It is understood that one-off prototyping is not a feasible approach to concept development and validation since this most design is an iterative process. Thus, the rational method for technology development is through Simulation-Driven Design (SDD). The SDD methodology utilizes computational methods as the tool for developing new technologies, thus avoiding the cost and time implications of a purely experimental/empirical approach. The Confluent Research team have extensive experience using SDD for developing novel thermal technologies.
In many of our projects, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is utilized. CFD is a numerical tool that solves the Navier-Stokes equations, which govern the flow of fluids. Members of the Confluent Research team are internationally recognized leaders in the use and development of CFD in science and technology.
Our team is well-versed in a variety of engineering design tools, such as CAD/CAM, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and computational heat transfer (CHT) with multi physics, etc. We have published extensively in the academic literature in these areas. We use state of the art CFD and CHT software and multiphysics problems are easily handled by our team. We also have experience in computer programming and can develop proprietary design and analysis software for our clients.
Step 1: Develop the model
The usefulness of CFD as a design tool relies on the correctness and accuracy of the simulations. For example, in some situations, it may be imperative that the model accounts for conjugate heat transfer effects and variations in thermal properties. Furthermore, strict academic protocol should be followed in the development and validation of the CFD model. This will include protocol for ensuring grid independence and validation against reliable published experimental and numerical results.
Once rigorously validated, the CFD model will be deemed suitable for use as a design tool for the ensuing SDD process, where previously identified opportunities can be simulated and compared against baseline existing solutions.
Confluent Research can provide a validated CFD code for predicting the fluid mechanics and heat transfer in a client’s geometries for use as the tool for a SDD programme. A report detailing the model development and validation would be provided.
Step 2: First Pass of SDD
Confluent Research will present a shortlist of one or more specific variations of a concept in which enhanced performance could be expected. The CFD design platform will first be used to characterize and compare the selected concept variation(s) to an existing, competitive product.
A technical report will summarize the preliminary findings from this step. If results are favourable, we continue to the next step.
Step 3: Refinement of SDD
The goal at this point is to refine a concept prior to prototyping. Here we gain a deeper understanding of the physics of the concept.
The concept will be scrutinized by performing a scientific analysis of the resulting fluid mechanics and heat transfer in order to gain a complete understanding of the physics that caused (or did not cause) the phenomenon under investigation.
Based on this understanding of the physics, Confluent Research will discuss with our client and brainstorm modifications that could further improve performance. Following this a more refined parametric-type of simulation study will ensue in order to locate possible optimum performance conditions.