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How Simulations Can Be Used For Project Risk Management

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With an astonishing rise in computational capacity, computer simulations are used in virtually every aspect of engineering and help greatly with the prediction of many different types of risks. In this article, we highlight the use of computational fluid dynamics in project risk management.

Using CFD For Project Risk Prediction & Management

Prediction of risks central to a project can help by giving project leaders the necessary information they require to modify the design of their projects in a timely fashion or by providing them with alternate solutions. Monte Carlo simulations have been used extensively around the world for risk analysis research in engineering, business and finance.

Extensive research is being performed in the field of project risk management and risk prediction to diversify the use of simulations in fields such as tsunami prediction, bushfire spread and sudden cardiac death prediction. If you're new to computational fluid dynamics (CFD), check out our Essential Guide, or schedule a demo with one of our engineers to see CFD in action.

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Project related risk analysis can help even before the commencement of a project with problems such as potential issues with site selection or obtaining permits from regulatory agencies. Computational Simulation in risk prediction can be especially beneficial in tidal energy production and in the oil and gas industry, as outlined further below.

Project Risk Management Cycle

CFD Simulations For Project Risk Management In Tidal Energy

The presence of wake on upstream turbines can severely affect the performance of downstream turbines. A case study that proves this, was conducted by Lloyd’s register on tidal turbine modelling using open source software.  The goal of the study was to evaluate the performance of turbines in the presence of wakes and to include the effect of the waves on the turbines.  It was necessary to model the phenomenon to evaluate turbine performance in the presence of waves as the velocity profiles were affected. A mesh size to the order of 9 million control volumes was created to model the turbines. The model was successful in simulating the effect of waves and predicting the velocity profiles around each turbine in the presence of the waves. The simulations showed that turbine wake is impacted by waves and depends on turbine design, wave height, period, and water depth.  The study showed that the wake zone behind the turbines reduced the velocity by 30%, illustrating for the project team that the downstream turbines would have substantially less power output than the upstream turbines. 

Tidal Energy

Tidal simulation.

CFD Simulations For Project Risk Management In The Oil & Gas Sector

Project risk management in the oil and gas industry is crucial due to the cost, and more importantly the number of lives, involved in these undertakings. Blowout risk is one of the foremost risks tackled by the oil and gas industry as it can lead to ecosystem damage and a huge capital loss in claims. Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill in 2010 led to BP setting up a 20 billion dollar trust fund to settle the claims. With more than 100 people onboard and daily drilling rental costs of more than half a million dollars, proper site selection is extremely important.

Simulations coupled with seismic exploration can save huge amounts of capital cost as well as saving hours of time spent on site selection. One of the studies which attempts to validate the usage of CFD in the field of project risk management in the oil and gas industry is presented here. To simulate the leak scenarios, hydrogen release profiles from different nozzle sizes were simulated using a CFD software and compared with experimental methods. In general, leak scenarios were well predicted and hydrogen concentration profiles from the simulations matched the best with the experiments for 21mm nozzle sizes. Further studies of this kind are needed for more accurate risk prediction and validation of the use of computer simulations for risk prediction.

With the advent of high-speed computers and improved numerical algorithms, risk prediction is being explored and adopted in diverse fields. Further research in the field shows a great potential in delivering reliable risk prediction systems for many different industries.

CFD Simulations For Project Risk Management For Fire Safety

Using CFD simulation for fire safety engineering isn't new in itself. In fact, the first use of computational fluid dynamics models to solve fire related problems can be tracked back to the 1960’s. Put simply, fire modelling can be used to demonstrate that the proposed building design (or retrofit of an existing building) achieves a commensurate level of safety in accordance with the building regulations of that particular country. CFD helps fire safety engineers to determine fire and smoke behaviour and assess the thermal response and analyze structural behaviours. This is useful predominantly due to the near impossibility of conducting realistic experiments on complete fire safety systems in a building. Read more about fire safety simulations in this article.


Aircraft hangar simulation

CFD Simulations For Project Risk Management For HVAC

CFD is used extensively when designing HVAC systems for non-standard systems, eg stadiums, large atriums, concert halls, natural ventilation systems, smoke ventilation etc and most of these systems could not be accurately designed without using CFD. Being able to simulate various HVAC systems in a building before they are installed, or assess various scenarios relating to a retrofit can potentially eradicate a huge amount of project risk, cut costs and improve safety and energy efficiency.

EXN/Aero: CFD Simulation In The Cloud

EXN/Aero is a general purpose, on-demand CFD cloud solver, ideal for use in project risk management. Compatible with most meshing tools, and using open source post-processing, there are a range of on-demand options available to users, helping them to overcome common limitations in their everyday work. Schedule a free demo with one of our engineers below.

Schedule a Demo

The Envenio Onboarding Program is a hands-on, next-level program to get you up and running with your simulations, ideal for those looking for a little help when it comes to using CFD for project risk management. You'll benefit from 20 hours across 30 days, working directly with one of our CFD engineering experts to mesh, set up, simulate, and post-process your results. During the engagement, engineers will ensure you receive the training required to continue easily performing your simulations after the Onboarding Program is over, remaining satisfied that you have made the best CFD software choice.

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CFD Simulation in the Cloud 


2018-09-28 | Categories: simulations, Tidal, CFD

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