SEAM leading the way in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the process of mathematically modelling a physical phenomenon involving fluid flow and solving it numerically using specialist powerful simulation software. CFD allows engineers to gain comprehensive knowledge about the flow field and enable them to develop better products at reduced costs with less physical prototyping.

With CFD, advanced physics models can be created and analysed, considering a variety of fluids phenomena in a customisable and informative environment.CFD enables organisations more time to innovate and optimize product performance in a cost effective way.

What sectors of Irish industry are using Computational fluid dynamics?

As computational fluid dynamics is a tool used by engineers to solve and simulate fluid-related problems it can be used across a wide and varied range of industry. SEAM has worked with companies who operate in the following sectors:

  • HVAC
  • Data Centres
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Building information modelling (BIM)
  • Civil Engineering & construction
  • Environmental Engineering and Wastewater
  • Automotive
  • Process optimisation
  • Hydraulic systems modelling
  • Valve design

As organisations continually seek to optimise and improve product and service performance in a cost effective and time efficient way CFD has become a critical component of the innovation process. We expect to see the demand for specialist CFD services and capabilities increase.

What are most common applications for CFD?

SEAM uses CFD to examine flow phenomena such as turbulence, mixing, acoustic pulsation, and heat transfer. The fluid model can be coupled with a structural model to simulate fluid-structure interaction. SEAM uses CFD to optimise designs resulting in an enhanced understanding of flow mechanisms prior to prototype testing. This has resulted in cost savings for our customers by enabling them to reduce the number of prototype tests required and improve component operation and lifespan. Below is a list of SEAM’S CFD simulation capabilities and experience:

  • Turbulence Modelling
  • Heat Transfer and Temperature Distribution Modelling
  • Mixing Performance Analysis
  • Particle Flow Modelling
  • Fluid Structure Interaction
  • Bubble Formation and Flow Modelling
  • Acoustic Pulsation Analysis
  • Leakage Rate Assessment

Laminar and Turbulent Flow
CFD simulations use turbulence models to predict the effect of turbulence on a CAD engineered design, and a wide variety of these are accessible through the ANSYS CFD software, allowing the correct model to be selected based on the particular fluid flow problem to be analysed. A recent innovation particularly suited to the accurate simulation of turbulence in industry is the Generalized k-omega (GEKO) turbulence model as implemented in ANSYS (Outbound Link to ansys site ). GEKO allows turbulence models to be tailored to a wide variety of applications by allowing users to adjust individual parameters of the simulation while maintaining the model calibration. This enables the increased flexibility and accuracy associated with a custom turbulence model to be utilised.

Heating, Air conditioning, and Ventilation (HVAC) Applications of CFD Simulation
Creating HVAC diffusers, air handling units, and FTUs typically requires rigorous testing to ensure they can circulate, mix and condition air effectively, and meet IAQ standards. Many HVAC equipment manufacturers have turned to CFD simulation to speed up prototyping and validating new designs.

CFD simulation allows engineers to analyse the potential performance of their products in different spaces, and in different configurations. This rapid prototyping enabled by simulation allows the optimisation of performance and energy utilisation across a wide variety of operational scenarios.

Beyond being able to design aerodynamic products without investing in many physical prototypes, simulation makes it possible for engineers to test very small changes to their design to maximize performance — dozens or hundreds of times before they go to production.

Pipe and Valve Simulation
With CFD simulation, engineers can model the performance of an entire system of pipes or isolate a single component (like a valve) to decrease the likelihood of failure. CFD simulation could also be used to investigate failure of aging infrastructure after-the-fact, giving engineers a more accurate picture of what happened.

Particle Simulation
From tablet coatings to vacuum cleaners, pipe erosions, and medical devices, engineers need to study particle flows associated with these applications to ensure their products are optimised. A particle model coupled with fluid flow simulation can help you understand, predict and improve performance across a wide range of applications. Particle collision, circulation, mixing can be modelled and analysed by SEAM across a wide range of applications and industries.

Case Study: CFD can be used to help reduce energy costs – Coral Leisure, Cobh

The aim of this project was to develop a model of the leisure Centre pool hall capable of predicting thermal performance and to use these results to develop an optimised air management strategy to reduce air stratification, optimise energy consumption, and increase thermal comfort within the pool hall. The SEAM CFD team used Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling to highlight regions of low mixing and air circulation within the pool hall under a worst case winter operating condition. Based on the CFD analysis, SEAM suggested an optimised air management strategy capable of reducing the pool hall energy consumption by 50%. The optimised strategy included an alternative supply air flowrate and temperature, and alternative de stratification fan speeds. You can read more about the project here.

Why use SEAM’s CFD Service?

SEAM has a dedicated team of engineers committed to delivering high quality engineering simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) services to industry. We have extensive experience of delivering industrial research and consultancy CFD projects covering a broad range of industrial fluid flow problems. Our experience combined with our in house high performance computing resources enable us to deliver state of the art CFD analysis to our clients within industrial timescales.

SEAM operates under the ISO9001 ISO quality management system and is committed to maintaining a focus on the provision of high-quality services to industry. SEAM’s CFD service are also:

  • Reliable: We strictly comply with industry best practise guidelines for all our CFD projects, and continually strive to validate our techniques against experimental data wherever possible.
  • Cost-effective: Our tools and processes are streamlined for efficiency allowing us to spend more time on testing, interpreting results, drawing conclusions and solving your problem to ensure we deliver a tangible return on your investment
  • Fast: We have a secure on-site high-performance compute cluster, enabling us to solve large, complex CFD simulations to industrial timescales.

If you would like to learn more about how CFD or SEAM you can visit our website or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.