Dynamic solutions for a fluid world™

AFT Blog

Welcome to the Applied Flow Technology Blog.
Trey Walters

Hydropower Big and Small: My Recent Visit to a 5 MW Plant

Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA is often called "America's Mountain" and is the most visited mountain in North America and second most visited in the world. Barr Trail is the 13 mile (20 km) hiking trail that leads from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak. And right next to the Barr Trail trailhead is the famous 100+ year-old Manitou Hydro Plant.

Famous? Why is this tiny 5.5 MW hydroelectric power plant famous?

And how would a fluid systems engineer like myself compare it to other famous dams like the 14,000 MW Itaipu Dam and the 2,000 MW Hoover Dam?

Continue reading
  999 Hits
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.

Continue reading
  1227 Hits
Reinaldo Pinto

Workshop Visit to Beijing, China

It was an honor to visit our friends in Beijing, China to provide our Channel Partner, AECsoft Engineering Software (AECSOFT), two days of complimentary workshops. During these workshops, attendees had a hands-on experience with AFT Software as well the opportunity to discuss relevant hydraulic topics. Each attendee also received a 15-day free trial license to review topics discussed in the workshop. The first workshop, held August 21-22, hosted 65 attendees from twenty-nine companies. The workshop focused heavily on technical orientation to the AFT software.         The second workshop, held August 24-25, was dedicated exclusively to the biggest state...
Continue reading
  718 Hits
Erin Onat

Closing the Loop on Modeling Closed Loop Systems in AFT software

For several users of AFT software , it goes pretty predictably: first you place a pressure junction, then maybe a pump, then some sources of pressure drop including valves and heat exchangers, and then the model is finished off with another pressure junction. Of course, this is greatly oversimplifying the process and the vast array of systems that are modeled with AFT software, but here’s my point: most users are more familiar with modeling open systems that include individual pressure junctions located both upstream and downstream of the system. But what about modeling closed systems? The truth is that modeling closed...
Continue reading
Recent Comments
Really nice article! This greatly simplifies the thought process around closed systems. I think it's worth noting that the absol... Read More
Monday, 18 September 2017 22:05
Erin Onat
Kevin, The clarification you pointed out is vital, and I have updated my post to be more explicit about this point. Thank you for... Read More
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 16:54
  1922 Hits
Dylan Witte

Think Like a Fluid Engineer

Computers currently cannot think like an engineer. That is probably a good thing, but sometimes it can get us in trouble. Many of us rely on computers daily not just for fun or leisure, but for our livelihoods. They connect us in ways previous generations never thought possible and augment our mental abilities especially in terms of performing complex calculations and modeling intricate systems. Knowing this, it is important to remember that no matter how slick the user interface or how advanced the underlying code is, a computer program is only going to take what you give and process it with...
Continue reading
  700 Hits
Scott Lang

Start your engines! Modeling an Inertial Pump Startup

There are many (six!) ways to define a pump transient event in AFT Impulse . This gives you great flexibility in creating a model that behaves the way you want it to. One thing true for all pumps is that they must be started at least once. Pump startups often cause significant transient effects on the system so you may wish to model this with AFT Impulse. Even narrowing your pump transient down to a startup, there are still four models left to choose from: Without Inertia Startup With Inertia and No Back Flow or Reverse Speed Startup With Inertia -...
Continue reading
  2182 Hits
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.

Continue reading
  2381 Hits
  1 Comment