Comparision of CFD Tools/Software

The landscape of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software has significantly evolved in past decade, becoming more accessible beyond research labs and large corporations to a diverse array of engineers and scientists. Choosing the right CFD software is critical, similar to selecting a key team member, as it can either accelerate projects or lead to challenges. DiPhyx as an end-to-end scientific computing platform, offers a wide variety of CFD software. It is imperative to choose the right CFD tool for your team and research goals.

In this story, we provide key concepts for selecting the right CFD tool, followed by a table that compares these tools.

Basic Concepts of CFD

Key concepts in CFD are pivotal for understanding and effectively comparing different software:

  • CFD Formulation Techniques:cfd_formulation_image
    • RANS (Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes): Ideal for industrial applications to model turbulent flows by averaging fluid motion over time.
    • LES (Large Eddy Simulation): Useful in capturing large-scale turbulent flow structures, particularly in complex geometries.
    • DNS (Direct Numerical Simulation): Resolves all scales of turbulence directly, suitable mostly for fundamental research due to its computational demands.
  • Numerical Methods:numerical_methods
    • Finite Difference Method (FDM): Utilizes structured grids to solve partial differential equations, suitable for simple geometries.
    • Finite Volume Method (FVM): Ensures conservation of fluxes across control volumes, ideal for complex geometries.
    • Finite Element Method (FEM): Provides solutions by subdividing problems into smaller elements, excellent for structural analysis and multiphysics problems.
    • Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM): Based on microscopic models and statistical mechanics, effective for simulating complex boundary conditions.

CFD Solvers and Features:

  • Solvers: The core algorithms in CFD software can be pressure-based for incompressible flows or density-based for compressible flows.
  • Scalability: Essential for handling large-scale or multi-scale simulations efficiently on high-performance computing systems.
  • Multiphysics: Involves combining multiple physical phenomena like fluid-structure interaction or conjugate heat transfer.
  • Radiation Modeling: Key in scenarios where heat transfer due to radiation is significant.
  • GPU Support: Utilizes Graphics Processing Units to enhance simulation speeds dramatically.

Comparing CFD tools/software

NameTypeFormulationNumerical MethodsSolversScalabilityMultiphysicsRadiation ModelingGPU Support
ANSYS FluentProprietaryRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-based & Density-basedHighYesP1 Radiation ModelYes
ANSYS CFXProprietaryRANS/LESFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesDiscrete Transfer Radiation ModelYes
Siemens STAR-CCM+ProprietaryRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesRadiation Heat Transfer ModelYes
Autodesk CFDProprietaryRANS/LESFinite VolumePressure-basedMediumYesDiscrete Ordinates (DO) ModelYes
COMSOL MultiphysicsProprietaryRANS/LESFinite ElementPressure-based & Density-basedHighYesSurface-to-Surface RadiationYes
CD-adapco STAR-CDProprietaryRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesRadiation Heat Transfer ModelYes
Mentor Graphics FloEFDProprietaryRANSFinite VolumePressure-basedMediumYesMonte Carlo Radiation ModelYes
NUMECA FINE/OpenProprietaryRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesP1 & Monte Carlo Radiation ModelsYes
Altair AcuSolveProprietaryRANS/LESFinite ElementPressure-basedHighYesRadiosity Radiation ModelYes
Converge CFDProprietaryRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesMonte Carlo Radiation ModelYes
SimScaleProprietaryRANS/LESFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesDiscrete Ordinates (DO) ModelYes
Simerics MPProprietaryRANS/LESFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesDiscrete Transfer Radiation ModelYes
Flow Science FLOW-3DProprietaryRANS/LESFinite VolumePressure-basedHighYesRadiosity Radiation ModelYes
OpenFOAM (Github)Open SourceRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-based & Density-basedHighYesDiscrete Ordinates (DO) ModelYes
SU2Open SourceRANS/LES/DNSFinite VolumePressure-based & Density-basedHighYesNoneNo
CFDTool Open SourceRANSFinite VolumePressure-basedLowNoNoneNo
FEniCS (Github)Open SourceRANS/LES/DNSFinite ElementPressure-based & Density-basedHighYesNoneYes
Palabos (Github)Open SourceLES/DNSLattice BoltzmannNoneHighNoNoneYes
Channelflow (Github)Open SourceRANS/LESSpectral MethodsNoneMediumNoNoneNo
Nektar++ (Github)Open SourceRANS/LES/DNSSpectral/hp ElementPressure-basedHighYesNoneYes
Kratos Multiphysics (Github)Open SourceRANS/LES/DNSFinite ElementPressure-based & Density-basedHighYesNoneYes
Elmer (Github)Open SourceRANS/LESFinite ElementPressure-basedHighYesNoneYes
FlowmasterProprietaryRANS1D CFDPressure-basedMediumYesNoneNo
XFlowProprietaryLES/DNSLattice BoltzmannNoneHighYesLattice Boltzmann MethodYes
Phoenix Integration's ModelCenterProprietaryRANS/LESNoneNoneHighYesNoneNo

For detailed information on CFD toolssoftware, please visit our blog. Also for the list of available software, please look at our software page.

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