Dynamic solutions for a fluid world™

AFT President & Founder | ASME Fellow - Trey founded AFT in 1993. He was the original developer of AFT Fathom (including the GSC and XTS modules), AFT Arrow and AFT Impulse. He was active in software development until 2011 and still works with the development team in addition to managing AFT. He has taught hundreds of training classes on AFT’s ...software products in twelve countries across every populated continent. He worked previously for General Dynamics in cryogenic rocket design and Babcock & Wilcox in steam/water equipment design. He holds a BSME (1985) and MSME (1986), both from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a registered Professional Engineer.   More
Trey Walters

Hurricanes and the Art of Computer Modeling

Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean Islands and the state of Florida. Sixteen days prior, Hurricane Harvey ravaged the coastal area of Texas. Weather experts said this was the first time in recorded history that two Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the United States in the same season. Each hurricane caused billions of dollars in damage and impacted millions of people.

Especially in Irma’s case, there was considerable discussion of the computer modeling used to predict the path and strength of the hurricane. As I have worked in computer modeling for most of my 30+ year career, this piqued my interest and I decided to educate myself a little more on the topic as it relates to hurricanes.

The first resource I pursued is one of our software developers here at AFT, John Lindsay. John has an undergraduate degree in Meteorology and a Master’s degree in Computer Science. John is a self-described weather geek who has a weather station at his home. We talked about weather modeling and he gave me some links to read further, which I did.

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Trey Walters

The Itaipu Dam vs. the Hoover Dam is No Contest: Itaipu Wins By a Landslide

Unknown to me, a few weeks ago I was sitting across from a Brazilian hydroelectric engineer on an airplane flying across Brazil. His name was Roberto and he did not speak English. I myself was learning the basic Portuguese phrases but that was the extent of my language skills. I was traveling with my son (an engineering student himself) who was spending the southern winter (i.e., northern summer) working in São Paulo, Brazil. My son had learned to speak Portuguese amazingly well and struck up a conversation with Roberto. That was when he found out Roberto was a civil engineer who used to work in hydroelectric power.

I have to confess that until that day a few weeks ago I had never heard of the Itaipu Dam - the largest hydroelectric facility in the Americas and, until a few years ago, the largest in the world. Roberto and his family were planning to tour the dam as part of their trip to the area where the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. When we landed my son and I hatched the idea to rent a car and see if we could get in on a dam tour ourselves.

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Trey Walters

Get the Salt Out! California, Israel, the World...and Desalination Technology

In February I reached a new low. Up until that point, my lowest point happened as a child in my home state of California. That was when my father took me through Death Valley - elevation 282 ft (86 m) below sea level.

But this was different. I was not going to the lowest spot in North or South America (Death Valley). I was going to the lowest spot in the entire world. I was on my way to the Dead Sea. Located on the border between Israel and Jordan (see my personal photos below), the Dead Sea is at an elevation of 1412 ft (431 m) below sea level - and getting lower all the time as it further evaporates.

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Trey Walters
Hi Manuel - I am far from a desalination expert. When it comes to the California coast, I have a hard time seeing the discharged b... Read More
Sunday, 15 October 2017 15:11
Trey Walters
Here is another link https://www.watercorporation.com.au/home/faqs/water-supply-and-services/what-happens-to-the-salt-from-seawate... Read More
Sunday, 15 October 2017 15:12
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Trey Walters

Hang on when riding a banshee on an alien world!

Technology has sure come a long, long way. As I am sure all of you know, Disney has been a technology innovator in the entertainment industry for nearly a century. The gee-whiz things Disney does has helped inspire many like myself to pursue technology careers.

Once again Disney has used technology to create a "Wow!" experience. I am talking about the new Flight of Passage ride at Disney World in Florida. I visited there a few weeks ago on opening weekend of the new Pandora - World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. The new land and this ride in particular are based on the top grossing movie of all time - Avatar. This new ride ("attraction" in Disney parlance) is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I got to ride it twice on this trip. This ride simulates a wild ride on the back of flying banshee like those found in the Avatar movie. The Na'vi word for the banshee is Ikran.

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Trey Walters

All the Sexy Aerospace Stuff That is Happening

It was sometime around 1988 and it was pitch dark outside. I and some of my aerospace colleagues from work were driving in a car caravan from San Diego to Edwards Air Force Base at the ungodly hour of 3AM. The Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled to land that morning and we wanted to see it.

From the moment I woke up in the middle of the night and all the way through the drive to Edwards AFB to the parking and walk to the viewing area to the standing in the cool, early morning air for a couple hours, I was questioning whether the whole effort was worth it. The landing of Discovery was not even certain. Weather conditions could postpone the whole thing.

And then someone pointed at the sky and yelled "There she is!". And I saw her too. Then a minute later we all heard the distinct double sonic boom. And I instantly knew it had been worth it.

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Trey Walters

Are Oil Companies Really That Backwards?

I had to laugh when I read this article in last week's edition of Businessweek "Big Oil’s Rejection of Silicon Valley Is Finally Coming to End". Who would have thought oil companies were so backwards? I bet they still use sliderules too! Here is one of the opening quotes:

“Onshore North America used to be a market where state-of-the-art technology went to be humiliated,” said Tom Curran, an energy analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co. “You’ve had a clear shift occur where onshore North America for the first time in recent history has become a technology play.”

As I have alluded to in other blogs, I myself came out of the aerospace industry. I have always been involved in technology. Heck, I am an engineer. Apparently the only technology that counts as real technology happens in Silicon Valley.

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Trey Walters

2000 Years of Roman Pipe Technology and 100 Years of American Pump Technology

This past week I and Jeff Olsen, AFT’s V.P. of Technology, attended the annual conference of the Hydraulic Institute . The Hydraulic Institute (HI) was founded in 1917 and is America’s premiere pump organization. At this year’s meeting HI held a centennial celebration . For a technology organization like HI, 100 years is quite a feat and was rightly celebrated at the annual meeting this year. Many of you are familiar with HI through the standards HI creates. These standards show up in AFT Fathom in several places: Intake design  (pump submergence to avoid vortex formation) Pump viscosity corrections Slurry pumps...
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