Cool is a hard thing to define. It’s completely subjective. But you know it when you see it.

There are a lot of ways to present CAE/CFD data. Plots and tables are arguably what we make most of our decisions on. But, “Excel sheets… aren’t everyone’s friend” . Scenes then… you can put a lot of things into your scenes; results on the surfaces of the thing you’re simulating, streamlines that go in and around the thing you’re simulating… These visual abstractions are a deeply ingrained part of our engineering culture. But not everyone has a casual familiarity with this language. People with diverse levels of expertise have to make sense of these abstractions. And those who don’t, or no longer, speak the language daily and who typically have the least amount of time to assemble conclusions, also carry the heaviest decision-making obligations.

Maybe some of you are getting ahead of me here, recalling the phrase “Color For Directors,” a phrase I personally find to be demeaning to directors and dismissive of what we do. Cool pictures? Sure, but cool isn’t cool if it isn’t right. I submit that we have an ethical obligation to maintain the fidelity of our data , and taking it a step further, we rely on good fundamental data to make decisions. Now, data alone can’t capture an idea . Effective visualizations (cool is implied here) can capture ideas, quickly and easily, inviting curiosity and engaging broader audiences. In STAR-CCM+® v12.02, you can create photorealistic images and animations, reducing the gap between the time needed for you to communicate your messages and the time needed for others to understand practical implications, quickly placing your information into their own knowledge frameworks.

We all have seen electric cars on the street. They look very futuristic and demand a second glance from passers-by. And the convenience… you can drive them in the car pool lane, park and even charge it for free in some places. Great! Their price tag is still an impediment to their large adoption by consumers, though, even if incentives exist in many countries.

Another reason for their slow expansion is the rather low drive range these vehicles offer. The longest range available on the market is 300 km (a little over 186 miles) in real driving conditions. Although this would be sufficient for the usual daily commute from home to office, people have the feeling this is not enough for the few times a year they’ve got to drive 500 km (over 310 miles), like to go celebrate Grandma’s 90th birthday. Well, we don’t call that selfishness - although we think you should visit Grandma more often - we call this range anxiety, or the fear of being short of gas (or electricity in our case). So that’s 300 km you can do before you have got to spend several hours at the charging station to continue on your journey and be on time for Grandma’s cake. You’d better order a three-course meal, with a long coffee, buy some newspapers and hoover the car to occupy your time while the car is charging. Fortunately, there is a solution to reduce your entertainment bill at the service; it is Fast Charging. If we could charge our EV to full capacity in the same time as we fill our gasoline tanks, range anxiety would not be such a problem.

In this blog, we want to explore the complex problem of fast charging with Battery Design StudioTM, understand its implications and see whether there is anything that can be done to remedy this problem.

High temperature processes are of vital importance in a number of industries, including cement, chemical, glass, metallurgy, refining and steel. With so many factors affecting the operational efficiency to consider, the stakes are pretty high for engineers to deliver a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly operation.

That is why computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and reaction kinetic simulations of combustion processes to design systems are being increasingly utilized. They not only give the necessary insight into the complex physics but also help to significantly lower the cost of iterating between trials and prototypes.

This is important when it comes to improving the current designs of processes and equipment such as gas and coal burners, glass and steel treatment furnaces, process and crude heaters, reformers and dryers and kilns.

My 6-year old son entered my office when I was working on the video below. He looked at it with amazement and asked me “Oh! Mummy, is that real fire?!” I stopped for a second to think and then answered “Kind of. It is real fire, but in the computer. We calculate how the real fire burns.” After a half-impressed and half-puzzled “wow!?” he cheerily jumped out of my office again and probably forgot all about it within 2 minutes.

Charts are important - they play a primary role in decision-making when it comes to evaluating CFD results. Have you ever counted how often you change a chart after you’ve first created it? I’ll speculate it’s more than you think… you’ll probably want to change line and symbol colors and styles, change the range on both axes, change the fonts, and then change the colors again… these picks and clicks and scrolls take time. If you are using Excel or Matlab to create your charts, you lose the implicit connection between the chart and the data sources within your .sim file - going back and forth between the two costs you more time. Worse still, if you’re used to a certain plotting package, there are differences compared to STAR-CCM+® on where in the UI you need to make those changes. In having to switch back and forth between plotting packages, the time spent looking for where you need to make a change is potentially greater than the time needed to actually make it. To understand and communicate the information your charts contain more quickly, and to make your finalized charts faster in STAR-CCM+, version 12.02 introduces Chart Highlighting.

