In CFD the volume to be analysed is divided into small cells (Finite Volume Method) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software calculates the pressure, velocity, temperature, … in every cell.
CFD allows for a detailed understanding of the complex and often unstable flow patterns in turbomachines. The software we use to analyse these complex flows is Numeca.
It is sometimes the only option for those exceptional turbomachines rarely described in literature or those operating on totally new concepts.
Design of turbomachines
Design of turbomachines is a combination of well established design methods based on theoretical principles of fluid mechanics mixed with a set of experience based coefficients.
Even though several literature sources provide values for those coefficients, they never fail to mention that nothing replaces experience when designing efficient turbomachines.
Although this still holds, CFD assists us in acquiring this experience in building turbomachines virtually and testing them in a way not possible in experiments. It helps us verify our theoretical calculations and allows us to refine the design in an iterative manner.
Prototyping of turbomachines
Theoretical calculations and numerical CFD simulations are only a part of the total design process. To go from preliminairy design, to numerical simulations (CFD and FE) and finally to a functioning prototype ready for testing is a time intensive process that requires a lot of experience in machine design.