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modeFRONTIER @ Airworks Engineering: Multidisciplinary collaboration made easy

Year: 
2013

Manufacturing products often require the assembly of components, the study of which involves different physics (e.g. Fluid dynamics, structural, thermal, electro-magnetic, etc). By increasing the complexity of the output performance assessment multi-disciplinary analyzes are called into action, requiring disparate levels of individual expertise as well as computing resources. Airworks, a multidisciplinary company for mechanical engineering, was facing the challenge of improving efficiency in conversion of wind energy into electrical power by optimizing the whole assembly of a wind power unit rotor.  

CHALLENGE

Experts in wind power unit, specialists in CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CFD (Computational Fluid-Dynamics) professionals from different organizations were involved in a complex design scenario and needed to collaborate by effectively sharing different kind of information and resources. Engineers from the University of Trieste prepared the parametric CAD model and set up CFD simulations, while Airworks took care of aerodynamic performance calculations of the wind rotor blade, and subsequently performed optimization analysis with modeFRONTIER, the multidisciplinary optimization platform.

The need for a common platform to share results emerged rapidly, and ESTECO Enterprise Suite, the new web-based bundle of modeFRONTIER and SOMO, the new ESTECO collaboration framework, came to help, by enabling the seamless execution of inter-organizational simulation workflows.

The distribution of chord and twist in the span wise direction, determined by the Bezier function.

[Courtesy of Airworks]

SOLUTION 

With ESTECO Enterprise Suite (EES), each partner of the simulation workflow was able to contribute to the project providing its own high level of collaboration. The CAD expert generated the geometry of the blades providing a parametric model and the CAD solution used to update it, while the CFD expert set up the aerodynamic simulation model, which used the geometry to evaluate the rotor aerodynamic performance. Both simulation workflows were made available to partners in a shared repository. Then the wind power unit expert was able to integrate his performance evaluation software into an automated multi-disciplinary workflow. Ultimately he used the workflow to evaluate the power efficiency of the system and to optimize it in a complete range of environmental conditions.

"Through the entire process, simulation data and engineering knowledge were effectively managed and shared through ESTECO Enterprise Suite, allowing a faster process and a considerable resource saving."
Stefano Picinich, Airworks Engineering Managing Director

ESTECO Enterprise Suite ADVANTAGES

With the set up of the optimization workflow Airworks professionals were able to explore and evaluate new parametric geometry, leading to innovative designs, analysed by the decision maker via the Suite’s post processing tools. The considerable result was of a wind turbine design with an outstanding power coefficient and an annual energy production increase of respectively 1.26% and 0.47%.

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