Software development is sometimes similar to raising a child. After the excitement of a new arrival with tentative steps and the promise of great things in the future, it develops into a moody teenager, usually working well but prone to tantrums. The final stage for both children and software is a graduation to a responsible adult, working well, providing benefits, and giving great results.

Has EHP finally taken the last step and matured? Has the prodigy child finally turned into a responsible adult? Ever since its inception and first tentative steps in the market as an add-on, we at Siemens PLM and our clients have had to live with its tantrums and acts of genuine helpfulness. The teenage years were particularly difficult, not wanting to move on from version 9.06 while its big brother STAR-CCM+® went seamlessly through its three releases per year gears.

If you haven’t had your head under a rock lately, you’ve seen the headlines. Here, let me get you fully up to speed on the latest:

Diesel recall: which cars are affected, will my MPG decrease, and should I still buy a diesel?

Volkswagen reaches deal for remaining 80,000 Dieselgate vehicles

FCA accused by EPA of failing to disclose software allowing excess diesel emissions

Now I’m not here to postulate the hows and whys any given manufacturer has chosen to use any so-called “defeat devices” or point any fingers of blame, but I will speculate that the diesel engine isn’t doomed or disappearing anytime soon. While I personally prefer the sound and response of an old-fashioned, naturally aspirated gasoline V8, Rudolf Diesel definitely invented the workhorse of the IC engine world back in the late 1800s and it’s hard to not appreciate it for what it is. Its prevalence globally in passenger cars is significant, but it’s even more prolific when you look at how many are used for on-highway medium and heavy-duty trucking applications, off-highway usage, marine, industrial, etc. It’s everywhere!

So we currently face some very difficult challenges to reduce harmful emissions within required limits with governments worldwide constantly tightening those limits. It’s a very difficult problem to address, but it’s not in our nature to just back down from difficult problems, pack up our toys and go home! We engineers want to help solve those difficult problems, don’t we! In the long term, that may mean finding a suitable replacement for the IC engine (there’s plenty of activity in this area right now and, undoubtedly, more coming), but in the short term this means working smarter with better tools to reduce the output of harmful emissions, improve the performance (power) and efficiency (fuel economy), reduce the size/weight and reduce the cost of the diesel engine.

While most readers may not remember their bath time as a child, you may have a little one who enjoys it every day. I love seeing my little one’s curiosity when playing with the bubbles, asking questions such as “How are bubbles formed?” and, “Why are some bubbles small and others large?” There may also be an “ooh” moment: “Look how those bubbles have stuck together to become one.” The engineering term for getting together is, of course, coalescence.

Coalescence and breakup play a big role in many industrial mixing processes. In such systems, knowledge of the gas volume fraction, its distribution and its eventual effect on mass transfer and reactions, is absolutely essential. Experimental measurements have given detailed information on many systems, resulting in numerous correlations which are commonly used in the design process. However, these correlations are very much limited to the size, type and character of the laboratory or pilot scale system from which they were created. This leaves process engineers with the task of ascertaining if an alternative design will meet all the required process conditions or not. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations give process engineers the ability to investigate virtual designs at a plant scale, using computer models, including modeling coalescence and breakup.

The widespread adoption of modeling and simulation in life sciences on clinical and trial studies is at an embryonic stage, but that could soon be changing.

Cardiovascular device design historically involves many iterations from experimental lab work on the benchtop to animal trials before a device gets approved for human/clinical trials. Finite element analysis (FEA) simulation has become more prevalent in recent years, followed by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling.

The ability to predict something before it happens is something most of us wish we had in our arsenal. Weather forecasters think they have this ability, but we all know better.

While it may be nice to know the answers to some questions ahead of time, it is essential for car manufacturers to be aware of any possible design roadblocks as early as possible in the development process.

Virtual thermal analysis is a process used during vehicle development to determine whether components in close contact with hot surfaces - such as the engine or exhaust - exceed recommended temperatures. Possessing this knowledge is vital as it allows engineers the opportunity to preserve functionality and prevent accelerated aging in these components.

Running a full virtual thermal analysis is ideal because it provides the most accurate results, but it is a method that because of time and cost can ideally only be run once, and at the end of development for validation only. Of course, by that point in the process it is too late in the game (or too expensive) to make major changes.

After a recent review of their virtual thermal analysis process, the thermodynamics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) team at global automobile manufacturer Volvo found that Siemens PLM Software’s STAR-CCM+® software allowed them to run full vehicle thermal models at earlier stages than possible with competitors’ software.


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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