In drainage, irrigation, and hydraulic projects, hydraulic structures are crucial. Failure of hydraulic structures could result in significant losses in life and property and damage the environment and the economy. Aqueducts, pump stations, siphons, and sluices are a few examples of water-related infrastructures built to facilitate human needs and desires and improve the quality of life. Other examples include drainage channels, rivers, irrigation canals, bank and foot protection work, dams, spur dikes, bridges, and culverts.
Structures completely or partially submerged in water are known as hydraulic structures. The purpose of hydraulic structures is to alter the normal flow of water bodies in one of several ways: by diversion, disruption, storage, or outright cessation. Hydraulic structures are divided into three categories: special-purpose structures (structures for hydropower generation or inland waterways), water-retaining structures (dams and barrages), and water-conveying structures (artificial channels).
How to Improve Hydraulic Structures in Civil Engineering using CFD Simulations?
Using numerical methods to solve mathematical equations, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulates fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, chemical reactions, and other comparable fluid patterns. With the development of numerical computing capabilities, the use of CFD in engineering and industrial applications has increased since the beginning of the 21st century. The results of numerical models have frequently been viewed with doubt by researchers because the traditional approach in hydraulics uses experimental physical models. As a result, it is accustomed to using physical models along with numerical models. A confirmed numerical approach with experimental data or a case study might be employed to evaluate hydraulic problems more thoroughly from the experimental investigation.
Water flow in real-world settings, such as rivers, Stormwater, and wastewater systems, can be predicted and shown using CFD modeling. Simply said, CFD offers the useful advantages of physical modeling within appropriate time and cost constraints.
CFD has recently become more affordable after initially being utilized mainly for large projects to benefit from its enhanced accuracy. But as technology has advanced, the cost has significantly decreased, making it possible for smaller communities to benefit from this cutting-edge research.
CFD on Simulation of Dam Structures
Particularly for dam owners and operators, today’s technical difficulties are complex. Spillway scours, riprap-damaging flows, river debris collecting in the wrong places, and uneven overtopping of training walls are all examples of flow issues around dams. Vibrations in the trash rack, increased bearing wear, and even the creation of an air-core vortex can all be caused by unbalanced flow into powerhouse units. Dam owners and operators may wish to think about using a computational fluid dynamics model to reduce uncertainty and increase project success before investing significant construction and ongoing maintenance costs to fix these complicated issues.
CFD modeling offers a better knowledge of the underlying causes and potential solutions for flow issues close to dams and power plants. Engineers can solve energy dissipation issues, determine the causes of uneven Spillway scour patterns, and even predict thermal currents using CFD modeling skills. Flow eddies, waves, lake recirculation patterns, sediment transport, riverbed scour, and even dynamic gate opening flows can all be modeled by engineers. The CFD numerical models may help your project if it has a difficult flow issue by lowering maintenance and construction costs, lowering the risk of failure, and restoring the smooth operation of your hydropower facility.
CFD Usage for Simulation of Bridge Scour
In marine and coastal environments, sediment transport and the resulting local scour can cause structures to fail. The precise forecast of the local scours magnitude and knowledge and understanding of the principles governing erosion and sediment movement is essential for the structural design.
Bridge scour can cause bridges to fall unexpectedly, which could result in fatalities if it happens while people are using the bridge. These often start with an initial risk assessment, followed by a more in-depth evaluation for particular bridges based on average speeds. Suppose these conventional techniques indicate that scour protection should be taken into account. In that case, this is a costly undertaking that may be made more cost-effective if the size of the bridge that has to be protected could be more precisely limited. This necessitates a more thorough hydraulic understanding of the complicated flow patterns found inside many bridges.
3D Computational Fluid Dynamics is a more affordable option than physical modeling when examining complex flows around bridge piers and abutments. It has the advantage that the user may extract velocity and shear stress information at any place, and tests have shown that it compares favorably to physical models in terms of forecasts for the water surface profile.
Shear stress predictions on the existing bed are already a potent output because they can identify potential zones of erosion of the existing bed material and guide the selection of material for scour protection compared to critical shear stress for specific bed material sizes (sands, gravels, and cobbles). We can also directly relate the hydraulic model to a sediment transport model to predict the anticipated bed evolution for a specific bed material composition.
