As a child I loved watching SciFi shows on TV – the older the reruns the better. Nothing was impossible or too fantastic. And as an adult, I find that I can’t exactly resist watching a few minutes of the old shows much to my husband’s dismay – hey, if I have to watch Jeremy Clarkson babble away on Top Gear then he should be able to sit thru 5 minutes of 1999 if nothing but for chuckle-value.
So what has SciFi got to do with CFD? For one thing x-ray vision glasses!
X-ray vision glasses allegedly give you the ability to see thru solid objects. Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that … Superman got out of all sorts of tough binds thanks to that power. But unfortunately for us, no one has invented a proper pair of x-ray vision glasses because they could really come in handy for engineering purposes.
When it comes to matters relating to fluid flow, visualization is big challenge – for example, how do you see the flow inside tight crevices or any solid object? It turns out that CFD is a perfect solution for that. By being able to visualize complex flows engineers can not only understand how their designs behave in real-life, but they’ll be able to optimize the flow so they get the best performance from their proposed designs.
Let’s take a look at one company that has adopted simulation software for visualization purposes — the Simclar Group which designs and builds electronics related systems. Recently they used CFD to develop a new platform that goes well beyond the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) 3.0 specification.
Dave Watson, a Thermal Design Team Leader for Simclar shared this with us “simulation gave me the freedom to consider a wide range of alternative designs by letting me evaluate their performance quickly and at very little cost. We succeeded in developing a platform that goes well beyond the ATCA 3.0 specification by delivering 40 Gbps backplane bandwidth and 50 CFM airflow per slot with near-perfect airflow distribution.” He added that thermal simulation was critical in their product development. “Thermal simulation is like having X-ray vision. It lets you see inside the box to look at airflow, pressures and temperatures at any point. A single thermal simulation gives you a detailed understanding of what is going on inside the box and helps you quickly identify the root causes of the problem.”
For additional details about how the team used simulation as “x-ray glasses” please go to http://www.mentor.com/products/mechanical/news/mechanical-flovent-datacenter. I think you’ll find it good reading.
Now then… what are you going to use your simulation x-ray glasses for?
Until next time,