It is a good idea to take a ‘what’s in it for me?’ approach to investing in any software, but particularly when it is in an area of software which is complex. Lips Jets BV did just that.
The company, a designer of Waterjet Propulsion Systems, compared a number of commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) packages to assess their performance in physical modelling and functionality. To validate the CFD tools, the results from physical testing in a wind tunnel were set alongside the numerical results from both 2D and 3D calculations.
Briefly, Lips concluded that a potential flow method does not give reliable results. There is a large absolute difference between 2D calculations and experiments and 3D calculations.
But 3D calculations look very promising with respect to the calculated pressures and a parametric multi-block grid significantly reduces turnaround times for computations.
StarCD from Computational Dynamics is one of the thermofluids analysis codes which Lips looked at, and, because it was able to deal both with multiblock and unstructured grids, can really be used for the 3D modelling of intakes.
2D viscous flow calculations can be used to predict general tendencies, but the results from the 3D viscous flow calculations corresponded very well with data collected from the wind-tunnel experiments.
Lips concluded that the CFD software could be used, not only to reduce the number of physical experiments, but also to extend the fundamental knowledge about flow phenomena.
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