CONSELF | Energy
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Energy

The steady growth in energy demand at a reasonable cost, constrained by environmental regulations which get more strict every day, asks energy science and engineering to play a central role. Existing power generation technologies have to be improved as well as energy intensity, while reduction in energy use requires innovative solutions to satisfy all aspects (demand, cost and environmental priorities). Performing engineering simulations in the early design phase, allows to evaluate new concepts in a cheaper way, faster and with higher frequency with respect to traditional prototyping and testing methods.

 

Projects in the energy field can take an important advantage from high-fidelity, full functionality and multidisciplinary capabilities of modern engineering simulation software. The typical set of available tools are valuable in a large range of applications, starting from process and product design, to pollution reduction and control, reduction and separation of carbon, to fuel efficiency improvement, packaging weight reduction, development of new fuels, as far as regulatory compliance. Thus, a lot of difficult technological problems strictly linked with sustainability issues can be faced with the help of virtual simulations.

 

Every energy source has its own peculiarities, virtual simulations furnish a wide range of capabilities to evaluate every context like:

 

  • Turbomachinery
  • Thermal analysis, like cooldown safety simulations and pebble bed reactor simulations.
  • Environmental factors impact: wind, waves, etc
  • Wind turbines and wind farms
  • Solar farms

Heat is a fundamental parameter when dealing with design. There is great number of applications interested in heat transfer, to mention a few:

 

  • Heat flux applied to structures to avoid fusion
  • Convective heat transfers between two fluids without phase switch
  • Thermal shock due to turbulent fluctuations in structures

Flow through pipes and fluids transport is very common in modern industry world. In order to regulate such systems, valves and pumps are always used. Controlling this type of tools is fundamental when designing and calculating new systems, in order to match customer needs and comfort requirements.

Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) is an essential tool to analyse turbomachineries such as pumps, turbines and compressors. CFD is generally applied right after the first machine design stage. This analysis allows to:

 

  • Compute in advance the behavior of a machine without the necessity of physically creating prototypes
  • Estimate the performances of a machine in terms of elaborated energy
  • Evaluate the distribution of fluid pressure and velocity fields
  • Find possible problems such as fluids detachments or creation of vortexes
  • Identify the causes of energy loss in order to optimize the machine

During last decade, studies related to utilization of renewable energies as wind and water have been growing in importance and have been appearing all around the world.

Different types of machines are typically used in this field, from solar collectors to wind turbines (HAWT and VAWT). Fluid Dynamics studies are often carried out since they allow to:

 

  • Evaluate machine performances and power production
  • Study and compute wind effects on wind turbine blade surface
  • Identify optimal shape of blades (chord length, twist..) in order to optimize performances
  • Analyse causes of performance loss such as tip effects on blade and formation of vortex

A lot of modern human activities affect environment and, consequently, people health. Beside working on reducing pollutant impact on surrounding context, it is also important to constantly monitor how these pollutants diffuse from their sources and spread into the local area. Pollutant concentration can be simulated in all its configurations: from water pipes to open natural environments arriving to rivers with no limits on the pollutant flow and on the physics.