In August 2022, CFD Direct introduced modular solvers to the OpenFOAM development version. Modular solvers are written as classes, in contrast to the traditional application solvers which have been integral to OpenFOAM since icoFoam in 1993. They are simpler to use, maintain and understand than application solvers. They are more flexible; in particular, modules for different fluids and solids can be coupled across multiple regions, e.g. for conjugate heat transfer (CHT) with multiphase flow. Modular solvers are deployed using the foamRun or foamMultiRun applications, which contain a generic solution algorithm for single and multiple regions, respectively. Additional modules and applications replace existing tools for data processing and case configuration.
Effective OpenFOAM Maintenance
OpenFOAM is the leading free, open source software for computational fluid dynamics (CFD), distributed by The OpenFOAM Foundation. In 2014, OpenFOAM had accumulated significant “technical debt” due to a drive for new functionality at the expense of maintenance. Facing an unsustainable level of technical debt, CFD Direct was founded to manage and develop OpenFOAM back to a sustainable position. Code repair has targeted niche functionality that receives less testing. Redesign of larger, critical components of OpenFOAM has eliminated clusters of issues. By 2022, CFD Direct has recovered most of the technical debt, making OpenFOAM significantly more robust, usable and extensible.
CFD Direct Year 7: 2021-2022
In Year 7 of CFD Direct, our developments of OpenFOAM included a generalised load balancer for parallel running . We provided core maintenance, including standardisation of fluid properties, and repaired issues, e.g. to stablise multiphase simulations. We managed the OpenFOAM Foundation, releasing OpenFOAM v9, packaging OpenFOAM-dev and publishing websites and documentation. We produced our book , “Notes on Computational Fluid Dynamics: General Principles”, delivered 56 days of Live Virtual OpenFOAM Training, and provided cloud CFD with CFDDFC® to over 1000 subscribers.
CFD Direct Year 6: 2020-2021
In Year 6 of CFD Direct, our developments of OpenFOAM included new interface capturing methods and multicomponent transport models. We provided core maintenance, including redesign of fvOptions and transport modelling, and repaired issues, e.g. in meshing and conjugate heat transfer. We managed the OpenFOAM Foundation, releasing OpenFOAM v8, packaging OpenFOAM-dev and publishing websites and documentation. During the Covid restrictions, we delivered 67 days of Live Virtual OpenFOAM Training, and provided cloud CFD with CFDDFC® to over 700 subscribers.
CFD Direct Year 5: 2019-2020
In Year 5 of CFD Direct, we developed new functionality in OpenFOAM and maintained critical components of the code base. We managed the OpenFOAM Foundation: promoting sustainable development, releasing OpenFOAM v7, packaging OpenFOAM-dev and publishing websites and documentation. We delivered 60 days of OpenFOAM Training, and provided low-cost cloud CFD with CFD Direct From the Cloud™ to over 500 subscribers, including custom images to run 100s of automated production simulations.
Maintaining a CFD Capability
Your organisation has an expert in CFD with OpenFOAM. They deliver critical results to problems no one else can solve. They have worked there as long as you can remember. Then one day they announce they are leaving and years of experience and know-how walks out of the door. “That-person-left syndrome”, as we call it, is a failure in maintenance which CFD Direct can help with. We provide development, support, training and cloud services to limit the impact of that-person-left syndrome, building a sustainable CFD capability for our customers with OpenFOAM.