How HPC Reduces CFD Simulation Time from Weeks to One Day

Some records are broken for glory, while others, like HPC, have more practical results. Compare 2017 Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Joey Chestnut’s record-breaking feat of eating 72 hot dogs (with buns) in 10 minutes during the annual July 4 contest to ANSYS, Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) shattering the supercomputing record by more than 5x. Chestnut was awarded the “Mustard Belt” for the 10th time, $10,000 and an additional 20,000+ calories for his impressive performance. By leveraging high performance computing, Saudi Aramco and KAUST worked with ANSYS to speed up a complex simulation of a separation vessel from several weeks to an overnight run! Continue reading

The Industrial IoT Runs Roots in the Oil & Gas Industry

digital twin oil and gas industryIndustrial IoT and digitization will loom large as the industry professionals gather at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, May 1-4. Over the past few years the industrial IoT has grown beyond information technology concerns (gathering data, data processing and security, etc.) and now includes predictive maintenance of assets, prognostics health management (PHM), reducing cost and nonproductive time, eliminating breakdown and failure.

One of the first steps in realizing the benefits of the IoT for the energy industry is to create intelligent machines/digital products. As evident from consumer product devices, for example smart watches, soon if not already, oil and gas equipment will also need to perform more than just a mechanical function and must become smart or intelligent. Continue reading

Design Subsea ROV Faster and Better with ANSYS CFD

The ROV, or subsea remotely-operated vehicle, is frequently used in marine operations such as underwater mapping, pipeline inspection and surveillance, sending payload, maintenance and operations on subsea oil and gas equipment such as BOP (blowout preventer) and Christmas tree assembly, which controls the oil/gas/water flow out of the well.

Underwater environments create various challenges for the manufacturers of the vehicle robotics. In addition to structure integrity under high pressure, complex underwater hydrodynamics characteristics due to coupling of motions in 6 degrees of freedom needs to be considered. Continue reading

Geomechanics: Rock Solid Simulation

Terra-firma, rock-solid and concrete are terms that all inspire images of stability. What could be more reassuring than the support of a good solid foundation? The truth of the stability of terra-firma, rock formations and geomechanics in general is not quite as clear cut as it seems.

As engineers everywhere push the limits of speed, power and capability of products we buy every day, there are also awe inspiring feats of engineering that go unseen to most eyes. Engineers working on civil, oil & gas and infrastructure projects that work on huge scales and push technology just as hard. Continue reading

Could Innovation and Engineering Cause Dropping Oil Prices?

The recent drop in oil prices naturally has produced economic winners and losers, and price speculators and pundits are lining up conventional producers against those behind American-drilled Shale oil. Yet, questions remain about how the world is over-supplied with oil only a few years after we supposedly passed peek oil and survived oil prices topping $140 per barrel. Discounting the anticipated demand softness due to economic activities in Europe and Asia, technology is playing a strong role in finding, producing and using energy across the full range of industrial activities. Continue reading

Seakeeping – Wet Deck Slamming on Offshore Ships

How can we accurately predict wave impact loads on ships for seakeeping? Some of the important parameters related to ship hull design include ship motions, vertical accelerations, wave impact/slamming loads, and deck wetness. The ABS Guide for Building and Classing High Speed Naval Craft (HSNC 2007) clearly states that slamming impact load is one of the most critical factors for the scantling design of hull structures. Accurate prediction of wave impact loads requires solving three problems. First is the prediction of wave kinematics, second is the prediction of the pressure and viscous forces and the third is the prediction of ship motion during the wave impact. It is possible to simulate all of these problems with ANSYS computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Continue reading

High-Fidelity Modeling for Installation of Subsea Structures in the Splash Zone

subsea manifold

3D Computational Domain including Detailed Geometry of a Subsea Manifold

Lowering subsea structures and equipment into the splash zone is a critical part of offshore installation campaigns. In preparation, engineering teams perform many installation analyses to ensure sufficient crane capacity, clearance and accessibility, structural integrity, and equipment/structure stability. Traditional low-fidelity approaches rely on simplified formulations or empirical equations; some consist of model tests to determine wave loads on structures. But these traditional approaches cannot simulate wave-structure interaction nor the dynamic stress and deformation of structure/equipment due to wave slamming. And hence the accuracy is always a key concern. Continue reading

Ocean Waves – A Nightmare for Offshore Structures

You may have heard about the grounding of an Alaskan oil rig in January, 2013. The 28,000-tonne rig was pushed toward the shore by waves up to 35 feet and winds up to 62 mph, dragging its main towing vessel and a tug behind it. There have been several such oil rig incidents over the past few decades. The below image shows the failure of an another oil rig platform due to extreme wave forces. A huge wave hitting the offshore platform leads to high wave impact loads that can eventually result in significant platform damage and collapse. These incidents can cause fatalities and damages that can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Continue reading

Durability and Reliability for Sea-Floor Oil and Gas Processing Equipment

Developing more efficient water processing units for oil and gas production is becoming an industry focus. Water occurs naturally within oil and gas reserves and can also be introduced as part of enhanced oil and gas recovery process. The water involved in oil and gas production is called produced water and is an undesired by-product in that industry. Both onshore and offshore produced water requires large amounts of pumping energy and the costs for water management and disposal are rising.  The problem is greatest for old wells and for offshore production. Exciting new technologies are being developed to address these issues and engineering simulation can help.

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Simulation and Engineering: State of the Art?

In conversations with work colleagues, we often discuss and debate the question, “What constitutes a state-of-the-art simulation tool?” Having worked in the simulation world for 25 years, I say that the time for a “state-of-the-art simulation tool” has passed. I now answer anyone who asks me, “It is not a tool that represents the state of the art but, rather, a methodology.”

There are many tools that simulate various things, and many of them are quite good. For example, I am firmly convinced that ANSYS HFSS represents the gold standard of 3-D computational electromagnetic simulation tools. However, this is simply one tool in a bag of tools used by engineers; individual tools by themselves do not represent the state of  the art in simulation.

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