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Bringing to market an open source CFD framework as a fully automated simulation service with high performance computing cloud-based access

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Adaptive Simulations (Bringing to market an open source CFD framework as a fully automated simulation service with high performance computing cloud-based access)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-02-28

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) uses numerical analysis and algorithms to predict flow with a computer. CFD analyses not only fluid flow behaviour, but also mass, phase change, chemical reactions, mechanical movement, the transfer of heat, and stress/deformation of related solid structures. Rapid progress over the past two decades in computational power, comprehensive physical models, and advances in numerical methods has made it possible for engineers to use CFD simulations routinely in a wide range of industrial, environmental and biomedical applications across various industries including aerospace, automotive, chemical engineering, healthcare, and more. It is increasingly used to complement or replace wind tunnel simulations in the automobile and aerospace sectors. The many applications for CFD all create great value in terms of increased product performance and time to market.

However, CFD simulation requires specialized engineers performing manual preparation and post-production tasks, expensive CFD software licenses and intensive computing resources that small and medium size enterprises cannot afford. Likewise, many sectors that could benefit from CFD simulation to simulate heat and cooling airflow for energy optimization (like architecture and construction) find CFD costs prohibitive. Many large enterprises, like our client Thule, have to turn to expensive consulting services rather than investing in in-house CFD solutions.

In “The Democratization of CFD”, the authors Hanna & Weinhold (2017) estimated the number of total CFD-users to 500.000 and the available global market for CFD to a total of 10.000.000. The reasons that this gap exists is to most extent due to the threshold of cost and competence, with the competence threshold being the greatest reason. In order to reduce this gap the CFD-solutions the complexity of the use of CFD need to reduce significantly and the level of automation increase. Our interviews and survey strengthen this conclusion. If full market potential could be reached the market could be worth 20 times the current market. Making it a total market size of at least €22 Bn.

Adaptive Simulations has developed a breakthrough simulation-as-a-service solution which automates CFD simulation and drives costs down by 70%. Our innovation will democratise CFD for the Industry 4.0 revolution. Making simulations available for everyone who needs them. Not only the experts.

This phase 1 project has validated the technical and commercial feasibility of fully automated flow simulations as a service, continuing our customer development to date. We will recruit organizations willing to trial the solution in phase 2 ahead of widescale deployment across a broad cross section of sectors and users.
The project has performed a market analysis to in-depth assess customer needs.
A benchmark analysis of different HPC-clusters have been performed to understand what resources can best be used to scale the solution.
A willingness to pay analysis has been made, providing us with a good understanding on what price levels the solution should be at.

The market analysis show that offering automated simulation to customer would provide great value for the customers. It furthermore shows that the customers generally want to introduce simulations earlier in the design process and that automated simulations with an easy to use interface and understandable simulation results and visualisations is a pre-condition for this.
The project has provided us with the insight that the potential market for our solution is huge and that it would create great values by shortening time to market for large corporations and by enabling SMEs to conduct simulations where they have not been able to do before. In short, our solution will contribute to a democratization of CFD, which will have societal implications beyond the financial values.