CFD Numerical Simulation

(CFD) Numerical Simulation

Producing more and at a lower cost, in order to remain competitive while maximizing yield: this is an unavoidable reality for the industrial and manufacturing sectors. There are many challenges: increasing the productivity of existing equipment, reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs and this by exploiting potentially aging equipment, when their design dates to an era when modern sizing and design tools were not available.

Computational Fluid dynamics (CFD) is a discipline which consists of studying the movements of fluids and their effects on heat and mass transfer, using specialized software. CFD is a cutting-edge tool for sizing and optimizing the performance of new equipment.

We have developed an expertise aimed at using CFD tools as a means to review the design of existing thermal equipment, in order to increase their productivity and performance. We create digital prototypes that simulate their operation under their current service conditions in order to predict the impact of design modifications or the impact of improved operating conditions. These prototypes also make it possible to visualize invisible mechanisms that are often impossible to measure within the equipment. Depending on the application, the objectives can take different forms:

  • Improve heat and mass transfer;
  • Increase the quality of the fluid mixture;
  • Improve uniformity of flow and promote turbulence;
  • Reduce flow resistances;
  • Promote a phase change or a chemical reaction;
  • Limit the production of polluting compounds;
  • Increase particle dispersion;
  • Limit particle build-up;
  • Standardize temperature or pressure profiles.

We offer this service in various contexts such as:

We use CFD to optimise service conditions or make modifications to existing equipment to reduce fuel consumption and increase the following:

  • The transfer of heat to the load (useful energy) within furnaces and boilers in order to increase the useful energy;
  • The air/fuel mixture in order to limit energy losses and the formation of pollutant emissions;
  • The performance of existing energy recovery systems by improving the flow profile/turbulence;
  • The heat transfer performance of the dryers/kilns with the help of optimized forced convection (homogenization of flows, optimization of speeds) leading to a reduced energy consumption;
  • The performance of existing heat exchangers (gas-liquid; liquid-liquid; gas-gas) ;
  • Homogeneity of chimney draft on multiple boiler systems;
  • Productivity and reduction of specific consumption through the implementation of state-fo-the-art burner technologies.

We use CFD to characterize the operation of existing equipment in order to propose optimization avenues, in relation to fluid flows, heat exchanges, chemical reactions, phase changes, etc. All of these optimization paths are used to increase the productivity of equipment and processes and/or the quality of a product. These may include:

  • Characterize the uniformity of heating/cooling of a volume or surface;
  • Characterize the uniformity of flow distribution in pipes/reactors/vessels;
  • Characterize the uniformity of a mixture in the tanks/reactors;
  • Characterize reagent conversion or yield in relation to the chemical reactions involved;
  • Characterize the phase change of a fluid (uniformity, time required, heat release/absorption, etc.);
  • Quantify the contribution of energy transfer by conduction, radiation, forced convection and natural convection and promote the desired mode of heat transfer;
  • Predict the potential heat recovery on the outgoing charge of a furnace;
  • Optimize the operating conditions of existing equipment or processes.

Whether you are a device manufacturer or operator, we wish to be your partner in the development of devices. Our simulation expertise will allow you to compare various device design scenarios and reduce the costs associated with building physical prototypes or conducting tests.

Once the best design strategies have been identified using our CFD tools, our firm is able to support you in the design of prototypes or modifications of your processes. We can also participate in the realization of your tests.

Plants are frequently confronted with operating problems or equipment breakdowns that involve fluid mechanics. It is often difficult to have adequate instrumentation to identify and solve these problems solely by  measurement. Our numerical simulation tools can help identify the root causes of operating problems and equipment failures that are related to fluid flow, such as:

  • Failure due to overheating: CFD can highlight inadequate flame geometries in furnaces or boilers;
  • Failure due to erosion: CFD can be used to identify inadequate velocity profiles in pipes or equipment or the presence of particle concentrations;
  • Failure due to cavitation: CFD allows the identification of operating conditions responsible for the presence of cavitation phenomena.

Steps of Implementation

The main steps in CFD analysis are typically as follows:

  • Definition of objectives/problems;
  • Determination of the current operating conditions;
  • Determination of the characteristics of the fluids and solids under study;
  • Determination of reaction mechanisms, phase change, etc. (if required) ;
  • Preparation of a 2D/3D model representing the existing equipment;
  • Parameterization of the simulation tools;
  • Simulation of the current conditions and analysis of the results;
  • Validation by comparing simulation results with the actual operating conditions;
  • Simulation of projected conditions and analysis of benefits.

Our varied experience on numerous devices and processes enables us to understand and adapt to a wide range of industrial problems.

The analysis of the energy optimization of an appliance using our CFD tools can be integrated into broader energy efficiency studies including:

  • Necessary readings on site;
  • Analysis of process data;
  • Production of material and energy balances;
  • Production of reports;
  • Funding of studies by the applicable granting agencies.

What is CFD?

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a discipline that studies fluid motion and its effects using specialized software programs. These computational tools make it possible to decompose the analysed environments into nodal networks and to apply the governing equations to each of the resulting discrete elements. Solving these equations provides numerical solutions for the pressure distribution, temperature gradients, local fluid composition, and velocity and flow profiles.

CFD is a rapidly developing discipline given the increasing capacity of computer calculation tools. It is an essential tool for studying complex phenomena related to gas and liquid flows, phase changes, heat exchanges, chemical reactions, combustion and fluid mixtures. CFD can be useful for the design of new equipment or for the design review of existing equipment, in order to optimise their service conditions and performance. CFD makes it possible to visualize invisible and often impossible to measure mechanisms within the equipment. CFD simulates reality to help us understand and improve it.

Concerned Tools and Processes

Our CFD tools can be used to analyze the operation of various types of equipment and processes:

  • Ovens and dryers of all kinds;
  • Reactors;
  • Boilers;
  • Burner;
  • Thermal scrubbers;
  • Incinerator;
    • Heater;
    • Air ducts and products of combustion or any type of gas;
    • Gas-liquid/liquid-liquid/gas-gas heat exchanger;
    • HVAC systems;
  • Cooling tower;
  • Turbine;
  • Pump;
  • Chimney.
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