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Best package for Thermal analysis similar to Muses

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Old   April 4, 2011, 16:06
Default Best package for Thermal analysis similar to Muses
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I would like to perform transient thermal analysis on objects with internal heat sources like a car or boat made of varying materials. I would like to solve for transient surface temperatures taking into account solar loading (absorption, reflection), wind, etc.

I have used Thermoanalytics Muses in the past but no longer have a license. I still have an ANSYS licenese so I am wondering which ANSYS package would be best to perform this task. I know that ANSYS Mechanical can do transient thermal analysis, but I have read that CFX and FLUENT can also do this. I also am not sure how CFX and FLUENT differ.

I do not have much experience with ANSYS but would like to sign up for some training courses. However, I need to know which package to use before I can start learning.

I'd appreciate any advice.
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Old   April 5, 2011, 09:47
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If you have fluid elements, like air or water, and the thermal transfer on the flowing fluid is what you'd been looking into, so a CFD (computational fluid dynamic) slover like CFX and Fluent would be your choice. Personally I think CFX is more user friendly, and Fluent has a greater flxibility to different models.

But if you only look into heat transfer between solids, or conductive heat transfer in liquid, you only need the ANSYS FEA thermal (finite element method).

I think simple thermal transfer in FEA model would be easy to understand and easy to perform.. But once you step in to CFD area, it is not something that a training would be enough.

You may firstly have a brief search on wikipedia about CFD and Navier–Stokes equations. Of course, if you have lots of experience in CFD things, you can do what you want.
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Old   April 5, 2011, 10:18
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So if i understand you correctly CFX/FLUENT can do everything Mechnical (thermal) can do?

Yes, I need to account for several environmental variables. natural and forced convection via air temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation throughout the day. But I also need to account for the thickness of the wall and materials in the wall and the air temperature on the inside conducting through the wall. In Muses, I am be able to specify all these parameters.

You mentioned that CFX is more user friendly but Fluent is more flexible. Are they both capable of handling all the parameters I need to account for? (wind convection, solar radiation, etc)

I had taken some fluid dynamics and heat transfer courses a while ago so I wouldn't be going into this brand new, but yes there is definitely a big learning curve.
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