Does anyone out there use ANSYS Fluent as well as Floworks? How do they compare?
My thinking is use Floworks for the day to day stuff and Fluent for the complex high-definintion stuff.
Analyzing flow in a reciprocating compressor is beyond the capabilities of Flow. You are trying to combine motion and CFD and the solver in Flow probably does not do that well. You could iterate valve and piston positions and then try to integrate the results, but that would be a lot of effort.
Fluent may do this, but probably not the economy version of Fluent. From a business standpoint I would recommend consideration of hiring an outside consultant that is "fluent" in these types of analysis. I have often turned to the academic community who are blessed with the brains and the computational resources for projects like this. Your project will be very computationally intensive regardless of the application program. Many in the academic community use OpenFoam because it supports GPU processing, thus 100's of cores. Can also be farmed out to a supercomputer center, but the software development will be expensive.
Your first step is to estimate the processing power necessary for simulation of moving pistons and valves and the flow through them as a function of time. My guess is that you are beyond PC territory.
what kind of "complex high-definition stuff"?
A piston in a cylinder acting upon valves. The valves deforming under pressure. Analysis of the flow through the cylinder and valves. How valve design reacts and affects flow.
sounds like moving mesh necessary, puts flow completely out of the running. from there if you use solidworks you have to find the solution that integrates best with your cad or gives you the interface that you want and also meets your needs from an analysis perspective. when we run into these situations, we have been outsourcing it to either ABAQUS, cd-adaptco or cradle because most of these tools aren't friendly enough to just touch once and awhile and we don't have enough projects of that caliber to have it make sense to have it in-house.
sorry, no direct experience with fluent
Thank you Jared and David for your comments.
That was exactally what I was expecting to hear. we have tried to think of how many areas of the compressor would actually require a moving mesh and that was the only place we could think of. Those types of analysis don't come up every day, but alot of other simpler ones do. I would estimate that 80-90% of what we would look at flow would handle. For the other 10-20% we shouls outsource at another source. Va Tech if not far away and we have used their resources in the past, along with our reseller and other consultants. I think thats what we should continue to do until we determine that it is needed more often in-house.
You can find a lot more information regarding different CFD applications on:
I found a sugestion for simulting a Sterling engine regenerator using SW Flow Simulation in the FloEWFD, Flowworks, FloTherm section of the Online Discussion Forums. Might be able to employ a similar strategy with a reciprocating compressor.
You can also get information not only on Mentor Graphics Products (SW Flow) but there is a great deal of application information on Fluent and OpenFoam and the relative advantages of each. FYI: OpenFoam is open source (free) and has support for GPU processing, but the interface is much more technical.
Keep us posted how you make out. FWIW I was with York about 15 years, but a long time ago.
York once owned our company. Now they still work closely with them.
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