Fans & turbines, Maritime, HVAC systems, Industrial processes
Our field of work is not limited to a few sectors or industries. We can add value to any development related to fluid dynamics or airflow.
Fans and Turbines
We analyze and design both axial and centrifugal fans. The design of axial fans often involves the shaping and optimization of the blades for a specific application. For centrifugal fans, in addition to the blades, also the design of the housing and the interaction between the blades and the housing is of importance. Our design and optimization processes are usually based on multiple CFD simulations, which we use to visualize the airflow. If possible, we also perform measurements to validate our design. Optimization for minimal noise and vibration is typically done through a combination of simulation and testing.
We have specific expertise in the aerodynamic design of wind turbine blades. Our experience ranges from small wind turbines for private use to large multi-megawatt machines with blades of 100 meters in length.
In the Netherlands, we are famous for our historical windmills. Originally, these windmills were placed in open fields, but due to the growth of our cities, the windmills are now close the urban environment and their operation is influenced by the surrounding buildings.
Therefore, when developing new (high-rise) buildings in the surroundings of an historical windmill, it is recommended to conduct a wind study to determine the impact of the proposed development on the windage of the mill.
There is a simple mill biotope equation to calculate the maximum building height in the vicinity of the windmill, but if the height of the proposed development exceeds this limit, a study based on CFD simulations can be performed to calculate the actual impact of the building on the windage of the mill. At Actiflow, we have extensive experience in these wind studies. Together with developers and local authorities, we think it is important to preserve these historical windmills and to ensure that they can stay operational for a long time to come.
In the maritime sector, we work on both the design of ships and the analysis of water flow in locks and harbors. We consider various aspects of a ship. In addition to the hydrodynamic design of the hull, we also study the distribution of exhaust gases around the ship, the optimal operation of HVAC systems for cooling or ventilation of interior spaces or the risk of water sloshing in a jacuzzi on a luxury yacht.
HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning)
As part of our building physics activities, we advise on the best configuration of an HVAC system for a specific space, but we also work with manufacturers to develop new HVAC systems for multiple applications. An HVAC system basically consists of a housing containing a fan and a heat exchanger. Often the challenge is to minimize the pressure drop across this system. The pressure drop is mainly determined by the positioning of the components in the housing, the design of the housing, the air flow rate through the system and the location of the inlets and outlets. Depending on the freedom of design, all these aspects can be optimized for a minimum pressure drop and thus a minimum energy consumption.
In industrial processes, gas and liquid flows play a major role. Some examples of our work involve the flow of oil and gas through pipelines or storage tanks, the mixing of gases or liquids, combustion processes, etc. By providing insight into gas and liquid flows, we help our customers to increase the efficiency of the process, but also, for example, to achieve higher or faster homogeneity, a better estimate of the duration of the process, or a reduction of the energy consumption of the process.
Gas and liquid flows as part of industrial processes are usually very complex to model. The process often involves different substances, possibly in different phases, in which thermal effects can play a role. Actiflow has years of experience in simulating multi-phase and multi-species flows, particle flows, mixing and filtering processes, flow through pipes, etc.
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Wind turbine dynamics
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