Written by Megan Jenkins on July 19, 2019
January 15th, 2019
approx reading time
Design and Innovation Solutions is a small engineering consultancy specializing in design and virtual analysis.
The company’s goal is to provide solutions to companies that might not have access to experienced, in-house engineering resources. Their target market is companies that don’t have in-house research and development capabilities or simulation capability for CFD and FEA.
Andrew Tuxford, the CEO of Design and Innovation Solutions, shares with us his experience using the CFD capabilities of the SimScale platform for one of his company’s recent projects:
This project was focused on the simulation of a new technology for the oil and gas industry. The reason that the client came to us was due to the nature of the environment the product is used in. Due to the working environment being over 500m underground and submerged in water for most of that distance, the pressures involved are quite high. This, coupled with the cost of building a test apparatus that was physically large enough and could handle the pressure, made physical testing impractical.
By using CAE, Design and Innovation Solutions was able to virtually test this environment through CFD simulation.
As a laboratory test was not able to replicate the environment of the application, CFD simulations were the way to go. The main goal of this was to understand the behavior of the system and what decision should be made to get the best design possible.
For small companies, it is nearly impossible to justify huge investments in commercial CAE software packages, so having SimScale made it far more practical to do the simulation at an affordable price.
What SimScale brought to the table was a quality simulation platform and accurate results at an affordable price. Having OpenFOAM in the background also allowed us to trust the results because of the extensive validation already performed on this code.
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The product’s dimensions were given by the client and were modeled in CAD. The fluid volume was then taken using symmetry and uploaded to the SimScale platform. From there, it was meshed using the Tet-parametric mesh and simulated as a multiphase transient simulation type.
The biggest challenge was definitely the nature of the problem and how to mesh it. As the aspect ratio of the geometry was really challenging, due to having a cross-section with a very small outside diameter compared to the length with small internal fluid passages, meshing it was the biggest obstacle to overcome.
However, after several consultations with one of the customer success engineers of SimScale, we were able to overcome the meshing challenge and move onto solving the problem.
Over the course of the project, ten different simulation configurations were reported on. The multiphase transient simulations took around 1000 minutes of real-world time each to run on 32 cores.
The most important results obtained from the analysis were the phase fraction and the animations that were able to show how the two fluids were interacting in the system. The animations made it much easier to visualize the transient nature of the problem and it was very fortunate that SimScale let us control the actual time step we were writing to the disk.
“Those animations tell such a story about transient problems that is impossible to relate with pictures. You have to have the thing flowing; you can instantly understand what’s working.”
Design and Innovation Solutions had an ROI of 300% using SimScale in its projects. The CFD package price was amortized quite easily in one or two jobs.
SimScale gave Design and Innovation Solutions the ability to do professional level CFD at an affordable price, and our future plans are to keep using the platform for other projects.
“The fact that SimScale provides customer success engineers helps its customers have the greatest possibility of success in their simulations. That makes the difference against other software and it is critical to the success of the projects and the business.”
Interested in other success stories? Download this case study for free to learn how the SimScale CFD platform was used to investigate a ducting system and optimize its performance.
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