Integration and Application Programming Interfaces

Integrated Analysis Environments for Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow

"As technology matures, it disappears."
                                            - M. Weiser, Xerox PARC (paraphrased)

One of our key jobs at CRTech is to make our thermal/fluid solution technologies disappear ... to become components of a custom multidisciplinary design environment.

CRTech provides best-of-class user-extensible heat transfer and fluid flow design and analysis capabilities accessible through both geometric and nongeometric user interfaces. But we realize that some customers’ needs are best served with their own custom environment or interface. We are also strong proponents of system-level trade studies and other high-level design tasks that require the feedback of many specialized analyses and considerations: structural, electrical, CFD, aerothermal, optical, reliability, life cycle cost (LCC) or net present value (NPV), etc.

Therefore, not only are our tools highly extensible and customizable, and not only are they fully parametric and able to respond dynamically to model changes, but we also provide APIs (advanced programmer interfaces) and other tools for integrating SINDA/FLUINT and Thermal Desktop®, RadCAD®, FloCAD® solution technologies into a higher-level design evaluation system. Such capabilities are available for codes such as Microsoft Excel®, Aras Comet SDPM, and Noesis' Optimus®, and we welcome the opportunity to create additional connections.

Thermal Desktop features a powerful API: OpenTD. OpenTD allows you to automate many of the tasks currently performed interactively using Thermal Desktop's Graphical User Interface (GUI). OpenTD gives you the tools to programmatically create, query, edit, delete, and run models. You can use any .NET language to interact with OpenTD (C#, VB.NET, F#, etc.) or any system that can load .NET assemblies such as Matlab or Python.

Download API Brochure

MATLAB® as an Example

Example of NREL Advisor IntegrationTo illustrate the possibilities, the interchange with Mathworks' MATLAB® and Simulink® is briefly described. SINDA/FLUINT can be started as a subprocess of MATLAB on a PC. “Registers” and other data values can be passed back and forth between SINDA/FLUINT and MATLAB, as commanded from either code. SINDA/FLUINT’s execution can be suspended and restarted from MATLAB, which can send signals back to SINDA/FLUINT to perform operations such as redo a steady-state analysis, advance a transient time step, perform an optimization, or everything else that is accessible from within SINDA/FLUINT’s user logic blocks (which is almost everything).

Thermal Desktop’s Dynamic Mode can be used to further expand this system, by calling for new Thermal Desktop or RadCAD geometric (radiative, thermal contact, FEM, FDM, etc.) solutions from within SINDA/FLUINT, perhaps as directed from MATLAB or another program.

Although most such integrations are proprietary, an example of one that is documented publicly is NREL’s ADVISOR used for integrated automobile design.

Relevant Links: MDO and MDA

Additional Resources

Contact CRTech for MATLAB interface examples or see the example on our User Forum.


Customizable Multidiscipline Environments for Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow Modeling, ICES 2004

Advanced Pipes in FloCAD
Thursday November 14, 9-10am MT (8-9am PT, 11am-noon ET)
This webinar introduces advanced features for FloCAD pipes in addition to working with complex geometry. Complex geometry includes interior fins and surfaces for heat transfer, flow around enclosed objects, annular flow, concentric pipes, and more. FK Locators and TEEs as modeling objects will also be introduced.
Custom Heat Transfer and Pressure Drops
Tuesday November 19, 2-3pm MT (1-2pm PT, 4-5pm ET)
Do you know what the default assumptions are in FloCAD, and whether or not they apply in your situation? Do you know how far you can go past that starting point? The answer: pretty far. There are numerous mechanisms in FloCAD for adjusting factors, scaling uncertainties, and applying different or supplemental correlations. This webinar summarizes the options available to you to customize your flow models to make sure that they apply to each new situation you encounter.
Heat Exchangers: Detailed and System-level
Thursday November 21, 2-3pm MT (1-2pm PT, 4-5pm ET)
This is two webinars in one. The first explains the use and assumptions behind the FloCAD HX system-level modeling object. The second webinar describes detailed-level modeling of complex heat exchanger passages, including application of Compact Heat Exchanger (CHX) methods.
Starting in 2020, we will begin offering Introduction to Thermal Desktop and Introduction to RadCAD as either in-person training or online training, alternating between online and in-person every three months. The training uses lectures and demonstrations to introduce you to basic Thermal Desktop and RadCAD usage. Hands-on tutorials provide practice building models and interpreting results (tutorials are completed by students outside of the online class time).
The next training class will be an online format in January 2020:
  • Introduction to Thermal Desktop (and SINDA) - A three-part series on January 14, 16, and 21 from 9am to 12pm, Mountain time
  • Introduction to RadCAD - January 23 from 9am to 12pm, Mountain time
For up-to-date schedules, fees, and policies, visit our Product Training page. To register for the class above, complete our registration form and select "Online" for the Training Format.
If you are interested in product training for your company based on your schedule, please contact us to obtain a quote for training between 8-12 attendees. We can come to your facility or the lectures can be presented online. Descriptions of the available classes can be found in our course catalog.
To keep up with our training opportunities, take a look at our new Events and Training Calendar.