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Mechanical Analysis Blog

19 Dec, 2014

Robin Bornoff Sure, most modern homes have much more advanced water heating systems than a big tank with an electric heater element. Systems that work on ‘point of use’ heating concepts that heat the water as it is being delivered, not heating up a large storage container for later use. One day I hope to live in such a house! Until then I’m going to worry and fret about the amount of money spent … Read More

19 Dec, 2014

CFD - Toys for Boys?

Posted by Keith Hanna

Keith Hanna Being the proud father of several girls spanning in age up to 18 I am occasionally struck by something they do that hits the engineering part (or parts) of my brain. Recently, at home, I came downstairs to where my 2 year-old daughter was playing and found that she had created an interesting train out of Lego Duplo toy bricks (see below). Duplex Train created by a 2 year old girl Now, as any parent … Read More

18 Dec, 2014

Santa's List

Posted by Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye Santa would not be very pleased with me this year. I’ve been naughty. Yes, through an unfortunate mix of being on the road and getting ill during the past 3 weeks, I haven’t done any Christmas shopping. Nor have I sent out any cards. I keep telling my loved ones that my cards will get there … rather late for this year but being the considerate soul that I am I won’t refer to the year in my note so they … Read More

15 Dec, 2014

Robin Bornoff Human technical prowess relies heavily on the conversion of energy from one form to another, to meet our needs. Physiological needs underpin  Maslow’s pyramid of all our other ones. The availability of hot water is in turn important for that. Likely we’ve been heating water since the early Neolithic, converting chemical energy stored in wood to heat (radiative and convective) which in turn … Read More

25 Nov, 2014

Robin Bornoff A lot of engineering involves the management of energies, converting them from one form to another, channeling off useful work to power our cars, planes, phones, lights etc. To date we haven’t come up with a system to channel all energy into a desired task. Even the most advanced power generation systems still end up heating water to steam to drive turbines, a cycle that is no more than about 38% efficient. … Read More

20 Nov, 2014

Help from Above

Posted by Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye Drones have been around for quite some time now. More often than not, they are used for surveillance.  One major retailer has also toyed with the idea of delivering goods door to door with drones. With each announcement I can’t help but see in my mind’s eye the overcrowded skies as depicted in the Fifth Element. But I recently read a piece about drones that absolutely fascinated me. Drones for … Read More

18 Nov, 2014

Don Miller If we transport back to 1950s, we would find ourselves at the brink of a substantial shift in the world’s energy needs.  The current power station units simply weren’t large enough, and to meet the population’s need for power, new designs were delivering ever increasing unit sizes.  This continued until the mid-60s when the sizes stabilized but at nearly ten times the 1950s designs. As you can imagine … Read More

29 Oct, 2014

The Hype Around Technology

Posted by Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye My appreciation of gadgets isn’t anything that should surprise you. I’ve already talked about a few and some have proven more useful than others. For example, my Fitbit One accompanies me on every hike so I can track and then bore my friends with all kinds of useless information while some gadgets such as my waffle iron were bought rather impetuously and get dusted once every blue moon … … Read More

28 Oct, 2014

Robin Bornoff There are 475,000 Google search hits for ‘thermal bottleneck’. It’s a well recognised phrase playing on a very obvious analogy. Despite this there were few attempts to quantify such a parameter. Spurred on by its relevance in electronic thermal design, we did just that, put hard numbers to the concept. FloTHERM now has the ability to plot distributions of  thermal bottleneck, enabling … Read More

22 Oct, 2014

25 Years of Commercial 1D - 3D CFD

Posted by Keith Hanna

Keith Hanna Just occasionally in life one starts to pass all sorts of anniversary milestones, and, towards the end of this month a major one will be passed for me; 25 years associated with the commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) scene. It still seems like yesterday that I drove my gold-colored Vauxhall Astra 1.3 litre car all the way from Birmingham to Middlesbrough in the UK with all my earthly belongings … Read More

22 Oct, 2014

Don Miller

In my previous blog I made the point that the increasing focus on energy efficiency means that the subject of loss coefficients remains an extremely relevant one.  If the topic were owned or regulated then these blogs would be unnecessary.  However, the fact is that non-replicable results proliferate in the literature, making it difficult for he concerned engineer to exercise ‘due diligence’ in designing

Read More

21 Oct, 2014

Robin Bornoff Lighting accounts for ~20% of the world’s total energy consumption. This is a staggering statistic. Why so much? Historically a lot of energy had to be consumed to produce the required amount of visible light. Incandescent bulbs, where electric current is used to heat a metal filament, resulted in most of the energy being dissipated as heat. More a hot bulb than a light bulb. Even worse for a … Read More

10 Oct, 2014

Chris Murray Hi I’m Chris and I’m a Fluid Systems Engineer.  I didn’t plan on becoming one on graduating from University and didn’t really know what one did but bluffed my way through an interview and got offered a job working for Flowmaster as a support engineer.  It can be difficult to explain to friends, family and customers exactly what I do and where a tool such as Flowmaster is used … Read More

7 Oct, 2014

A Day at the Zoo

Posted by Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is pretty serious business. Every day it’s used in a wide range of industries around the world to optimize products for some very practical purposes. Cars? Check! Planes? Check. Medical devices, consumer electronics and power generation? Check, check and check.  But sometimes you come across things that make you giggle. And since it’s a grey and gloomy day in … Read More

6 Oct, 2014

Leg Hair? What a Drag

Posted by Robin Bornoff

Robin Bornoff “How thick is a leg hair” is not a question I thought I’d be posing when I woke up today. Reading this article about the effect of leg hair on the overall drag of a performance cyclist prompted me to investigate the physics behind this observation. For the sake of expediency I steered clear of a full body MAMIL simulation, focussing instead on just a small patch of a particularly hairy … Read More

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