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Going with the Flow
Jun30

Going with the Flow

The water industry has a range of engineering challenges and specific regulatory requirements, especially concerning flow assurance, water quality, and even component selection. Learn how CFD delivers real value to the water industry - such as predicting complex flow behavior, across individual components or large network systems.

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Can CFD help to solve Australia’s greatest aviation mystery?
Oct18

Can CFD help to solve Australia’s greatest aviation mystery?

On a stormy night in August 1981, a Cessna Centurion 210 aircraft crashed with 5 people on board in Barrington Tops, a rugged and isolated national park north of Newcastle, New South Wales.  Despite a massive initial search effort and ongoing attempts by a group of dedicated volunteers, the challenging and complex terrain has conspired to prevent the wreckage from ever being found. To put this into some perspective: according to Corporal Mark Nolan (Pilot, Australian Army), this is the only aircraft to have crashed on mainland Australia and never be recovered.  We can only imagine how frustrating and heartbreaking this must be for the victim’s families to be denied this closure. One of the biggest factors that has inhibited previous search attempts is the rugged, dense bushland in the Barrington Tops national park. NSW Police Superintendent Peter Thurtell confirms that “the terrain out there is as rugged as anywhere you'll find in Australia.”  Importantly, he notes that the primary search area has two steep ridges that makes it particularly difficult to get in and out each time, furthering hampering the efficiency of any search efforts. However, with recent advances in technology and some novel use of computational fluid dynamics using ANSYS ICEM and ANSYS CFD, we hope that this mystery is about to be cracked wide open.  This coming weekend, the concerted efforts of numerous professional and volunteer organisations (including Police Rescue, National Parks and Wildlife, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and the Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad) will combine to have over 100 members on the ground searching for the elusive wreckage of Cessna 210M VH-MDX. Police Superintendent Peter Thurtell adds that while the team is not overly confident, a lot of planning has been done and he now believes "we've identified an area that gives us the best chance of locating the plane." At this point, you may ask how CFD has contributed to solving this 32 year-old mystery? In advance of this major search operation in October 2013, the search coordinators recently undertook a major push to evaluate all the available evidence and comprehensively review all of the theories about what happened to the aircraft. The technology involved includes side-scan sonar of the Chichester Dam, high-resolution aerial photography as well as LIDAR scans of the likely crash site. After painstaking evaluation of the available evidence, the likely crash site was narrowed down significantly by a team of 5 people, including a Police Rescue intelligence officer, a Police GIS officer, a Navy Pilot, a 1981 Air traffic control operator and a dedicated volunteer, Glenn Horrocks, who just happens to be a specialist CFD engineer (in his ‘day...

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CFD keeps Emirates Team New Zealand on course to reclaim the America's Cup
Aug27

CFD keeps Emirates Team New Zealand on course to reclaim the America's Cup

LEAP staff, in particular our team of CFD engineers, have been watching with interest as the 2013 America's Cup unfolds in San Francisco. Despite being the oldest active trophy in international sport, the America's Cup is continually evolving thanks to an often dramatic combination of ...

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Formula SAE teams aim for the podium with CFD
Mar08