Urban Drainage using CFD Simulation
One of the major problems for a large city is urban flooding. Accurately forecasting urban drainage flows is crucial in reducing or eliminating flood risks. The urban drainage system is the only means of transporting floodwater from urban areas in most cities. The major system, also known as the overland system, is made up of surface paths and temporary storage spaces, and the minor system, also known as the below-ground system, is made up of pipes and maintenance holes.
A civil and environmental engineer’s modeling objectives and scale requirements differ from an automotive engineer’s requirements. Designing large-scale structures and flows, multiphase flows, including gas-liquid, solid-liquid, and liquid-liquid flows, as well as chemical and biological processes, is typical for civil and environmental engineers.
CFD presents itself as a useful tool for examining the domain space for physical system design and performance variables and for diagnosing or troubleshooting system behavior in its contemporary version as computer-aided engineering (CAE) software. When a large number of design variations need to be analyzed or when physical testing may be disallowed owing to restrictions like scale, cost, accessibility, or the existence of physical or environmental risks, the application of CFD may supplement or replace existing analytical techniques.
This post just looked at a few CFD applications that can help improve Hydraulic Structures in Civil Engineering. The Mechanical business has many CFD applications, ranging from Spillway to modeling an Open Channel with a Side Outlet, Water Pollution in the Meandering River, and Sedimentation in Urban Sewer Conduits to assess the main parameters such as velocity, volume fraction, pressure, all of which are key challenges in the industry.
Most aspects of the Hydraulic Structures industry rely on fluid dynamics. Although physical prototypes are required for later phases of development, CFD studies may significantly speed up design and optimization in the early stages.
The MR-CFD team conducted numerous outsourced simulation projects for industrial and researched Hydraulic Structures applications. 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 example, Spillway simulation is freelanced and carried out to achieve the solution’s key parameters.
Spillways are structures used to channel floodwaters and excess water from the top of the dam to the bottom. In fact, spillways are structures with a specific height that release more water when the water’s height exceeds its height. Various types include ogee, step, side, lotus, tunnel, siphon, and other spillways. The current problem simulates the movement of water through a spillway.
After hitting the dam’s body, the hydraulic level of the water rises, and the excess is released from the top of the Spillway into the outlet. This study looks into how water flows behave in the presence of air after crossing a spillway.
The project that comes after this deals with an open channel. Open channels are natural or artificial canals used for water transportation or service water transport vehicles. They might also be useful for irrigation. It might be considered a manufactured river. These days, applications like air ducts and water transfers have drawn much attention to using canals in the business. The usage of the channels also has a significant impact on their size and structure. ANSYS Fluent software is used in this research to look at the flow inside an open channel with a 180-degree bend and a side outlet.
Water pollution contaminates bodies of water, typically as a result of human activity, in a way that adversely affects its legal uses. Spreading pollution makes it harder for the body of water to provide the ecosystem services it normally would. Surface water pollution and groundwater pollution are two different types of water pollution.
Ansys Fluent software was used in this research to do a numerical simulation of the pollution of the river channel. Two circular intake profiles at the river’s beginning allow pollutants to enter the system, spreading into the water. Pollutants damage the surface of rivers because of their lower density than water, and because of the movement of the water, pollution travels along the river.
Another project uses the ANSYS Fluent software to simulate the problem of sand particle sedimentation in a water flow channel. One of the harmful phenomena in the performance quality of any device is the sedimentation phenomenon. When the base fluid has excessive soluble particles, sedimentation might happen. For instance, a sedimentation phenomenon happens when water containing sand particles flows into a canal and encounters obstacles along the way or experiences a sudden change in direction within the canal. This is because the dissolved sand particles become stagnant and slow down in these areas relative to the main water flow.
MR-CFD, an Expert in the Field of Hydraulic Structures Simulations
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 Hydraulic Structures simulations are categorized as follows:
- Dam structures
- Aquatic organism passage (AOP)
- River features
- lakes/reservoirs, and coastal systems
- Sediment transport and scour
- Stormwater best management practice devices
- Stormwater structures
- municipal water and wastewater treatment systems
- Water treatment tanks and processes
You may find the related products to the Hydraulic Structure 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 Hydraulic Structure 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.