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Subystud January 13, 2012 09:19

Interested in CFD - know little about it
Hello -

I am recognizing the company I work for is in dire need of a flow simulator.

I want to propose to my company why it should be me and how much it's going to cost.

My application: pipe flow with solids suspsended in water, air flow, and mixing in tanks.

My question: given my application, what CFD programs could you recommend? And are there any reputable classes to attend in the southeast US?

Thanks for your input.


andyj January 13, 2012 16:25

There are two types of programs, Free ones (open source) and
commercial. The Open Source programs were developed by various governments and
academic researchers and computer scientists with grants . Most are Linux based.
Some were very costly to develop and had teams of computer scientists developing them.

The commercial programs are slightly more user friendly and also well developed.

However the commercial programs are rather expensive. A typical cost would start at $2500 per CPU, and could be as high as $10,000 per cpu!!!
Some companies charge per core on the processor. Some charge more for an install on a server.
You would want to determine the cost of the software before starting.
If the software is too expensive, then there is no point in downloading a demo.

The more computing power you have the better off you are.
If you have the money, you could buy a 4 CPU motherboard and four 8-12 core server processors.
A four core motherboard costs about $800, and server CPU's cost about $275 each.
The minimum would be a desktop with a fast quad core and lots of ram.
A 6 or 8 core CPU would be best.

For Open Source software, OpenFoam is a free program. It is Linux based.
Very sophisicated, complete. Does chemistry also.
Available for Ubuntu 11.10, OpenSuse 11.3.
You can download a complete Linux operating system with OpenFoam already installed.
CAELinux is Ubuntu based.
GeekoCFD is Suse based.

My suggestion would be to look at OpenFoam.

You would need to work thru about an hour of tutorials on
the Linux command terminal. maybe see
Then work thru the OpenFoam tutorials, then work the Paraview tutorials.

I would build or buy a single cpu computer with a 6-8 core cpu.
You can build your own 6 core for about $300-250 with an AMD, or add $150 for Intel cpu.

And use the free OpenFoam.
Then go to the cloud to run OpenFoam on a large cluster.
Simply set up your problems on your desktop.
Amazon has OpenFoam on the cloud as does SGI and many others.
You would get your formulas from
Bird's Transport Phenomena. It is an excellent Chemical Engineering text.
You most likely already have a copy.

Many people like Ansys for commercial software.
Open source software gives you staying power.
You do not have to pay any large yearly fees.

Commercial software has some advantages, as does open source software.

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