Developing a luxury electric vehicle (EV) from scratch with a short deadline demands organization and access to the right technology to get the job done. Lucid Motors of Menlo Park, California, met the first challenge by putting all the engineers in one room so the structural and aerodynamics engineers would know what the battery, motor and power electronics engineers were doing, right from the start. This collaborative environment has helped them to design a unique automobile with more passenger space by reshaping the battery stack, while optimizing the electric motor, the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the battery life.
Tomorrow is Orville Wright’s birthday and we celebrate National Aviation Day and the incredible progress made in aviation in just over 100 years. It was December 1903 when Orville became the first pilot of an engine powered aircraft, staying aloft for 12 seconds and covering a distance of 120 ft. at 20 ft AGL. Five years later he was able to stay aloft for an entire hour, reaching an altitude of 350 ft.
Indeed, the Wright brothers are a great example for all those who want to innovate. Many pioneers lost their lives or were badly injured in their attempt to demonstrate their ideas, test new concepts and to tame phenomena they were still not able, sometimes very far, to understand and master. Continue reading
Today, after a video call with my kids at home, I feel more relaxed. Usually on long distance business travel, we are always concerned about the family at home. A few years ago long distance voice calls were not only costly but also of poor voice quality. Now, equipped with mobile phones, we can make high-quality audio/video calls and exchange text messages with people around the globe, at little or no cost.
It’s amazing to see the way communication technology has grown over the years. Technologies that seemed like fiction a few years ago, are now becoming reality. These include virtual reality, 3-D hologram and printing, language translation, and mobile streaming audio and video. Continue reading
Wi-Fi access today seems more like a right than a privilege. But easy access to Wi-Fi is not widespread in many countries, especially in out-of-the-way rural areas where structural design and building of Wi-Fi towers can be challenging. In the interior of Brazil, only 22 percent of the people have Wi-Fi due to the costs of installing towers and the economics of providing service to sparsely populated areas. But startup Jet Towers is trying to remedy this situation using ANSYS AIM for structural simulation to design prefabricated, modular truss towers that can be installed and running within a week of purchase, instead of the normal five weeks for custom designed Wi-Fi towers.
Every numerical method relies on the accurate choice of models, solver settings, and material parameters in order to be able to mimic real-world behavior. This also applies to Discrete Elements Method (DEM) simulations. You could use standard material properties, but adjusting those material interaction parameters using automated calibration methods is a key step for accurate simulations.
You could use standard material properties, but if you want to simulate reality, it is important to understand that the materials actually vary from site to site. Adjusting those material interaction parameters using automated calibration methods is a key step for accurate simulations. Even with basic materials, friction and restitution coefficients between particles and particles and boundaries have to be adjusted in order to accurately predict the bulk flow behavior. When extra forces come into play, such as adhesion forces, those additional parameters also need to be selected and properly specified. Continue reading
I’ve read a lot of articles talking about an interesting fact: this summer was so hot that in some cities like Phoenix aircraft could not fly. If you are an engineer or a pilot, it should not be a surprise that in hot weather an aircraft’s performance can deteriorate until the point it is unsafe to attempt take off. But maybe you have not considered all the possible causes of why it’s too hot to fly. I will try to explain things in a very basic and simplified way, for the benefit of those who are not familiar with these phenomena.
The journey of BiomeRenewables’ PowerConeTM wind turbine started with witnessing a falling maple seed. I was sitting on my deck when I was struck by how slowly the seed was able to fall. As it turns out, maple seeds — for their size — exhibit maximum aerodynamic efficiency; they are able to hit what is known as the Betz Limit — 59.3 percent aerodynamic efficiency. Careful analysis revealed that there is something about the seed’s shape and the way it interacts with the air that allows it to achieve such high efficiency numbers — namely, that it interacts with the oncoming flow at an angle greater than 90 degrees. This is not the case with modern wind turbines, which interact with the wind at perpendicular angles of 90 degrees. Continue reading
All great discoveries and inventions begin with a vision. A vision to make a better product, solve a unique problem or make life easier in some capacity. For centuries scientists and engineers have made tremendous progress in discovering scientific phenomena, or in solving technological challenges. I could write extensively about many of those inventions and discoveries, but there is one I would like to highlight.
In 1928, a Scottish biologist named Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation. As he was sorting through some petri dishes he noticed something unusual. One particular dish had several colonies of bacteria and a cluster of mold. However, there was no bacteria growth near the cluster of mold. Although he did not realize the magnitude of his observation at that moment, he would later be credited with discovering the first lifesaving antibiotic, which he called penicillin. Continue reading
Working for ANSYS gives me incredible opportunities to work with innovative companies and learn about the latest technologies that are being developed to improve our lives. One of the intriguing companies I have had the pleasure to work with is RF2ANTENNA. RF2ANTENNA works on developing innovative and easy-to-integrate products for specific applications in wireless communications and wireless charging, with the goal of improving the efficiency of IoT devices with affordable solutions. Their core competency is in providing solutions to radiation problems in mobile products. The ANSYS Startup Program has given them the opportunity to take their work to the next level. Continue reading