This is how the CFD process looks like at Actiflow:
1. Cad Model
The starting point of a CFD simulation is a CAD drawing of the product or building at hand. We then prepare this CAD model for CFD, which means we remove all irrelevant details, and create a closed flow volume.
2. Computational domain and mesh
Next, we define a computational domain. This domain is the volume in which we calculate the gas or fluid flow. In the computational domain, we build a mesh consisting out of millions of volume cells. The resolution of the mesh should be high close to surfaces in the model and in places where we expect high gradients in the flow field. For every cell in the mesh, the software will be solving the flow equations.
In order to run a simulation, we need to make a choice between several flow solvers, each of them suitable to solve a specific physical problem. After selecting the right solver, we select the numerical model and we insert all boundary conditions into the software. When all the input is there, the computer (or a large cluster of computers) starts running the simulation, which typically takes a few days.
The result of a CFD simulation is a large dataset of information about flow velocities, pressures, and sometimes temperatures in every cell of the mesh. We process all this information into visualizations and graphs that show the performance of a product or building. Based on these simulation results, we indicate potential problems and we suggest solutions. Together with our customer, we discuss which solutions are practically feasible, and which follow-up simulations will be performed to validate these solutions. Step by step, we finally reach a solution that meets all requirements and norms, and that is acceptable to all stakeholders.