Better turbine simulations will yield better engines
Turbomachines – pumps, fans, compressors, turbines and other machines that transfer energy between a rotor and a fluid – are instrumental in the aeronautic, automotive, marine, space and industrial sectors. For designers to achieve the most efficient propulsion and power systems, they must understand the physics of very complex air-flow fields produced by the machines. Although traditional wind-tunnel testing is often the most straightforward approach, it also comes with high costs and severe constraints on placing the measurement probes. Numerical simulation, using computational fluid dynamics software developed at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, has provided an alternative for studying these flows more efficiently and cheaply.