for generating a mesh from imported CAD
  • Remove barriers that frustrate users and waste their time

The new Fluent Experience builds on the advantages Fluent has always had over competitors – higher solver accuracy, broad range of physical models, moving and deforming meshes, superior parallel scalability, ability to resolve reacting flows, and integration with other CAD and simulation tools through the ANSYS platform.

ANSYS 19.2 pushed these differentiators to the limit by releasing a task-based workflow with Mosaic-enabled Meshing that speeds up CFD simulations and helps engineers get accurate results with less training.

Accurate Computational Fluid Dynamics in less time

ANSYS’s new computational fluid dynamics task-based workflows deliver more accurate results in less time – here’s how.

ANSYS redesigned its Fluent user interface to provide a task-based workflow for meshing that enables your engineers to do more and solve more complex problems than ever before, in less time.

Introducing a New Fluent Experience for CFD simulations.

The new Fluent task-based workflow streamlines the user experience by providing a single window that offers only relevant choices and options, and prompts your engineers with best practices that deliver better simulation results.

This workflow builds on Fluent’s existing advantages and it includes:

  • higher solver accuracy
  • broad range of physical models
  • moving and deforming meshes
  • superior parallel scalability
  • ability to resolve reacting flows
  • and integration with other CAD and simulation tools through the ANSYS platform.

The context-sensitive command structure in the new task-based workflow reduces the time required to find the right option and reduces the chance of making a mistake.

Best practices are embedded into the Fluent, task-based workflow in the form of defaults and messages to the user that:

  • Guide the user by focusing on meaningful tasks
  • Indicate status and warnings with graphics
  • Create custom workflows by modifying the task-list
  • Process upstream changes robustly
  • Present tasks as simple inputs and choices
  • Minimize user intervention with intelligence and behind the scenes automation
  • Record and replay the workflow

This reduces the amount of training required to start using the software and makes it easier for occasional users to return to the software.

The new workflow provides navigation cues that guide the user through the meshing process.

As each task is completed, it turns green and folds up so only the elements needed for the current task are exposed.

The streamlined task-based workflow provides the right solution for most problems, but ANSYS

also recognized that one workflow cannot fit every potential application.

This is exactly why the new workflow has been created in the form of custom templates.

It allows users to modify, save and distribute built-in templates to optimize their workflow for industry-specific, company-specific or application-specific requirements.

Any workflow can also be recorded and replayed to accommodate users who run a series of simulations, such as to evaluate a series of candidate designs or make incremental improvements to a simulation to more accurately reflect the real world.

This is a snapshot from the Fluent Single-window, task-based workflow for watertight geometries available in ANSYS 19.2.
This is a snapshot from the Fluent Single-window, task-based workflow
for watertight geometries available in ANSYS 19.2.
 
 

Saving time with simulation

The new advancements within ANSYS Fluent have customers everywhere raving.

R&D Thermal Research Engineer at INDAR, Itsaso Auzmendi-Murua stated , “Fluent reduced generator thermal simulation preprocessing from six to eight days to four hours.”

Solving the most critical concerns in CFD simulation

If you know anything about CFD (and even if you don’t) accuracy and solution time are two of the most critical concerns in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation, and both are highly dependent on the characteristics of the mesh.

Why? Different types of meshing elements are needed to deliver optimal performance in resolving different geometries and flow regimes- but transitioning between varying types of elements has long been a challenge.

The transition zone has typically relied on non-conformal interfaces or on pyramids/tetrahedra, but these come with issues regarding mesh quality and excessive cell count.

This is why it has often been necessary to compromise on a common element type in order to minimize transitions.

ANSYS Mosaic meshing technology changes the game by automatically combining disparate meshes with polyhedral elements for fast, accurate flow resolution.

This Mosaic mesh-connecting technology conformally connects any type of mesh to any other type of mesh, making it possible to build optimal meshes that use the best type of element in every section of the mesh.

ANSYS Fluent Mosaic Meshing for CFD Simulations

Mosaic technology allows native polyhedral meshes to connect with the following element types:

  • Surface: triangle, quad, polygon.
  • Volume: hexahedral, tetrahedral, pyramid, prism

Simulate faster than ever before

I’ll leave you with a quote from a little Italian car company you may have heard of before. Just like them, adding a tool like Fluent to your tool shed will help you simulate and solve complex problems faster than ever before. If you want to talk through specific use cases or pricing please contact our sales group and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Now for the quote…

“With Mosaic technology and the Fluent end-to-end workflow, our team runs three times as many simulations in the same amount of time and develops cars faster than we ever could before.”Ferdinando Cannizzo, Head of GT racing car development at Ferrari