Modelling and Simulation

Computational Fluid Dynamics


One of the most important applications of computing in engineering is the computation of fluid flow around a body, such as a car, a plane or a wind turbine. Understanding how to promote smooth (laminar) flow and how to avoid chaotic (turbulent) flow is the key to developing energy-efficient solutions. This is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

This project is a feasibility study where you will answer the question 'Is it feasible to run CFD for meaningful problems on a workstation PC or gaming laptop?'. You will research open-source CPD packages, such as 'LilyPad' (2D using the Processing IDE) or NVIDIA 'Flow' (3D which I guess uses the GPU, and binds to the UE4 engine).

You will use your research to deploy one or more CFD packages, and select one or more problems to implement. This could be the flow of air around an aerofoil (plane wing of wind-turbine blade), or something more complex.

Your primary data will be outputs from the CPD simulations, which you will compare qualitatively or quantitatively with results published in journal articles and standard texts.


Wind Farm Simulation

Wind Turbine

In this project you will code a simulation of a wind turbine which adapts to the current wind speed in order to achieve optimal performance. This is achieved by varying the generator load on the turbine, and adjusting the pitch of the blades for higher speeds. You will model the CART-3 research turbine from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, details and tons of data are available for this turbine. You will verify your model against published research.

Primary data will be collected from the simulation which will be compared with published data. The second phase of the project will look at investigating the layout of wind farms. Here you will change the spacing of the turbines and their geometrical layout, and measure the farm efficiency as these are varied.


Cloud Simulator

Design, Build, Test a Cloud Simulator.

Description: This is a design-build-test project to produce a piece of software using a language of your choice that simulates the visual appearance of clouds in real-time.

Key challenges: study and understand state-of-the-art techniques for simulating the appearance of clouds in real-time, then implement one of them and test that it works (the test needs to verify that the code works and that the intended model used is actually implemented).  This would be a challenging project.

Although the artefact (ie your software prototype) will be a key deliverable, we will also need to see:

  • a requirements specification and plan, developed through background research/study and discussions with your supervisor
  • a detailed and reasoned software design, showing how the model is interpreted into code
  • a development plan/log based on the above design (it is normal practice for a design to evolve throughout the development process, especially if using an agile approach)
  • a test strategy and log, showing the planned approach to verification and the results of your tests.