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Optimization of Fluid Flow Inside Ducts

Case Highlights:

The Client

Location : India

Industry : Cement Manufacturer

The Objective:

Visualization of flow pattern inside the duct bend and optimizing the design to reduce the pressure drop.

Challenges:

  • Re-create CAD model of the duct to perform pressure drop analysis
  • Utilize applicable governing equations
  • Identify accurate turbulence model to simulate the air flow
  • Develop design alternatives to reduce the pressure drop

Software Used:

ANSYS Fluent 14.5

Solution

The duct utilized to carry air in the cement industry was successfully analyzed for pressure drop. It was found that the bend geometry was responsible for pressure drop in the flow due to recirculation zones. Two design modifications were suggested to reduce the pressure drop significantly.

Optimization of Fluid Flow Optimization of Fluid Flow
Optimization of Fluid Flow Optimization of Fluid Flow

Cement industries are prominent in consuming energy and its efficient utilization has always been a matter of priority. The total energy costs averages from 30 to 40 percent of the total cement production costs, urging manufacturers to adopt innovative solutions to minimize energy consumption.

Utilization of suitable duct design is one of the factors that influence the overall plant efficiency and lower the consumption of energy. Primarily, ducts carry high pressurized air to transport raw materials, needed to manufacture cement. As such, air supply through the ducts with suitable pressure is crucial, pointing to the requirement of effective duct logic.

One of the leading cement manufacturers from India approached Hi-tech with a similar engineering problem associated with the duct design. Their primary concern was to devise an effective duct design that does not promote excessive pressure drop, especially across the bends.

Solution:

The duct design was first modeled using CAD tools, and was analyzed for pressure drop through the application of suitable boundary conditions and turbulence model. The results showed the development of recirculation zones near the bend region, promoting pressure drop significantly.

Based on the results, two design alternatives were suggested, which were aimed to reduce the pressure drop considering the geometrical feasibility.

The comparative results obtained were beneficial in terms of reducing the pressure drop. Both the designs showed significant reduction in pressure drop, making them a viable choice for an overall improvement in plant efficiency.

Benefits

  • 30% reduction in energy consumption from compressors and blowers to maintain the mass flow rate
  • Overall improvement in plant efficiency by applying similar solutions for ducts at different locations
  • Reduced the time required to execute prototyping tests

About Hi-Tech

Hi-Tech CFD is a division of Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services, a pioneer engineering outsourcing company since 1992 based in India & USA. It provides expert Computer Aided Engineering - CAE consulting services for engineering / product design analysis by modeling & simulation.

The primary services extended include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), product design optimization and value engineering services to Automotive, Building / Construction, Process industry, Power Generation, Manufacturing & Heavy Engineering industries.

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