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Friday, May 6, 2011

CFD's new frontier: OpenFoam

I recently came across this site which uses openFoam for several multiphase applications such as free surface VOF modeling of flows around Motor yacht, hydrodynamica analysis of submerged propeller and several other interesting items.

Safe enough to say, the OF users count has swelled quite dramatically over the years. From the interactions I have had with researchers, a lot of them are quite satisfied with the already existing modules (REMEMBER - FREE TO USE) available from OpenFoam installation. Guess what, with every new release the developers keep adding new "foam modules" in every section combustion, multiphase, incompressible/compressible etc..have you checked out the latest release.

I was not quite following the latest release and when I did, I was quite amazed by the amount of additional features OF has incorporated and again "FREE TO USE AND DEVELOP" !!!

Now, several organizations (sometimes I provide consultations) have now resorted to the use of OPENFOAM as their primary investigation tool - giving the clients, specific developmental modules as deliverables. For example, recently I modeled evaporative boiling in cooling water jackets for automotive boiling flow applications and provided source codes as a deliverable. All the client had to do was take this, place it in their directory and compile it.

They built their own manual - indicating what properties has to be varies inclusive of constants and "fudge factors" which we often provide to take into account the dynamics in such multiphase calculations.

Now big interactive GUIs, no fancy JAVA interfaces, simply editing of the file using a word editor - notepad, VIM (linux) and guess what they have modified the "run" file. What an ease !

Some boiling flow simulations using openFoam with VOF with numerical modeling issues is available here for discussion

Take a look at a recent plan,

that one of the institutes has for Foam two phase solver development. Simply terrific potential they see in this source codes.

Article by Jasak (Foam developer) on the opensource CFD in industry and research is a nice article i suggest reading

with so much wealth and abundancy of information in the web on openfoam - I wonder where is this heading ?? Will ANSYS try "purchasing" openfoam code release and development to retain its monopoly !!>>

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