CFD Estimate of Turbine Power Requirement

Estimating the Power Requirement of a Rushton Turbine Using Pointwise and OpenFOAM®

Mixing tanks are heavily used in process industries where high-speed agitation and rapid mixing are necessary. While impeller-stirred tanks promote efficient mixing, the highly three-dimensional flows pose several meshing and simulation challenges. We will address these challenges using a generic, baffled tank stirred by a Rushton turbine. We will demonstrate how to use Pointwise to generate high-quality unstructured meshes suitable for steady-state moving reference frame calculations. Additionally, using Pointwise's recently-updated native interface to OpenFOAM, we will define both the boundary conditions and zones necessary for OpenFOAM inside Pointwise. That's right – Sets are no longer necessary to define a Zone! Lastly, we will describe how to prepare an OpenFOAM case for a moving reference frame calculation and compute the power necessary to drive the Rushton turbine in a single-phase flow.

Discover How To:

  • Resolve thin geometric features using diagonalized quad grids
  • Quickly create point-matched periodic surface meshes to improve interpolation accuracy
  • Save time by creating Sets and Zones for OpenFOAM directly within Pointwise
  • Easily setup OpenFOAM cases for moving reference frame calculations
  • Compute torque/power requirements using OpenFOAM functions


Travis Carrigan, Pointwise, Inc.

Travis Carrigan

Pointwise, Inc.

Travis Carrigan joined Pointwise as a senior engineer after completing his M.S. in aerospace engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington in May 2011 where his graduate research involved aerodynamic design optimization. Currently, as Manager of Technical Sales, Mr. Carrigan works with prospective customers and demonstrates how Pointwise software can be used to improve their CFD process. He also produces technical marketing content and works with customers and software partners to demonstrate best practices in grid generation, solver setup, and solution post-processing for a variety of industries.

Darrin Stephens, Applied CCM

Darrin Stephens

Applied CCM

Darrin Stephens has an extensive background in modeling a range of complex reacting multi-phase flows and led the development of CFD models for a number of industrial unit processes allowing re-design and optimization, improving throughput and efficiencies. He is the managing director and principle research engineer at Applied CCM Pty Ltd., a company providing development, technical support and training for the open source CFD software OpenFOAM. Applied CCM has been a distributor of Pointwise since 2011. Dr. Stephens’ professional interests include optimization and optimization algorithms, population balance modeling, coupled solvers and the development of next-generation hybrid and multi-physics models. He earned his mechanical engineering B.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.