Exa Corp. is upgrading its PowerFLOW computational fluid dynamics simulation software, unveiling version 4. Two additional tools, PowerTHERM and PowerCOOL, now provide full heat transfer functionality including conduction, convection, radiation and modeling of heat exchangers within the integrated PowerFLOW environment.
With the upgrades, design engineers in transportation and other fields can now perform simulations using a single high-fidelity geometry model across multiple applications including aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and thermal management, the company says.
The PowerCOOL package adds an analysis tool that enables the modeling of heat transfer between the cooling airflow and heat exchangers in the vehicle underhood region. PowerTHERM makes it possible to simulate conduction in solids as well as radiation between hot surfaces. That's a key requirement for reliably predicting under-hood and under-body surface temperatures. Results can be fully integrated with the PowerFLOW convection solver to demonstrate radiation and conduction effects.
The upgrades in PowerFLOW 4 include improved physics and advances in the lattice Boltzmann (LBM) physics Exa has used for more than a decade. LBM physics, which were developed with support from the National Science Foundation, offer more predictive and consistent analysis results than conventional techniques, a spokesman says.
Version 4 also enhances its ability to accurately simulate very complex CAD models. It includes an aeroacoustics tool that provides better prediction of high frequencies, while also offering an expanded temperature range lets users simulate a broader range of temperatures. An accelerated temperature solver feature runs thermal simulations faster.
These new tools augment Exa's TotalANALYSIS suite of integrated software solutions, which are used to speed analysis of aerodynamics, thermal management and aeroacoustics in ever-shorter product development time frames. They help automakers and others reduce the number of expensive prototypes used through the design process while letting design engineers perform more simulations. The tools are widely used by transportation companies as diverse as Ford, Audi, Hyundai, Kenworth and Peterbilt.