Designing Efficient Downhole Gas Separators with ANSYS CFD

Downhole gas separators are complex devices in terms of flow physics. ANSYS Fluent can meet the challenges of this difficult application with appropriate modeling capabilities and expedite the design of efficient gas separators.

The oil produced from wells in productive oil fields is always accompanied by a free gas fraction, which forms a two-phase (gas – oil) fluid mixture. Depending on the characteristics of the well and of the oil produced, the pressure in the reservoir may not be sufficient to raise the production fluids up to the surface at the desired flow rate. These wells are equipped with downhole pumps to enhance production. Free gas entering a downhole pump reduces the pumping efficiency. When the volumetric gas fraction at pump inlets exceeds a certain percentage, gas lock and cavitation can occur. At this point, fluid suction is reduced to zero, causing frequent pump shutdown and significantly increasing operation costs.

To reduce downhole pump failure and maximize volumetric pumping efficiency, downhole mechanical liquid-gas separators (or simply gas separators) are used at the bottom of oil producing wells to separate gas from crude oil. Separation minimizes the entry of free gas into downhole pumps.

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KIT FSAE: Formula Student Team Accelerates with ANSYS CFD

Founded in 2005, Grandelfino is a student racing team based at Japan’s Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT). We design and manufacture Formula SAE (FSAE) cars with single cylinder engines, from start to finish. In the process, we also work to procure needed parts and sponsorships for growing our team management and technology skills.

From the beginning, our design concept has focused on “small and lightweight,” and it’s served us well: We’ve finished first overall in Formula Student competitions in Japan three times — first in 2012, and then with consecutive victories in 2016 and 2017. With each win, we’ve gained greater recognition that has allowed us to grow stronger.

Our GDF12 won the 2017 Formula SAE competition.

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Do Trees Improve the Near-road Air Quality?

The Laboratory for Environmental Flow Modeling at the University of California, Riverside, has used ANSYS Fluent software to model a variety of environmental flows. As a third year Ph.D. candidate student in Mechanical Engineering, I recently evaluated the influence of roadside vegetation barriers on the near-road air quality using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), as part of a research team that included my colleague Seyedmorteza Amini and my advisor Dr. Marko Princevac.

Exposure to traffic-related air pollution leads to public health concerns such as respiratory problems, birth and developmental defects, cardiovascular effects and cancer for people who live and work near major roadways. The near-road air quality can be improved directly by deploying vehicle emission control techniques, using alternative fuels or electric vehicles (EVs), or via passive pollutant control and roadside configuration design such as solid and vegetative barriers. Continue reading

Discovery Live Paves the Way for Rapid Simulation Results

I was recently presented with a unique opportunity to compare the results of full ANSYS CFD simulations with the results obtained using the new ANSYS Discovery Live product, which provides results instantly upon changing the geometry without interrupting a run. I was very pleased and surprised by the speed and accuracy of Discovery Live in this comparison test.

I work for Astec, Inc., the subsidiary of Astec Industries that builds asphalt plants. Roadtec Inc., another Astec Industries company, builds asphalt pavers, reclaimers and material transfer vehicles (MTVs). An MTV helps to accomplish non-stop, non-contact paving by offering a continuous supply of Hot Mix to the paver. By separating dump trucks from the paver this way, contractors are able to make a smoother finished road.

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Simulation Innovations: From Systems Simulation to Autonomous Vehicles to Digital Twins

The role of 3-D physics, systems simulation and embedded software is expanding rapidly into new industries and disciplines. A few years ago, 3-D physics simulation was limited to specific departments within organizations, and often these departments did not coordinate with each other on product development activities. Fast forward to today, and much has changed and must continue to evolve in order for companies to remain competitive in the changing landscape of product development. Integrated 3-D physics, systems simulation and embedded software tools are of the utmost importance — especially when tackling the challenges of quickly and accurately developing the technology driving digital twins and autonomous vehicles.

Join us in Paris for our Innovations Conference on December 5-6 and learn how our customers are using simulation to bring their products to market faster.

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The Need for Speed Drives NASCAR’s Richard Childress Racing to the Cloud

In the world of stock-car racing, finding even the smallest competitive advantage is the difference between winning and losing.

That’s why at Richard Childress Racing, we design and build our race cars end-to-end. We engineer and machine our own chassis and suspension components, we design and fabricate our own bodies, and we test and build our own engines. Everything is built from the ground up at RCR.

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Brighter, Energy-efficient LED Headlights through CFD

LEDs are increasingly used in automobile headlights because of their small size and reduced energy consumption. But, though they are much more energy efficient than traditional headlights, most of the energy required is converted to heat rather than light — 70 percent, in fact. This presents a challenge to engineers and designers because, since they are semiconductor-based, the diode junction of LEDs must be kept below 120 C. Maintaining temperature below this limit typically involves cooling airflow from an electric fan combined with heat sink fins.

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Designing an Environmentally Friendly Luxury Electric Vehicle with Multiphysics Simulation

Luxury Electric Vehicle

Developing a luxury electric vehicle (EV) from scratch with a short deadline demands organization and access to the right technology to get the job done. Lucid Motors of Menlo Park, California, met the first challenge by putting all the engineers in one room so the structural and aerodynamics engineers would know what the battery, motor and power electronics engineers were doing, right from the start. This collaborative environment has helped them to design a unique automobile with more passenger space by reshaping the battery stack, while optimizing the electric motor, the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the battery life.

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The Next Big Thing in Engineering Simulation

All great discoveries and inventions begin with a vision. A vision to make a better product, solve a unique problem or make life easier in some capacity. For centuries scientists and engineers have made tremendous progress in discovering scientific phenomena, or in solving technological challenges. I could write extensively about many of those inventions and discoveries, but there is one I would like to highlight.

In 1928, a Scottish biologist named Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation. As he was sorting through some petri dishes he noticed something unusual. One particular dish had several colonies of bacteria and a cluster of mold. However, there was no bacteria growth near the cluster of mold. Although he did not realize the magnitude of his observation at that moment, he would later be credited with discovering the first lifesaving antibiotic, which he called penicillin. Continue reading

CFD Simulation of HVAC Systems on Trains Makes Rail Travel More Comfortable

Every time I travel in Europe, I enjoy riding the fast, comfortable trains. Riding from city center to city center without long security lines and tight uncomfortable airplane seats (worse for me because I’m tall!) can even make travel pleasant. But, I’ve always taken that comfort for granted. Were trains not always that way? Then, I found out about the challenges that Siemens engineers face as they design passenger coaches. Now I have huge respect for those engineers. Read on to find out how CFD is making their lives easier while giving me the comfort I love.

Siemens Ice 4 Train HVAC Systems on Trains

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