Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software is a critical part of the design and analysis process in modern engineering. The University of Queensland Centre for Hypersonics has developed a unique type of CFD software - Eilmer3 - which is specially designed for compressible flow simulations. The aim of this thesis is to further develop this software.
Through the process of modelling the geometry of a radial turbine from given control points, an assessment of the software's strengths and weaknesses was made. This assessment, in conjunction with research into the current trends in CFD software combined to inform how Eilmer3 could be improved.
It was determined that while Eilmer3 is useful as analysis software, its capabilities as a design tool are limited. Designing in Eilmer3 is limited to analysing the fluid dynamics of a 'completed' geometry; it is unable to improve a design. To improve Eilmer3's capabilities as a design tool, an optimisation module as part of the software package has been outlined and is recommended for future development.
Optimisation of designs, like the turbine, requires compatibility of the software with other forms of analysis in different disciplines. This approach, called multidisciplinary optimisation (MDO), incorporates both fluid dynamics and structural analysis and may incorporate other disciplines as well. It is this optimisation technique that is the focus of the development plan. Outlined are the important aspects of MDO that must be observed for a successful package to be developed. It has been considered in the context of applying an optimiser to Eilmer3 and to the turbine more specifically.
Eilmer3 uses Python as its input language and works within a Linux operating environment. Simulia's ABAQUS/CAE, is recommended as the structural analysis tool due to its compatibility.