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2011

I always found it both paradoxical and interesting how during the winter in modern times we heat our houses to stay warm but then have our refrigerators to keep our foods cold while it sits within the warm house.  What a waste of energy!  Over the weekend I found a method of bringing the cold from outside into your frig.  Fill up some discarded plastic bottles from your recycling bin, fill them with water and place them outside in the freezing cold overnight.  (Granted this assumes that you have freezing temps outside, so sorry to the people who live in warmer climates who can't try this out.  Actually it was above freezing over the weekend in New England where I live, so I had to wait until temps dropped again.)  Back to the freezing water, in the morning take these now frozen bottles and place them in your frig.  This helps you save energy from every time you open the frig during the day to eat because the frig doesn't have to do as much work to remove the heat that you let in.  At the end of the day the bottles should be mostly melted so then you put them outside again at night to refreeze... rinse and repeat.

 

What does this have to do with Simulation?  Well you could figure out how well this works by doing a transient Thermal analysis.  Just like the great "Beer Can Barbeque Conundrum" that has been solved by SolidWorks Flow Simulation; watch the video to learn how long before your beer gets undrinkably warm when BBQ'ing outside on a nice summer day.

 

Since we're thinking about beer, did you know that one theory on the origin of the phrase "rule of thumb" is from earlier times before thermometers where a brewer would judge when to add the yeast to ferment the wort (or young beer) by sticking his thumb in the kettle so that it wouldn't kill the essential micro-organisms by being too hot or too cold, it would have to be just right by a "rule of thumb."  Now it's probably just a myth about the origin of the phrase, because we know that humans are not accurate as thermometers (that are required for proper brewing/cooking).  We can only tell relatively if something is warm or cold.  Same thing goes for rules of thumb when applied to design; they can be used to roughly estimate say how much material should be used to make a design safe, but using upfront analysis tools like SolidWorks Simulation provides us a much more accurate measurement, like a thermometer to a modern brewer, in order to duly define (and even optimize) the amount of material to meet the design's factor of safety.

 

 

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