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Help deciding on what CFD to use please

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Old   January 24, 2011, 12:17
Default Help deciding on what CFD to use please
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Hi,

I am a PhD student and have to use CFD as part of my research. I have never used it before but I want to use it to show heat flow within the indoor environment of buildings.

Any suggestions on what software would be the most appropriate to use for this? Budget is an issue so someone recommended FDS to me as it is free. I am wondering if that would be sufficient and how hard is it to use considering I am new to CFD?

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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Old   January 24, 2011, 19:26
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Hi,

The question is more about which tools do you already have access and that are used by others around you. The advantage of having someone else to talk to and guide you is priceless.

OpenFOAM is another free alternative - but only works on Linux.

You will need to make a call on whether to get a free software and spend a lot of time learning it or get a commercial software and have ready-made tutorials.

What is your PhD on exactly?

Sincerely,
Julien
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Old   January 26, 2011, 10:59
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Hi Julien,

Thanks for getting back to me. My PhD is "investigating heat flow within the indoor environment of buildings" (currently subject to change). I will be carrying out CFD modelling on buildings while also gathering data e.g. temp, rel. humidity etc from the buildings and comparing the results with the guidelines (e.g. ASHRAE) out there. From that I hope to come up with retrofitting ideas on how to improve the heat flow with in the building. I studied as a structural engineer so CFD is all new to me.

I do have someone in the department who is a CFD expert and has offered to show me how to use Ansys or FDS. They recommended FDS as I am looking more so at buildings but I just wanted to see what others thought and how easy it is to use as I dont want to have to keep bothering them every two minutes!

Thanks
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Old   January 26, 2011, 20:11
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I do not have practical experience with FDS, but I have met a few people using it. It is great at what it does, but is limited in term of GUI/ease of use and meshing. You may want to google to try to find a pre-processor for it (or at least something that generates the mesh). My understanding is that FDS is more for fire modelling that heat flow.

I would personally recommend Ansys over FDS as you will probably find it easier to use (and more widely used in the engineering community to the exception of fire engineers).

Your PhD subject is very very broad. But I believe you might be starting on it, so it will likely be refined as you go along. Where are you based?

Julien
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