Understanding Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

This week we discuss how CFD can be used to specify effective smoke control solutions,

CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics

What is CFD?

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is the use of mathematics, physics and computational software to visualise how a material flows. It also looks at how the material affects objects as it flows past. Computational fluid dynamics is based on the Navier-Stokes equations. These equations describe how the velocity, pressure, temperature, and density of a moving fluid are related.

Can you explain how Axair use CFD to help their clients?

A CFD allows a detailed calculation and presentation of the smoke control system. It is used to give the client and the design team the confidence that the smoke control system will perform. CFD software requires information about the size, content and layout of the area. It uses this information to create a 3D mathematical model on a grid. This can then be rotated and viewed from different angles. CFD modelling can help to identify hot spots and learn where cold air is being wasted or air is mixing.

How long does it take for a client to receive their completed CFD analysis?

A CFD will generally take 2 to 3 weeks to complete after the design requirements have been fully agreed.

What are the key things to consider when designing a smoke control system?

When designing a smoke control system it is important to remember what the goals are. What type of control is required? For instance, is it smoke extract, it is smoke clearance with jet fans and extract, or is it pressurisation.

In your opinion, what do you think is the most important aspect when selecting components for the system?

When selecting the correct equipment you have to ensure that all parties understand the fire strategy. In addition they must understand the relevant standards and legislation to ensure compliance.

From your experience, what are the typical challenges facing customers?

Typical challenges facing the client include finding the right design to fit not only the requirement of the fire strategy but also the building. It is not always easy integrating the installation into the limited spaces allowed so this challenge must be overcome with the most effective solution. We can make sure that equipment put forward is compatible with the service space available and with the architecture of the building.

Sodeca operates in many international markets, how does the UK differ in your opinion from the others?

The UK market differs from other countries in as much as a client’s design team usually know the type of scheme they need, if not the details. Also, for the UK, F-300 equipment is usually preferred to F-400.

For more information on CFD when design an effective smoke control system contact us on 01782 349 430 to speak to one of our experienced technical engineers.

To see our range of fans suitable for smoke control systems click here.


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