Using Flow Modeling to Break the Ice

by Kelly Hile

Whenever a process is exposed to outside temperatures, the weather can have a big impact on efficiency. Hot summer temperatures can cause components to overheat. In winter, cold temperatures can cause condensation and freezing, sometimes rendering mechanical components inoperable.

The AzoreCFD software can evaluate thermal management problems like these using both steady state and transient analysis of flow and heat transfer. Whether a system is operational or still in the design phase, CFD modeling can identify problem areas, optimize heating/cooling solutions, and lead to improved performance, even with variable weather conditions.

Airflow Sciences Corporation engineers recently used AzoreCFD to analyze a portable diesel generator system that was experiencing performance issues due to hot and cold weather. Simulating a particular engine and its housing system, the engineers evaluated a number of temperature scenarios. The analysis identified the temperature limits where problems were likely to occur. The engineers also used the model to evaluate simple design changes to limit the formation of ice and minimize condensation in the enclosure.

Diesel Enginer CFD Results
AzoreCFD Model Shows Surface Temperature of an Enclosed Diesel Engine at Extreme Weather Conditions (-20 F)


Portable Diesel Engine Example
Enclosed Portable Diesel Generator Systems Can Be Improved Through CFD Modeling


Flow modeling with CFD is often much more cost effective than trial-and-error testing on operating equipment, because a CFD model can be applied to a number of weather conditions in less time. Effects of temperature, precipitation, and wind speed and direction may be included. Sometimes physical testing is difficult or impossible, but CFD models can evaluate even the most extreme conditions. CFD can also supplement physical testing and allow a greater confidence that the given design will hold up in an extreme environment. The result is ultimately a resilient design that accounts for a wide range of operating conditions.


Portable Diesel Engine Example
Portable Diesel Generator Systems

How is your process holding up to the weather?

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