I don’t know about you but I want the best I can get — whether I’m doing CFD prep and meshing or just living my life. It had better be good and speedy and easy — I want it all! Unfortunately, life doesn’t work always that way.
For example, I have a beautiful wrought iron fence in front of my house. The problem is that the fence is made of steel and as we all know, steel has the unfortunate property of rusting as the paint ages and loses integrity. So, this summer I have a big project to scrape, brush and repaint the metal. I’m not looking forward to the many hours of hands on time that will take! Continue reading
There’s an old project management adage that goes “Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick any two.” There are tons of websites and blogs about it. I’m particularly fond of this one about the designer’s holy triangle. Unfortunately, this holds true in the engineering simulation world. With “good” meaning “accurate,” you’re stuck with suboptimal choices: Good + fast = expensive; good + cheap = slow; fast + cheap = inferior. Product designers are stuck with good results that take too long or “directional” results fast. Good and fast just was not on the table. Continue reading
In my talks with engineering managers, flow analysts and IT staff, I often hear variants of this question. Why is more computing power a strategic asset for my engineering department? Why does scalability matter for my simulation jobs that don’t go beyond 32–64 cores in parallel? What’s in it for IT when we are stuck with our current HPC server or cluster for at least two years? Let me try to answer each of these questions.
CalSol Solar Vehicle Team, UC Berkeley, is a student-run organization that designs, builds, tests, and races solar vehicles capable of traveling at highway speeds. Through participation in solar races and alternative energy as well as community outreach events, the team also aims to raise awareness of solar energy while focusing on the engineering challenges inherent in solar vehicle technology.
In order to be a competitive vehicle team, an aerodynamic vehicle design and good battery cooling systems are very important. Continue reading
Clean water is one of the most basic necessities of our lives. Our health depends on it. What transpired in the Flint water crisis in Michigan recently has shocked the nation. President Obama declared a state of emergency and there are demands that the Governor of Michigan steps down. It all started when, in order to reduce cost, the City of Flint officials decided to use Flint River water for residential consumption without adding orthophosphate, a chemical that coats the pipe interior thereby inhibiting any leaching of lead. Continue reading
Over the past two decades, I’ve had the good fortune to meet with product development teams in nearly every industry, attend a multitude of engineering conferences and read hundreds of case studies on engineering simulation. Without a doubt, the principle reasons driving businesses to invest in engineering simulation have been to reduce development time and costs while improving product quality. Continue reading
Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere and with it comes snow. Snow complicates our lives — roads become slick with ice and drifts can block our way. When it piles up high on mountains, avalanches can wreak havoc.
It has now been over a decade since commercial travelers were able to experience supersonic flight on the Concorde aircraft. News items will periodically surface about the possibility of travel across the Atlantic in an hour or less, but these are usually media hype based on a recently filed patent or publication. The reality is that we are still many years away from a commercial aircraft that can match the speed of Concorde. And, this is a plane that first flew close to 50 years ago. Who knows how far away we are from the transportation technologies we were supposed to have on the recently passed Back to the Future Day, October 21st 2015. Continue reading
Flows around aerodynamic bodies, like aircraft wings, helicopter blades, wind turbines and turbomachinery components develop boundary layers that, to a large extent, define their performance. The boundary layers can either be laminar or turbulent depending on numerous factors, like Reynolds number, freestream turbulence levels and surface roughness, to name a few. Understanding which type of boundary layer is present, and the location of the laminar-to-turbulent transition point under varying operating conditions, is essential for accurate predictions of the performance of aerodynamic devices. Continue reading
In a previous blog, I shared with you my excitement about the power of the adjoint solver technology for shape optimization from ANSYS. Since then I have been working tirelessly to make this remarkable technology even more capable. CFD engineers can now understand their designs better and can perform smart shape optimization, all for larger problems with richer physics thanks to the adjoint solver technology.
My numerous interactions with people from all around the world confirmed what I knew: the adjoint solver technology is powerful and has the capability to enable a sea-change in the fluid design process. The technology is already having a positive disruptive impact on design, especially among the early adopters. Products are being improved. Established concepts about some types of fluid systems and how they function have been overturned. New manufacturing procedures are being attempted in order to produce the shapes indicated by the adjoint.