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In the early hours of Saturday May 6, at the Monza motor racing circuit in Italy, Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 25 seconds, beating the existing marathon world record by 2 minutes and 32 seconds. The run was the culmination of Nike’s “Breaking 2” project, a two year program aimed at demonstrating that it is physically possible for a human to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Before the run, much of the publicity had focused on Nike’s spring loaded Vaporfly Elite running shoe, which they had claimed improves running efficiency by as much as 4%. However in the days afterwards much of the conversation turned to aerodynamics, and the influence of the unfeasibly large timing board that was mounted on top of the pace car that drove in front of Kipchoge, and the “delta formation” adopted by his team of “relaying” pacers. By some calculations drafting was responsible for about 1:30 of the 2:32 that Kipchoge knocked off Kimetto’s world record.

In order to determine just how much influence "aerodynamic trickery" had in getting Kipchoge within 26 seconds of the mythical 2 hour barrier, we decided to run a series of computational fluid dynamics simulations using STAR-CCM+,

Over the past 10 years, bat populations in the United States and Canada have been decimated by an invasive fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or pd. Millions of bats have died. Considering that they are a keystone species, losing bats and their contributions to our ecosystem could have devastating results for plants, other animals and humans. The epidemic bats are facing is akin to the massive die off of bees that’s a threat to agricultural food supplies. Understanding what is happening to bats as well as the conditions they’re exposed to is essential for us to try and find a way to reverse the epidemic.

With devices involving the combustion of gas – whether that is a gas turbine combustor, a furnace burner, an industrial process heater or boiler, a burner of a stovetop appliance, or a gas-fired water heater – if your primary objective is to use simulation to “discover better designs, faster” – then I’d say that yes, CFD performed with STAR-CCM+ can be trusted to help you achieve that goal.

About four years ago, I was invited to an event near SEATAC airport at a friend’s house on a hot summer day. I remember being surprised by the nearly constant noise from aircraft on approach for landing. I asked the host how he managed to live with the noise, to which he explained that he was working with airport officials to reduce noise levels which should help.

Last summer, he invited me over to his home for an event and I was pleasantly surprised by the much-reduced sound levels. It was incredible just how much quieter it was since the last time I was there. This is the case all across the country and, in fact, the world - urban airports are getting quieter, but how?

When you ask anyone to name a famous ship, the answer is usually “the Titanic.” Sure, there are other contenders depending on what part of the world you come from, but none left their mark on the wider public’s consciousness - or indeed continues to hold it - some 105 years since she sunk this coming April 15. In conversation with some colleagues the question was posed “I wonder if anyone’s ever really looked into simulating the Titanic?” There are computer animations, but this is not simulation. From a brief scan of the internet it seemed that this perhaps wasn’t the case. There are quite a few attempts at hand calcs to work out the physics involved, and plenty of debate about the precise nature of what happened with the propeller cavitation or the rudder being too small. But with the current set of computational tools available to engineers these days, specifically computational fluid dynamics (CFD), I thought it would be interesting to look back on the most famous ship of all time in STAR-CCM+ and what I learned was not exactly what I was expecting, but more on that later.

Efficiency is a significant priority to every business operating in the full range of oil and gas markets. The sustained oil low price has certainly driven major changes across all aspects of the exploration and production industries in recent years.

In 2014, a report by McKinsey into the efficiency of North Sea production facilities highlighted the potential for both new and ageing production infrastructure to deliver greater production efficiency. The industry reacted to the efficiency challenge, following the major drop in oil price, with initiatives like the UK Oil and Gas Efficiency Task Force; which has helped define many areas where action can be taken to target improved efficiency and work towards securing the future of the industry.

Efficiency improvements can come in a multitude of areas, through every aspect of an oil and gas business and throughout the industry, for example in:

Oil and gas production and processing – the Efficiency Task Force mentioned above has highlighted many areas that will help here;

How companies are managed, operated and structured – we continue to read announcements of business restructuring, acquisitions and mergers where talk of business efficiencies are a primary objective;

How we perform our work – digital technology can enable significant progress to be made in the efficiency of engineering activities in design, analysis and simulation are undertaken as discussed in the following.

Almost everyone appreciates the beautiful (and often sleek) styling of a new automobile model. However, the smooth curves of a new car model are as much to do with aerodynamic necessity as aesthetic pleasure.

A typical sedan cruising on the freeway will use about 18 percent of its fuel energy in overcoming aerodynamic drag*. Since the power required to overcome drag rises with the cube of velocity, the faster you go, the more fuel you use. (If this seems deceptively low, it’s because the process of turning gasoline into the kinetic energy of the vehicle is tremendously inefficient, thanks to the second law of thermodynamics and the fact that entropy sucks).

In order to maximize the driving range of a vehicle, it’s generally a good idea to minimize its drag (and therefore fuel consumption). This is a particular concern for drivers of electric vehicles, whose range is limited by a fixed battery capacity.

Growing up in the countryside in Sweden, I got used to several power outages a year due to snow, storms, lightning, etc. No water, no electricity and no heat for days, sometimes in the middle of winter, meant you had to huddle together to keep warm, get water from a local supply and eat cold food. A possible remedy for this annoyance is distributed energy generation. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) combined heat and power systems are independent of local weather conditions (unlike wind and solar systems) and provide a cleaner, quieter and more efficient alternative to traditional petrol generators. SOFC systems are used to power and heat/cool data centers, homes and stores across the globe, as well as for offshore and remote military applications. Power outage for a data center doesn’t only mean inconvenience and freezing indoor climate, it also means large financial losses due to downtime, so SOFC systems are often used to supply reliable power. To support the movement towards cleaner and more efficient distributed energy we have made simulations of SOFC systems straightforward in STAR-CCM+® v12.02. You can now natively specify the required electrochemical reactions on the anode and cathode as well as the ion transported through the membrane, making it much easier than before to set up such calculations.

We’re conditioned to make comparisons and we do this constantly. Were you able to find any differences between the two images? Or were you perhaps a little frustrated? We have pretty strong reactions when we expect to see differences but can’t find them right away. How about instant replays in (American) football? A receiver makes a catch near the sidelines – quick, was he in or out of bounds? From the first camera angle we’re presented with, there’s no way to tell. We wait impatiently for the updated camera angle replay where “we” can actually make a decision.

Perhaps you have heard it said, such as in the article titled “The Newly Proposed Pump Regulation by the Department of Energy” by Empowering Pumps.

“It has been estimated that 20% of the total energy consumed worldwide is used to run a pump of one sort or another. In addition, of those pumps, two-thirds use 60% more energy than is required.”

So it is no surprise that new standards for pump efficiency have either already been implemented or are being considered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Union (EU). And given our global focus on energy conservation, it’s reasonable to think that this same type of governmental regulation will be implemented around the world before long.

So, for pump companies, the opportunity and the need are both clear: design more efficient pumps!

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Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Ravindra Aglave
Director - Chemical Processing
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing