I recently came across an interesting HVAC application of FloEFD, our CAD-embedded CFD package for concurrent product design, from one of our users in the Netherlands, Royal Boon Edam. I think it just shows how ubiquitous CFD has become in the world today when a manufacturer that was founded in 1873 as a carpentry workshop and has now grown into an international leader in the design and development of revolving doors, is using it to hone their products.
At Royal Boon Edam, like for most niche small and medium sized engineering companies in the Netherlands, innovation is of upmost importance and the company is continually aiming to improve and optimize its products. Ease of use and easy implementation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) into their design processes is a critical requirement for such companies.
As one might expect in the design of revolving doors, wind effects and wind loading on a given door and its component parts plays a significant role in its overall performance and for any Boon Edam installation worldwide they need to be able to design it to cope with any wind direction and urban canyon effect onsite. HEC, our Benelux distributor of FloEFD, worked with Boon Edam under a Dutch government scheme to carry out a large number of flow simulation permutations for the position of Royal Boon Edam door sets, their connections to a building’s facade (whether on a face or at a corner), the prevailing wind direction, the door’s canopy, and finally the number of leaves in a revolving door.
Royal Boon Edam Revolving Door with FloEFD Air Flow Pathline predictions near the door when the prevailing wind is approaching it head-on and side-on to the revolving door installation
This array of CFD simulations gave Royal Boon Edam tremendous design and engineering insights. “Worst case” examples based on wind forces on some of the components of the door for the maximum wind speed to be expected in the application considered over a range of wind directions was analyzed with a nominal wind load on doors in buildings of 250 Pa (20.4 m/s). FloEFD simulations showed that the actual wind pressure in the revolving door is typically lower than the pressure on the front of the building. Moreover, the shape of the revolving door has a positive influence making the allowable wind loads higher than expected. CFD also looked at the influence of the position of the revolving door in the entrance area of the building for three wing doors and the effect of its connections to the facade of the building which has an impact on its canopy for wind loadings. All FloEFD models took into account the wind direction and the influence of the shape and size of the building the revolving doors were installed in. Dirk Groot, Product Manager at Boon Edam, summarized the benefits of this sort of CFD analysis with FloEFD quite well:
“We are extremely pleased with the results – In a relatively short period of time we have a better understanding of airflow and wind pressures around our doors and we can quantify our suspicions. This is in fact a new link between the Eurocode EN1991 and our theoretical structure calculations on the one hand, and the implementation of the actual product on the other. “
So, my friends, with due apologies to Bob Dylan, it is clear that FloEFD helped Royal Boon Edam to find the CFD answer “blowin’ in the wind” for their revolving door designs!. More applications of FloEFD in the HVAC industry can be found here.