Computational Fluid Dynamics can be HOT HOT HOT!

computational fluid dynamics combustion LES natural gasLets talk combustion simulation. I know you dear readers, you are smart! So I will not bore you with explaining what combustion is. Rather, I want to give you some fun facts. As you will see, combustion is really everywhere.

  • From 1960 to 2010, aircraft engine fuel efficiency increased by 55% — but the major progress was done in the first 10 years as the technology was brand new in 1960.
  • At her very fast service speed of 28.5 knots, the Queen Elizabeth II can travel 50 feet per gallon (15 meters). A typical journey from Southampton, UK to New York City, USA is 18,052,000 feet or 5,503,000 meters — Do not hand your credit card to the captain as he is fueling the boat.
  • Based on the average U.S. natural gas price, it costs 3 cents to heat water from 68°F (20°C) to 212°F (100°C) and about 5 cents to cook a good poached egg (4 minutes cooking) – I hope I got my math right.
  • The Concorde could fly 14 passengers for 1 mile using 1 gallon of jet fuel. The 747-400 can fly 91 passengers for 1 mile using 1 gallon of fuel. Do you have a guess why you still fly 747s and only see the Concorde in a museum?
  • The space shuttle burned 1,000 tons of solid propellant in 8.5 seconds… and also 2,000,000 liters of liquid propellant (liquid oxygen and hydrogen). Now that is what I call a controlled explosion!
  • The 2008 financial crisis created sea container shipping “extra slow streaming” strategy where cutting the container ship speeds from 21 to 17 knots reduced fuel consumption by up to 50% — container shipping rates dropped by up to 60%.
  • A sailboat consumes 0 gallons of fuel…but does not go anywhere when there is no wind.
  • A Harley-Davidson gets up to 59.7 MPG while a Moped 50cc up to 120 MPG — you probably look cooler on the Harley-Davidson.

My background being in combustion, I used ANSYS Computational Fluid Dynamics software to perform a lot of simulations of combustion. I really enjoyed working on different problems like ensuring that an injection system produced a stable flame or that a combustion system produced only a few harmful emissions. To see how this can be done, here is a short video showcasing the use of ANSYS CFD software for simulation of combustion.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I recommend you check out the Reacting Flow/Combustion Tech Tip, which has links to an excellent series of five webinars focused on reacting flows.



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About Gilles Eggenspieler

Gilles is the Director Academic Program (North America) at ANSYS. Before that, he worked for Fluent and ANSYS in different roles: fluid product line manager, consulting, technical services, training, etc. Gilles has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master's of Science from Ecole Nationale des Mines de Nancy, and a MBA from the Tepper Business School- Carnegie Mellon University.

3 thoughts on “Computational Fluid Dynamics can be HOT HOT HOT!

  1. Pingback: Semiconductor Engineering .:. Blog Review: June 11

  2. Great post Gilles. These examples really put things in context and illustrate the potential gains that can be made through designing properly for efficiency. I’m looking forward to seeing how ANSYS tools combined with CHEMKIN will be helping engineers to further improve the efficiencies of IC engines and other wasteful combustion processes that currently power our society!

  3. Nice blog Gilles.

    I was not aware of fuel efficiency issues with concorde. I learned it by reading the reference in this blog. Very informative yet interestingly presented.

    Keep such blogs flowing!!

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