Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical methods to solve and analyze fluid flow problems. CFD has been commercially presented since the early 1980s in the engineering community for applications such as turbomachinery, aerospace, combustion, and mechanical engineering. Currently, CFD has proven to be a driving factor for performance enhancement in areas as diverse as Formula 1 racing, naval architecture for America’s Cup, and product progress for swimwear;
CFD for decades introduced to the architectural engineering and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) industry. Its effectiveness in assisting the architects and engineers in the design process has been well acknowledged.
Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures. In other words, an architect is responsible for designing a comfortable environment for residents, mainly in terms of aesthetics, ventilation, and thermal comfort aspects.
How to Improve the Performance of Architecture in CFD Simulations?
As was mentioned in the above paragraphs, the main aspects of architectural engineering are to design a building that can provide adequate ventilation and thermal comfort for residents in indoor places. Not long ago, most building-related topics, such as ventilation analysis, wind environment, etc., were observed using wind tunnel tests. However, nowadays, all these tests can be done successfully with CFD. CFD can solve all of the issues mentioned above quite quickly. It is more economical and robust than the older one (experimental).
Computational Fluid Dynamics is currently used as an airflow modeling technique and can predict airflow, heat transfer, and pollutant carriage in and around buildings. CFD plays a crucial role in building design, designing a thermally comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient construction. CFD can study the effectiveness and efficiency of various heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems by quickly changing the type and position of different components, supply air conditions, and system control schedules. Moreover, CFD helps develop passive heating/cooling/ventilation strategies (e.g., natural ventilation) by modeling and optimizing different buildings and indoor spaces.
CFD for Optimizing the HVAC Systems
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an already established technology. It has allowed scientists and engineers to model and forecast flow performance in numerous fields of application for many decades. And the limits of its application continue to grow as computational power increases. For example, the latest cloud computing trend has given small companies and consultancies the power to run large and complex simulations with minimal hassle and without the related hardware and software costs.
Ventilation (understood as air moving through an enclosed space) is the primary mechanism for HVAC systems to achieve their goal of providing thermal comfort or other special indoor conditions. Traditionally, rules of thumb and approximate hand calculations are used to dimension ventilation equipment capacities and parameters. However, this approach relies on established safety margins, late-stage physical testing, and adjustments to guarantee requirements compliance.
CFD for Improving the Indoor Climate Procedure
The critical variables for determining thermal comfort are direct sunlight, air temperature, radiant temperature, air velocity, and air moisture. Correct design decisions about energy vs. comfort require information about the simultaneous magnitude of these quantities during the whole season when heating or cooling systems are in operation.
From a design perspective, there is no primary need to describe the whole flow field of the room. It is appropriate to ensure that high velocities are unlikely in the occupied zone. The vertical temperature distribution can significantly impact energy use and comfort in atria, other tall spaces, or in rooms with displacement ventilation. For non-industrial applications, pollutant levels are primarily related to long-term health effects rather than comfort, and their variant within a room will seldom be an essential design issue.
Given the enormous potential to guess flow fields that CFD has brought to many domains, it is only natural that much of the scientific discussion on indoor climate and building energy use has centered on CFD. However, CFD has severe shortcomings in economically assessing draft risk and vertical temperature gradients. Understanding jets and plumes, i.e., regions of relatively high speeds in a uniform direction in an otherwise almost stagnant fluid, are key to estimates of draft risk in an indoor environment. There will be discomfort if jets penetrate the occupied area in unintended ways. A turbulent flow, such as that of most jets and plumes, features a chaotic system of vortices over a wide range of time and space. Therefore, any practical CFD method must provide a turbulence model that allows some time average of the flow to be predicted instead of the actual fluctuating flow.
CFD in Case of Outdoor Airflow
CFD solves heat transfer, fluid flow, and chemical species transport. The parameters solved, such as air velocity, air temperature, pollutant concentrations, relative humidity, and turbulence quantities, are crucial for designing a comfortable outdoor or indoor environment.
This is because the design of proper ventilation systems and the development of control strategies need detailed knowledge of a building’s airflow, pollutant dispersion, and temperature distribution. Architects for designing the building configuration also need this knowledge. The CFD method has been applied with significant success in building design in the past thirty years.
This article covered a small number of CFD applications in improving the architecture. The architectural industry is full of applications for CFD. From the Room’s Air Conditioning to decreasing the pollution in a Real Urban Zone. Fluid dynamics are fundamental to most facets of architecture. Although full-scale prototypes are standard for later stages of development, design and optimization during earlier stages can be significantly accelerated with CFD studies.
The MR-CFD team conducted extensive outsourced research on architectural engineering applications and simulation projects. With several years of experience simulating various problems in various CFD fields using ANSYS Fluent software, the MR-CFD team is ready to offer extensive services of simulation configurations. For instance, some of the projects freelanced by MR-CFD that have industrial applications include the simulation of the Agricultural Drone Sprayer, which shows how drone designers can exploit CFD to carry out the best design for their vehicles industry.
Professionals in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry understand how critical their building designs are to the comfort of occupants and building energy performance. Solar radiation significantly impacts the thermal aspects of buildings and structures in both internal and external environments. This ANSYS Fluent feature allows users to visualize solar heat loads inside and outside buildings and increase thermal comfort predictions’ accuracy.
The other example of a CFD project that MR-CFD has simulated successfully is the Air Conditioning of Room investigation. In this project, MR-CFD experts simulated the airflow inside a room.
Air conditioning is the manner of conditioning the indoor air for specified thermal comfort. An air conditioner is a piece of equipment, gadget, or system designed to stabilize an area’s air temperature and humidity. It is utilized for cooling and heating, relying upon the air temperature at a given time, generally using a refrigeration cycle.
One of the other great applications of CFD in Architecture is its capability to model different species. For instance, in another project carried out by the MR-CFD team, they tried to simulate pollution in the air. Urban environments are the most critical context of life, and in most developing countries, the status of air pollution is getting worse step by step. However, technological improvements have played an essential role in reducing air pollution. Due to the increasing demand for transportation, it will remain a challenge.
With several years of experience in simulating various problems in different CFD fields using ANSYS Fluent software, the MR-CFD Company is ready to offer extensive modeling, meshing, and simulation services. Our simulation Services for Architectural simulations are categorized as follows:
- Analysis of the air conditioning of buildings
- the cradle
- The structure of the building and the effect of the shape of the buildings on air distribution and city pollution
- Fluid simulation consulting, design and optimization of the urban system and air conditioning
You may find the related products to the Architectural simulation category in Training Shop.
Our services are not limited to the mentioned subjects, and the MR-CFD is ready to undertake different and challenging projects in the Architectural Engineering modeling field ordered by our customers. We even accept carrying out CFD simulation for any abstract or concept design you have in your mind to turn them into reality and even help you reach the best design for what you may have imagined. You can benefit from MR-CFD expert consultation for free and then order your project to be simulated and trained.
By outsourcing your project to the MR-CFD as a CFD simulation freelancer, you will not only receive the related project’s resource files (Geometry, Mesh, Case & Data, …), but also you will be provided with an extensive tutorial video demonstrating how you can create the geometry, mesh, and define the needed settings(pre-processing, processing and post-processing) in the ANSYS Fluent software all by yourself. Additionally, post-technical support is available to clarify issues and ambiguities.