OpenFlower (litteraly Open Source Flow Solver) is a free open-source finite volume Computational Fluid Dynamics software, mainly devoted to the resolution of the turbulent incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, with scalar transport. It can deal with arbitrary complex geometries with hybrid meshes (supporting tetrahedrals, prisms, pyramids and hexahedrals), and is mainly devoted to the Large Eddy Simulation of turbulent flows, an area which is being greatly supported and has received all the attention of the CFD community for the past 20 years. It is likely that this will be the most interesting approach for the simulation of turbulent flows, as computers are being faster year after year with their prices being more and more affordable for industries and universities. It is interfaced with gmsh (pre- post-processing) and Tecplot (post-processing).
OpenFlower development was first launched on february 2004 by some CFD research engineers, willing to encourage common effort in research and developments in the area of Computational Fluid Dynamics. The main reason for this was (among other things) to federate the work of a multitude of PhD students and scientists who develop their own specific and effective codes, but which one day or the other will vanish as they change area of interest, or become unusable as time passes by... Moreover, the general trend shows that only some (expensive) commercial codes are available to treat complex geometries, whereas scientists in research labs can only mainly rely on these to accomplish research contracts with industry, when their home applications can only solve specific academic applications.
The objective of an open-source CFD software such as OpenFlower becomes clear then : provide in a ”give & ask” basis a reliable CFD platform to develop models, numerical techniques and be available to respond to the increase of industrial needs in the field of CFD. OpenFlower development will mainly rely on:
- the maintainment and developments integration of contributions coming from private institutes, research labs, PhD students... by the project administrators, who also provide the main development guidelines and starting basis;
- the feedback of OpenFlower users, such as bug reports, patches, code development and optimisations.
The scientific exchange of thousands of researchers and students of numerous fields of interest and skills can only be benefic in such an open-source code development environment, which surely will become an interesting way around closed commercial CFD codes.
The main strength of OpenFlower is not only its open-source community working and hacking on it, but also a reliable colloborative framework and a well documented source of information for the fast development in the code and understanding its basic concepts and implemented physical modelings.