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CFD simulation: An alternative to wind tunnel testing

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An alternative to wind tunnel tests

Wind tunnel tests

Wind tunnel testing has been used extensively for industrial and research applications over the past five decades. Wind tunnel testing requires expensive installation and sophisticated instruments to measure a range of field variables (wind speed, pressure loads, intensity of turbulence, etc.). Its main limitation is that such measurements are only obtained at a few specific points in the test section, which greatly restricts the overall understanding of the evolutionary or transient processes of unsteady complex phenomena (such as vortex shredding , turbulence wakes and thermal stratification).

Wind tunnel tests

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Eiffel wind tunnel study - Credit @AirDesignLab

CFD: a toolbox type evolution

CFD offers many advantages over wind tunnel testing. In addition to generating real-scale simulations (rather than reduced-scale models for many physical simulations), it also provides additional data and allows to compare for a given wind the wind speeds simultaneously between two points. . It is possible to carry out hydrological, aeraulic or thermal studies at different scales: from micro-electronics to building and city studies. The results can be visualized more clearly and explained to as many people as possible.

CFD: a very wide range of applications

Toolbox that allows:
  • Simulate the flow of a fluid around or inside a body
  • Studying wind comfort
  • Wind load study
  Thermal toolbox:
  • Studying convective exchanges
  • Studying conductive exchanges
  • Studying radiative exchanges
  Multiphysics toolbox:
  • Visualize the dispersion of pollutants
  • Study smoke extraction
  • Study the movement of dust, sand …
  • Study the movement of objects, fans, etc.
  Hydrology study
  • Fluid flow
  • Risk of submersion
  • Risk of rain or snow

These methods make it possible to solve a very wide range of problems that we will present here.

Examples of CFD simulation applications