OpenFOAM - Advanced CFD Modelling

OpenFOAM is a free, open source Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) toolbox designed to solve a variety of flow problems involving complex fluid flow, turbulence, and chemical reactions. OpenFOAM has a large user base across many areas of engineering, including the Oil & Gas industry.

The workflow which ESR Technology has developed for pre and post-processing means that the geometry creation, problem set-up and analysis is a streamlined process, resulting in quick project turnaround times. A typical workflow would consist of using Blender/FreeCAD to create the initial geometry, and then exporting to Meshlab to perform cleanup; following this step the problem is solved in OpenFOAM and then analysed using ParaView/ViSit. Bespoke post-processing tools have also been developed by ESR Technology to aid in the analysis of large volumes of data.


ESR Technology have experience of using OpenFOAM to model gas dispersion phenomena over terrain, specifically looking at the dispersion behaviour of highly toxic H2S gas in a biogas facility. In one case, the client wanted insight into the movement of gases following ground impingement, which can typically not be modelled using integral based models. ESR were able to use the capabilities of OpenFOAM to generate information regarding the hazard ranges that could be expected for a variety of release and wind conditions.


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