The OpenFOAM Turbomachinery Working Group, and Conclusions from the Turbomachinery Session of the Third OpenFOAM Workshop
Paper in proceedings, 2008
The OpenFOAM CFD toolbox was released as OpenSource December 10, 2004, and since then the number of users throughout the world has increased dramatically. Many industries concerned with turbomachinery (water turbines) are investing a lot of money each year in commercial CFD solvers. The availability of cheap hardware makes it possible to do simulations on a large number of CPUs, which requires many expensive software licenses. There is thus a need for a high quality CFD tool that is cheap, and OpenFOAM is the first tool to meet those demands. OpenFOAM has many of the features that are available in the commercial CFD codes, and due to the OpenSource distribution under the GPL licence it can be used at no cost. There is however a need to develop and maintain some of the features that are specifically needed for turbomachinery applications, and for that reason a turbomachinery Working Group of OpenFOAM users was formed at the second OpenFOAM workshop in Zagreb 2007. The first task of the working group has been to contribute to the set-up of the OpenFOAM-extend project at SourceForge, which is used as a platform for the collaborative effort within the working group, as well as a way to distribute the work to anyone who need to take part of it. The second task of the working group has been to organize a turbomachinery session at the third OpenFOAM workshop in Milano 2008. At that workshop the ERCOFTAC conical diffuser was studied as a validation testcase for OpenFOAM.
The present paper describes the OpenFOAM CFD toolbox, and the features that are of interest to the water turbine community. It will further present the OpenFOAM Turbomachinery Working Group, the ERCOFTAC conical diffuser validation testcase for OpenFOAM, the conclusions from the turbomachinery session of the third OpenFOAM workshop, and the OpenFOAM-extend project at SourceForge.