Bladeless Propulsion System Developed to Replace Propellers

For over 100 years, propellers have been the propulsion method of choice for aircraft, helicopter, and boat manufacturers. With the rise of multi-rotor technology, the limitations of this ancient method of propulsion have placed a glass ceiling on emerging industries such as drone delivery and “flying cars.” Besides the obvious safety issues, the faster that a blade rotates the more inefficient it becomes at transferring energy into thrust. A key reason for this upper limit on economies of RPM is that the faster a blade spins, the more prominent the vortex geometry becomes in the mass flow, which is parasitic to propulsion. This constrains both payload and range. Continue reading

Simulation Used to Spur Design Development for Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is a key player in the future of clean energy, and multiple companies are pursuing new technologies to maximize nuclear’s contribution to the clean energy space. Founded in 2011 and based in Cambridge, MA, Transatomic Power is an advanced nuclear technology startup developing and commercializing a molten salt reactor (MSR), or a nuclear reactor whose fuel is in liquid, rather than solid, form. This technology, originally developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the 1960’s, offers multiple safety and cost benefits over traditional nuclear reactors, in which the fuel is in the form of solid pellets cooled by water.

Tranatomic’s MSR design builds on the original work at ORNL and adds a few innovative new features that reduce the reactor’s size and, as a result, it’s cost – a huge factor in building new nuclear power plants. Though the development process is a long one, the world needs a larger capacity for clean energy generation, and it’s this ultimate goal that drives the Transatomic team forward. Continue reading

PowerCone™ Wind Turbine Development Accelerated with Simulation

Artist rendering of the PowerCone

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

Wireless Charging Design in Wearables Using Simulation

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

Onewheel: A Turbocharged Skateboard Powered by ANSYS

Most people occasionally have dreams of flying — without the aid of an airplane or other mechanical device — just soaring through the air on their own power. The thrill ends with dream, unfortunately. Closer down to earth, many of us enjoy the feeling of gliding effortlessly across the snow on skis or a snowboard, over the ice on skates, or on a surfboard cutting through the water. There is something about the effortless gliding sensation that can’t be approached by the more mundane act of walking — though walking has its pleasures too.

Onewheel skateboard

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Antenna Industry is Being Revolutionized Through the Simulation of Metal 3-D Printed Antennas

Recent advances in 3-D printing with metal have advanced to the point where antennas and RF components can be consistently fabricated with excellent performance in the millimeter wave frequencies. Optisys is a startup based in Utah that is focused on using the most advanced simulation tools to design antennas and radio-frequency (RF) components that could not have been fabricated a few years ago. The use of 3-D printing an antenna creates orders of magnitude reduction in size, weight, and lead time. These savings are enabled through a key partnership with the ANSYS Startup Program. Continue reading

Hang Gliding Takes Quantum Leap with Simulation

hang gliding simulation side viewSince its creation, hang gliding has progressed solely — and often painfully — through experimentation. But engineering simulation is starting to change that.

The German inventor and flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal made over 2,000 flights as long as 820 feet in gliders he designed and flew in the 1890s. He died in 1896 from injuries sustained in a glider crash, but his well-documented accounts of theories and experiences with flight influenced many of the early aviation pioneers, including the Wright Brothers. Continue reading

Digitalization, Dyson and Dimensions

Whether you are a digitalization veteran or just starting on the path of digital transformation, you need to read the Spring 2017 issue of Dimensions magazine from ANSYS, which is available now. Perhaps you think digitalization is just the next buzzword, or maybe this is the first time you have heard the term. No matter your starting point, we think this issue of Dimensions will convince you of the tremendous opportunities ahead in the field of digitalization. Continue reading

General Fusion Developing World’s First Commercially Viable Fusion Power Plant for Clean Energy

Energy supply is one of the world’s biggest challenges. Fusion technology has the potential to solve this challenge by providing on-demand, safe and clean energy that will combat climate change while driving economic growth. Drawing on decades of advancements in plasma physics, materials engineering and computer simulation, General Fusion is working to develop the world’s first commercially viable fusion power plant.

What Makes the General Fusion System Different?
Developing a completely new form of energy comes with plenty of challenges and unknowns, so General Fusion utilizes milestone-driven R&D campaigns and ANSYS simulation solutions to reduce the risk in its development process. One such campaign focused on testing the liquid metal compression technology that forms the core of General Fusion’s power plant. Continue reading