For over 100 years, propellers have been the propulsion method of choice for aircraft, helicopter, and boat manufacturers. With the rise of multi-rotor technology, the limitations of this ancient method of propulsion have placed a glass ceiling on emerging industries such as drone delivery and “flying cars.” Besides the obvious safety issues, the faster that a blade rotates the more inefficient it becomes at transferring energy into thrust. A key reason for this upper limit on economies of RPM is that the faster a blade spins, the more prominent the vortex geometry becomes in the mass flow, which is parasitic to propulsion. This constrains both payload and range. Continue reading
The journey of BiomeRenewables’ PowerConeTM wind turbine started with witnessing a falling maple seed. I was sitting on my deck when I was struck by how slowly the seed was able to fall. As it turns out, maple seeds — for their size — exhibit maximum aerodynamic efficiency; they are able to hit what is known as the Betz Limit — 59.3 percent aerodynamic efficiency. Careful analysis revealed that there is something about the seed’s shape and the way it interacts with the air that allows it to achieve such high efficiency numbers — namely, that it interacts with the oncoming flow at an angle greater than 90 degrees. This is not the case with modern wind turbines, which interact with the wind at perpendicular angles of 90 degrees. Continue reading
Transient blade row simulations in turbomachinery are needed either to improve the aerodynamic performance predictions or because the flow interaction we are trying to resolve and predict is unsteady in nature such as aeromechanical, aerothermodynamic or aeroacoustic interactions. Because the blade pitch is not similar between the rows of turbine or compressor, a transient blade row simulation will usually require the modeling of the full wheel (or full geometry). This constraint renders these simulations not practical and in many cases prohibitive as analysis or design tools. 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.
Advanced simulation tools are essential for contemporary and competitive product design. But it is the assembly of these tools into an effective, automated design system that gives leading companies an additional advantage. One such company is Denmark-based Grundfos, one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers.
Grundfos estimates that pumps currently account for 10 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption. This fact provides ample incentive to improve pump efficiency, given the current drive for energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. Grundfos produces pumps for a wide range of applications: circulator pumps for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry as well as pumps for water supply, sewage, boiler, and other industrial applications and for inclusion in the equipment of other OEM’s. With such a broad line of products, it is clear that there is plenty of potential for putting an automated design loop system to work. Continue reading
On November 3rd, as part of the ANSYS Convergence webinar series, we will presenting an interesting story on how simulation has enabled a well-established company to move rapidly along the innovation curve. That company is Gilbert, Gilkes & Gordon Ltd., aka Gilkes. The company has successfully operated for over 150 years in the Lakes District of the United Kingdom. Their main products are small hydropower systems for generating electricity, and pumps for circulating cooling water in diesel engines. Continue reading
Who said that CFD simulation was only for “hard” problems like jet engines and race cars? It is easy to dismiss CFD as overkill for something as familiar as a showerhead — weren’t they optimized long ago? After all, millions are made and sold annually. But Nebia’s founders had a better idea. According to Innovation by Design Magazine, Philip Winter, co-founder and CEO of Nebia says, “Showers are something that people really care about but people have no freaking clue that they can do anything to change [the experience.] You move into an apartment and you get whatever you get.” Continue reading
Four years ago, as a high school sophomore, I began work on an independent project that explored ways to improve the performance of high-lift systems used on the Airbus A330-300. One of the biggest challenges facing me was how to best conduct experiments to assess the performance of the different designs. In prior years, I had conducted simple research on aircraft wing design and aeroelasticity using unpowered balsa models of the aircraft being tested. To employ this same method would be unworkable for the relatively complex systems of flaps and slats required by the Airbus aircraft. I would have needed to build a larger scale model or perform wind-tunnel testing — neither of which was viable because I did not have access to equipment of the complexity required. Continue reading
As you have probably heard, in January of this year, ANSYS 16.0 was released with a full set of new features and exciting enhancements covering our entire simulation portfolio (see more here). But in this blog, I would like to tell you a little more about turbomachinery blade row flow modeling capability in ANSYS 16.0.
Transient blade row (TBR) simulation is an important analysis and design tool, enabling turbomachinery designers to reliably improve the performance and predict the durability of rotating machinery. Traditional transient simulation methods are expensive since it requires simulation of all blades in the full 360 degrees to accurately account for the pitch difference between adjacent blade rows. However, ANSYS CFX pitch-change methods resolve this challenge by providing time accurate unsteady turbomachinery flow simulations on just a small sector of the machine annulus (typically simulating only one or a few blades, a reduced blade row model), thus tremendously reducing computing cost resources and and reducing the overall time to obtain the simulation. Continue reading
I have always been fascinated by turbomachinery: pumps, compressors, turbochargers, state-of-the-art aircraft engines etc. Anything that spins is of interest. This is one of the key reasons why I love going to work at ANSYS every day. I can contribute to creating the best turbomachinery simulation solutions.
I am often asked “What are you working on? Turbines? Compressors? Hydraulic turbines?” Well, the answer is all of the above, and more. This is because our physics solutions are not limited by machine type, material or flow regime. Similarly, our turbomachinery-specific pre- and post-processing tools apply across machine categories. Besides, complex machines such as an aircraft engine have many parts: compressor, turbine, combustion chamber, complex secondary flow channels, etc. So with each new release of ANSYS, we strive to improve the simulation solutions that we provide to our turbomachinery customers.