It's a bird! It's a plane!

Brent Cullimore

This is a story of how one bird drains while another bird drinks.

The bird that drains is a commercial airliner.

The bird that drinks is a toy. Though I really wish it had been this chirpy chap:

(photo source)

The bird that drains came first. Satisfying safety regulations requires the prediction of fuel and ullage temperatures in commercial aircraft. Not just steady states. Not just a transient or two. Tens of thousands of transient flight scenarios must be simulated.

This type of simulation is way beyond the reach of 3D CFD, and it requires a lot more than flow network solvers could do, even with the ability to link to detailed thermal geometry like FloCAD. Here at CRTech, we also were facing many other requirements for detailed but fast-solving applications such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks, MRI magnet-cooling helium dewars, boilers and steam drums, immersion-cooled electronics, and so forth. It seemed like “partially filled and complexly shaped vessels” were everywhere, and no one was addressing their special needs.

So with a little help from our customers, we spent a few years developing Compartments and their associated fluid Ports.

How do we explain what a “partially filled vessel” even means, or why this so different from either CFD or a piping code? We came up with some wild examples, including a boat fuel tank sloshing around (see side viewbow view, aft view), and a wrench quench. But I was still left with the feeling that we hadn’t really shown why Compartments were so unusual.

Then, while trying to come up with ways to explain why Curved Thermal Elements were also so unusual, Tim Panczak asks, “Why don’t we do a drinking bird?” He was referring of course the famous thirsty toy that has probably mesmerized every kid ... even those who didn’t go on to become engineers much less thermal/fluid engineers. He was referring to the glass bulbs at either end, and not to all the scrumptious phase change going on inside. To each his own.

I can’t explain to friends and family why mathematical modeling can be so addictive. (I was going to name this post “I came, I saw, I modeled.” But that emphasizes the victory and not the downside of addictive engineering behavior.)

If you’re reading this, you probably get it but can’t explain it to your friends or family. So maybe you’ll appreciate a story of obsession. If not, at least have fun with the video:

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.