Formula SAE teams aim for the podium with CFD

Budding F1 car designers & engineers here in Australia may be getting excited in the build-up to the first race of the F1 season with the Australian F1 Grand Prix being held in Melbourne next week (March 14-17), but many of them might also have another important car race in the back of their minds: the 2013 Formula SAE (FSAE) competition, which is the world’s largest student engineering design competition.   Starting in 1979 but really gaining in popularity here during the past 15 years, Formula SAE invites highly-motivated engineering students from leading universities around the world to design, manufacture, test and race their own single-seat racecar. Each car is judged for dynamic performance including acceleration, autocross, endurance, fuel economy as well as other important engineering and business-related metrics such as cost, marketing and design philosophy.   We've previously covered the impact of CFD technology on Formula 1 racecar design, but it is clear that CFD technology provides just as much benefit to the leading Formula SAE teams.  In Australia, LEAP is proud to be closely associated with many of the local Formula SAE teams, including Monash Motorsport and Team Swinburne FSAE.  In particular we'd like to recognise the passion and success of the Monash Motorsport team, who together with Team Leader Scott Wordley have won the past 4 Australasian FSAE titles, and are now ranked 2nd globally (out of 510 graded university teams)!   CFD has formed a pivotal contribution to the design and testing of the aerodynamic package designed for the most recent Monash FSAE car (shown left, image courtesy Monash Motorsport & Mitchell Stafford), which incorporates imposing front and rear wings and a clever floor diffuser.  In any racecar design, competing design goals set the scene for a constant battle to provide maximum downforce for superior braking and cornering performance, without sacrificing raw speed due to increased aerodynamic drag.   Inspired by Formula 1 and refined using CFD, one of the 2013 car's secret weapons is a drag-reduction system (DRS) that automatically changes the angle of attack of the main wings at a certain speed to reduce drag when the car approaches top speed down the straight.   Despite its competitive nature, our observation at LEAP is that Formula SAE is also a remarkably close-knit community as evidenced when Monash Motorsport have generously hosted other teams in their workshop and also given other teams access to their world-leading wind tunnel facilities.  In conjunction with Monash Motorsport, LEAP Australia is preparing to host a special workshop in April covering the use of ANSYS CFD and FEA software for Formula SAE car design.  The 3-day workshop "DESIGN TO WIN" will be held April 2nd-4th at Monash Clayton campus and students from all Formula SAE teams...

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(Part 2) 10 Useful Tips on selecting the most appropriate multiphase flow CFD models
Nov15

(Part 2) 10 Useful Tips on selecting the most appropriate multiphase flow CFD models

As we discussed in our previous post, the first step when  tackling a multiphase CFD problem is to identify the key characteristics of your physical system.  Once you've done this (using our checklist if you are still new to multiphase CFD), you can begin to make informed decisions on what multiphase modelling approaches to use. We've compiled the following guidelines based on the decades of experience that LEAP has developed while helping customers in Australia and New Zealand to solve multiphase CFD problems, particularly companies and researchers in the minerals, process and energy industries:   [1] If your problem involves a distinct free surface between two fluids (typically liquids), then the "Free surface" model in CFX or "Volume of Fluid / VOF" model in Fluent should be selected. Both of these methods allow an interface to be solved in steady-state (if it achieves an equilibrium state) or tracked over time in a transient simulation. [2] If your system involves a dilute system of droplets or particles (maximum volume fractions less that ~5%) and you need to track typical trajectories to follow physical processes (such as drying, evaporation, combustion etc.), then you need to use a Lagrangian approach: this is termed the Discrete Particle Model (DPM) in Fluent & the Particle Transport model in CFX.  Both codes have an extensive range of in-built models related to the particle physics, so we encourage you to review these options in the manual before you start and contact LEAP if you have specific questions. [3] If your Stokes number is small, then the particles will quickly reach equilibrium with the fluid flow and travel at their terminal velocity. In this case, the Mixture model in Fluent or the Algebraic Slip Model (ASM) in CFX are good choices for a balance of accuracy and speed.  The reason that these models greatly reduce computational time is that they only solve a single momentum equation and the other velocities are obtained by calculating the particle slip velocity. [4] If your Stokes number is larger, then an Eulerian model will be needed. An Eulerian multiphase model will solve a separate velocity field for each phase, which is the most general approach and allows complete freedom as to the behaviour of each phase within your domain.   [5] If you have solid particles present, then you will need to understand the maximum packing density for your system (incorporating particle shape and size distribution), and then decide how you are going to enforce it.  If the packing limit of your particles is not likely to be reached (or is unimportant to your simulation), then the Eulerian Granular models can be used which are based on solids pressure models and kinetic...

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