Thursday, January 6, 2011

For those who want to start CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations...

I started CFD in OpenFOAM with no prior experience in CFD. I did not even have the Navier-Stokes equations memorized or anything. Do not write it off as impossible without even trying, as I had.

A quick and useful introduction to CFD in general is available here.

Once you have some grasp of what CFD is about, you can move onto installing and using CFD programs. A great resource for all steps of the whole simulation process is CFD-online. This website was essential for enabling me to run my own simulations.

I would love to elaborate on whatever you cannot find in the two resources I described above. Please comment if you have any questions at all, and I will be sure to reply in a short time.


  1. What was your experience with openFOAM. Trying to decide if I should go with Hermes (from the Hermes Project) or OpenFOAM. Hermes seems to use a slightly different numerical method (from what I read, plan on reading more about it) for most solvers. Another reason I kinda like Hermes is the connections they have with scientific research organizations/societies like MITACS, SIAM...etc. Any input you have on this will be useful. I'm an advance Linux/Unix user.

  2. Hi! Thanks for reading.
    I have not actually heard of Hermes, so you probably know more about it than I do. Besides being a good solver, the reason why I use OpenFoam is for its GGI capability (generalized grid interface), which you can run simulations on rotating things (like fan blades) with. Also with some light searching it seems to me Hermes would require more knowledge to use than OpenFoam. Let me know what you think/find, as I am interested in hearing more about Hermes as well.

  3. You're welcome. Thanks for replying. I'll do some more digging and have them both installed this week or early next week. Will keep you posted on how things go. For now, my interest is on high velocity fluid flow in nozzles (mostly turbine nozzles) but I intend to eventually try a few things with gas turbines as well. The GGI capability sounds interesting. Just found out that the fluid solver used by Hermes is still in development - . I'll keep you posted on my progress/findings. Cheers.