Engineers like to have lots of tools at their disposal. In my home workshop I have a lot of them, but it seems that there is always something extra that I could use for one particular job or another. Having the right tool for that job, and one of high quality that will not break in the middle of a project, is valuable as well. And organization is a good thing too, because if you can’t find tools when you need them and are unable to use them in conjunction with other tools, then the job does not progress very well. Having my toolkit in order is beneficial when the unexpected happens or if I need to complete a job in short order.
So coming back to engineers, and in particular those using simulation to efficiently improve their turbomachinery product designs, there are many similarities with my workshop tool situation. Currently, turbomachinery designers are under plenty of pressure to deliver high-performance designs, fast. Conflicting requirements for high-efficiency, low cost, wide range, low emissions, high temperatures, high durability, low weight, fast delivery, small size and others make for a challenging life. Consequently engineers deserve the best set of high-quality tools available, if success is to be reasonably expected.
ANSYS strives to meet the needs of these hard-pressed engineers. We provide the widest possible range of high-fidelity physics solvers, complemented by comprehensive pre- and post-processing tools for geometry, meshing, simulation definition, optimization, visualization and other functions. We continuously improve the tools, expanding their scope and improving their performance, as evidenced by the unprecedented number of improvements available in our latest release, ANSYS 17.0.
Many of our solvers and associated tools are general purpose in nature, and can be used for a wide range of applications. Turbomachinery engineers can certainly take advantage of these. But we also provide a number of speciality tools aimed at meeting the unique requirements of turbomachinery designers. ANSYS BladeModeler and ANSYS TurboGrid are examples of these. In some cases it makes sense to partner with other organizations that have specialized expertise. For instance, with with PCA Engineers, we have jointly developed the throughflow solver ANSYS Vista TF.
Another way to provide specialized capabilities is by opening up our software to enable third party connectivity, for instance via ANSYS ACT. Recently the London, UK, company Advanced Design Technology (ADT) has connected their TURBOdesign1 (TD1) tool to ANSYS Workbench. TD1 is a 3-D inviscid inverse design code. Two approaches used in the aerodynamic design of turbomachinery are the direct approach and the inverse approach. In the direct approach, the geometry is first specified and its performance then determined using CFD. In the inverse approach, properties or parameters of the design are specified first, instead of the actual geometry. Each approach has its own merits. Our job at ANSYS is to provide the platform and tools so that each designer can decide to use one, the other or both approaches in some combination.
A simple description of the TD1 methodology is that a few parameters are specified in advance; one of the most important of these is the blade loading. This is equivalent to specifying the pressure difference across the blade. Distributions of inlet and exit swirl are chosen, and these are carefully blended between inlet and exit. Other parameters are set to control spanwise flow (thereby influencing the resulting blade stacking), spanwise variation in exit meridional velocity and blade angle, smoothness of meridional velocity at the hub, etc. These parameters, along with other basic information such as the initial meridional shape, are fed into the inviscid solver, and the result is the geometry and a performance estimate.
Linking TD1 into ANSYS Workbench has several benefits. One is automation. Another is enabling multiple blade row capability. A third is connectivity to ANSYS high-fidelity CFD and related tools. The benefit for the designer is access to a greater variety of connected, productivity-enhancing tools. ADT provides TURBOdesignWB (TDWB), a tool that facilitates the integration process. It automates workflow setup within Workbench and directs data transfer with TurboGrid and ANSYS CFX. Automated processes such as design of experiment and multi-objective optimization are then straightforward to carry out.
The above is just a brief description of the possibilities and benefits provided by coupling ADT and ANSYS tools. Please join our webinar on April 1st for a full presentation of these exciting developments.