The use of simulation and analysis software is on a rapid rise and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% during 2016-2020.
Currently, CFD is used in virtually every aspect of engineering from designing aircrafts in the aerospace industry, to simulations of blood flow in the biomedical field, to predictive modelling in meteorology.
While CFD is an incredibly fascinating field to be a part of, there are many challenges that CFD engineers face when working on various problems. Learn more in our Essential Guide to CFD Simulations.
The following are 7 common challenges almost all CFD engineers will have faced at one point or another:
1. Writing and Debugging Complex Numerical Algorithms
Simulation tools offer inbuilt models to help engineers save their precious time that would otherwise need to be spent writing and debugging complex numerical algorithms. Moreover, with the availability of inbuilt models, engineers do not need to hire expert workforce or purchase expensive workstations to create or test different models.
2. Uncertainty of Result Accuracy
Since simulation tools have already been tested thoroughly by experts in the field, most simulation tools are incredibly accurate and help to provide engineers with an assurance of valid results.
3. Presenting Complex Data To a Non-Technical Audience
It is not always easy to visually display results, especially when engineers have to present their findings to an audience that may not be as technical as they are. Most CFD solvers come with post-processing software to provide the engineer with a visually appealing display of simulation results. Simulation tools that provide effective displays of results using colours or contours can also assist in presenting complex data to a non –technical audience.
4. Difficulty Observing the Effect of Different Parameters
Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) help engineers easily complete and understand the what-if analysis, saving them time and simplifying what would otherwise be a long and daunting task. Simulation tools have an integrated GUI that can be used to easily vary the parameters (or a combination of the parameters) helping engineers to observe the effect of different parameters.
5. Difficulty Determining How to Apply the Fluid Flow Equations in Specific Scenarios
Field-specific simulation tools are built by engineers specialized in the respective fields who have in-depth experience dealing with the field-specific problems. CFD engineers can greatly benefit from simulation models like these, as they eliminate the time and effort that would otherwise be spent determining how to apply the fluid flow equations in various specific scenarios.
6. Rewriting Computer Algorithms For Different Flow Types
Different flow conditions can be daunting, as they often require computer algorithms to be re-written several times to account for all flow types when testing a prototype. A number of simulation tools come with the ability to model the flow for different flow conditions such as single-phase flow, multi-phase flow or non-Newtonian flow. This eliminates the effort to rewrite the computer algorithm for various kinds of flows, saving engineers a lot of time and frustration.
7. Estimating Design Parameters
Before developing customized simulation algorithms for problem-specific needs, it is beneficial for engineers to get a rough estimate of the design parameters. Simulation tools are a great way for them to gain this rough estimate before spending time and money on designs.
Simulation tools are helpful in eliminating many of the challenges that CFD engineers face on a day-to -day basis. These tools have several built-in predefined geometric models that help engineers better understand project variables such as turbulent flow with different boundary and initial conditions. Simply put, CFD simulation software aims to save engineers time and money while providing them with informative data.
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