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CFD analyses with Siemens

By Katharina-Inés Janisch | Oct. 5, 2020

2013 Elon Musk published a white paper setting dawn to a transportation revolution and creating a the fifth mode of transportation – the Hyperloop. Shortly after, a handful of students from the Delft University of Technology decided to take matter in their own hands establishing Delft Hyperloop. The student team dedicate themselves one year full-time on the creation of a working prototype of a Hyperloop pod, next to raising awareness and spark enthusiasm within society about the sustainable possibilities of transportation. 

The previous three years and teams competed in the Hyperloop SpaceX Pod Competition organized yearly by visionary Elon Musk in Los Angeles against other teams from all over the world compete with their innovative vehicles to achieve the highest speed in a one-kilometer vacuum tube. Unfortunately, this year the team experienced a set-back as the competition would not take place. Hence, they decided to break their record on their own open-air ‘Long Test Track’ in Hilversum.

Within a one-kilometer distance in near-vacuum, aerodynamics are of lesser importance but with the focus shift of the team towards testing at sea-level atmospheric conditions, its significance increased drastically. Therefore, the team decided on designing and producing the aerodynamic shell. The designers and engineers of the team developed several versions for such a shell. Nevertheless, these had to be investigated aerodynamically using a computational fluid dynamic analysis software. Delft Hyperloop turned to Siemens for their in-depth experience with CFD analyses providing the team with valuable software packages aiding the use for the CFD program Star-CCM+. After thorough analysis the design was determined paving the path for the next step: the production process.

The user-interface friendly software enabled the possibility of quick and fast analysis of different models. Next to the computational speed, the accuracy of the results were trustworthy. The simulation software offers an efficient and accurate set of fluid dynamics models and solvers with superb parallel performance and scalability providing the possibility for in depth analysis, also in the case of near-vacuum for the generalize hyperloop principle. The collaboration with Siemens and Delft Hyperloop on CFD analysis proves its application in the advancement of the innovative transportation mode, the Hyperloop.