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MK July 28, 2008 14:10

CFD options/ suggestions?
I work for an old fashioned company that makes industrial burners, and we're looking to get into some sort of CFD software. This will be used for fan generated air flow, and possibly some combustion aspects. I've been looking around and all the different types of software is rather mindboggling... As it is, we're basically starting from scratch. Meaning we don't even have 3D CAD software yet. (and the budget is relatively small)

I'm leaning towards something like Solidworks with cosmosflow, mostly because it's a solid integrated package. (And I quite like solidworks), but I have no idea how their flow program compares to any of the others.

I would be grateful for any suggestions or opinions. Thanks Mike

William July 28, 2008 14:53

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
Floworks is good for basic stuff but if you are interested in more "complex" effects such as combustion then you are better off looking somewhere else. You may be thinking that you aren't interested in this at first and you might as well go for the cheap option, but bear in mind that you will bump into the limit of the software fairly soon and be stuck, at this point you will have wasted time and money learning a package that is now obsolete, if you then decide to go for a more "fully featured" piece of software you will then have to spend more money (and therefore have to justify it to your manager!) and more time, learning the new system.

My suggestion would be to go with one of the big two/three (depending on how you look at it). So star-ccm+, Fluent or CFX. All have reduced versions (Flowizard,Star-design) that allow you to do some 3d modeling to cut your teeth on as well as the more complex physics for the future. Of the three (I have used all of them) I personally would go for the cd-adapco route (star-ccm+), as although the CAD modeling is better with Ansys workbench their support is being scaled back (import with a beginner like yourself) and I have been told they have a tendency of massively hiking license costs at renewal.

There are of course other options that you may prefer such as CFDesign, Phoenics, EFDLab etc but I haven't used these and don't know about their capabilities. Just don't believe what the sales guys tell you and make sure you get a trial before you buy! Good luck!

Ahmed July 28, 2008 18:29

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
As you say (and the budget is relatively small) in this case I wish you look at open source programmes, take for instance the group of programmes that are developed and used by the french authority for electric power, EDF, check the following web site, you do not need to install them, since you can run these programmes from a DVD drive, but be aware though these are first tier programmes, there is no technical support, that is to say you have to depend on your own Knowledge and expertise. Good Luck

MK July 29, 2008 15:43

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
Thanks for the suggestions.

The only reason my company is even considering this is because I found this: It's seems quite good for what it is, but of course, as soon as you start using it, you want it to do more...

underGroundMan July 29, 2008 18:08

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
Dont go for open source crap if you are new to CFD, you will only end up wasting your time. You will have to get a really good CAD software and a mesh generator (and they are not cheap) if you want to use OpenFOAM.

Go for CFX, its a bit expensive but it does what you need to do and it will save you loads of time.


Charles July 30, 2008 04:52

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
Yes, and beware of anybody giving you simplistic advice .... Perhaps the most useful thing to base a decision on is what level of local expertise and support you can get ready access to. If a CFD code vendor has a competent local representative who can help you to get going, that is a big recommendation

Oliver July 30, 2008 05:11

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
CFD code vendors do not always have the most competent people available. Sometimes they do and sometimes they even have brilliant people ... but other times they don't. For a newcomer it is very difficult to tell the difference, though.

At least with the so called "open-source crap" you fall on your face when you try to do something you shouldn't do in CFD. Unfortunately the much praised stability of commercial codes leads -- when used without knowledge -- to colourful but otherwise meaningless plots; but yes, it's true, the code didn't crash or produce NaN or any of the other floating exceptions that are in stock for CFD users.

Please allow me to write a general word: It would be nice if people showed a bit of mutual respect. To denounce something as crap is a strong word and I doubt that the people doing it on this forum would dare say it to somebody's face as well! On the other hand I don't think that the people developing commercial CFD software are money grabbing greedy monsters. At the end of the day people do have to earn a living.

underGroundMan July 30, 2008 06:01

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
I am sorry Oliver, I did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings. I think your work is great, but its not for new-comers (just an opinion). It is not easy for a newcomer to even learn commercial code because they too crash and produce floating point exception errors.


Oliver July 30, 2008 06:06

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
It was a general comment, not specifically addressed to you. I just noticed that the amount of bashing on this forum is increasing. Some people call OpenFOAM and other open-source codes crap and others call the commercial vendors money grabbers. Neither is true -- in my opinion at least.

Sam July 31, 2008 15:24

Re: CFD options/ suggestions?
Hi ,

If you are looking for packages separately, the you can look for GridPro as a meshing tool and probably fluent as a solver


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