Solidworks Flow Simulation is a useful tool for companies like VAL-CO that design ventilation equipment for major livestock facilities of egg and meat production. It is extremely important to keep animals healthy and the most important factor (over and above feeding and watering) is good air quality. VAL-CO engineers can predict with great accuracy how their ventilation system will perform for the customer before any parts are made and before any installation takes place. This saves a lot of money, time, and aggravation for everyone involved.
Because the Flow Simulation is based on the same mathematical foundation as traditional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, it provides the viewer with an accurate visual picture of the air flow patterns which can be, but are not limited to, air velocity and/or temperature, which are the two main factors of ventilation design. The visual results can be displayed as either cut-plots or moving trajectories. Shown below on figure-1a is an example of a cut-plot. A cut-plot is a ‘slice’ thru any part of the barn at any given point along the length, width, or vertical (top to bottom). Each color represents a velocity at which air is traveling and a direction in which it is traveling indicated by arrows. Or, as an alternative, temperature can be substituted for velocity, in which the colors represent the temperature at that ‘slice’ point along with the direction of air flow.
Flow Simulation can be used on the component level as shown in cut-plot figure-1a where the performance of a curved inlet design is evaluated. Figure-1b shows an isometric view of a fan cone performance in design stage. This pictorial information gives engineering an opportunity to make improvements to the design prior to proceeding on to the manufacturing phase. The reddish colors represent the faster velocities whereas the blueish colors represent the slower velocities.
Figure-2 shows a cut-plot of a barn (cross section) when evaluating the performance of inlets interacting within a barn…or rather the ‘bigger picture’ of how well the system will perform. In this case only the performance of two inlets is evaluated. This tool is useful when designing an equipment package that must satisfy all types of weather conditions in all types of climates. With known barn dimensions, we can accurately predict the number of fans, inlets, cool cells and other pieces of equipment needed to create the ideal growing environment on any farm.
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