Principles of CFD

CFD Direct is delighted to announce Principles of CFD, their new CFD Training course with OpenFOAM.  The course was created by Chris Greenshields and Aidan Wimshurst. It draws on the experience of Chris’s 16 years of OpenFOAM training, involving 800+ days with over 3500 participants. Aidan brings further experience from his Fluid Mechanics 101 channel on YouTube and the ensuing interaction with subscribers.  The course builds upon the topics in Notes on Computational Fluid Dynamics: General Principles by Chris and Henry Weller (the creator of OpenFOAM).  It aims to fill the knowledge gap in CFD and improve CFD practice using a procedure of preparatory, diagnostic and objective calculations.  The course is 4 days duration and is delivered in person. 

Course Modules | Who Should Attend | Further Details | Schedule and Booking

The demands of CFD

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is the prediction of fluid motion and forces, heat, thermodynamics and chemistry (also solids) by computation using numerical analysis.  It is used by industry, government research and academia worldwide for research into new technologies, design and optimisation of products, safety calculations, and problem troubleshooting.  CFD combines demanding areas of engineering (e.g. fluid dynamics, heat and thermodynamics) and mathematics (e.g. tensors, matrices and geometry), within software at the cutting edge of computer science (including complex algorithms, data structures and parallel computing).

The CFD knowledge gap

In over a decade and a half of training, we have witnessed significant changes in CFD.  First of all, the software, OpenFOAM, has become more robust and easier to use, thanks to the work of CFD Direct.  With improved usability, the number of people adopting CFD with OpenFOAM is continually increasing.  The improved robustness has lead users to attempt increasingly complex simulations. The combined effect is that failures in CFD are increasingly attributable to lack of knowledge rather than software usability and robustness.  There is a clear knowledge gap in CFD — between what a CFD user knows and what they need to know.

Lack of transferable knowledge

Undergraduate and postgraduate study, at university level, does not do enough to fill the knowledge gap.  Subjects like fluid dynamics are generally taught to be conveniently examined, with emphasis of pen and paper solutions.  Thermodynamics, in particular, is generally described for entire systems or components rather than for the fluid(s) within the system or component.  Practitioners of CFD therefore have little useful knowledge from their studies to transfer to their work in CFD.

Fluid dynamics for CFD

Principles of CFD aims to plug the CFD knowledge gap.  It teaches fluid dynamics, heat and thermodynamics, numerical methods and algorithms for the purpose of doing CFD.  We use canonical (study) cases which provide a strong foundation for “real-world” engineering problems.  Solutions are built upon the governing equations of mass, momentum and energy conservation in 3-dimensions. We demonstrate control volume analysis, which transfers easily to CFD with the finite volume method. Important empirical and analytical solutions are carefully chosen to demonstrate trends and help validate results.

Preliminary, diagnostic and objective calculations

In our course, we advocate the use of quick calculations to prepare and monitor a simulation, and produce key results.  Dimensionless numbers are calculated to establish flow and heat transfer regimes prior to simulation.  During the simulation itself, we calculate data which can be monitored and quality checked.  We describe how to extract useful data from the simulation, e.g. to characterise a design.  To enable the use of one-time, quick calculations, we teach OpenFOAM’s coded frameworks (code in input files) thoroughly.


Principles of CFD: OpenFOAM Training Course
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