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March 2014
The Flow
CFD Insights for the Turbomachinery Designer
INSIGHT: Utilizing ADS 6.0 for Gas Turbine Design
This month, ADS announced availability of its latest product, the ADS Foil Designer, a significant addition to the ADS software lineup. Now, ADS users can design high performance airfoils within the ADS Workbench and analyze them in minutes.  In this months issue, veteran turbomachinery design consultant, Fred Kopper, who has over 40 years experience designing engines for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries, was a beta user of ADS Release 6.0 and agreed to talk with The Flow about his experience. 
FLOW: Can you describe the project that you used ADS Release 6.0 on?
 Recently, I was involved in the aerodynamic design of a multi-stage low-pressure turbine for an aero engine.  Our company is a small one, and we needed computer codes that could handle the aggressive design requirements.
FLOW: What kind of design requirements did you have?
 Well we needed to be able to design and analyze high performance airfoil sections, stack them to create 3D airfoils, perform 3D viscous analysis of each row and then optimize the entire multi-stage turbine.  This needed to be done within a short design cycle.  I’ve worked for large OEMs in the past and we needed that kind of horsepower but at a price that was affordable.
FLOW: Sounds like a significant challenge for a small company. How did you come to a decision to use ADS?
 I’m familiar with many CFD products both commercial and proprietary, and to me ADS’ CFD software was as good as anything out there.  I would say the accuracy of the computations was most impressive, but when combined with the airfoil designer and integrated into workbench, the simulation turnaround time really shines.  Normally I wouldn’t think it possible for a team of our size to do the work of an OEM without the infrastructure, but with ADS software and support, we were able to take on that challenge.
FLOW: You mentioned that you needed an OEM’s infrastructure.  Is that just software?
  By infrastructure, I mean software, computing hardware, and most importantly it is trained people.  You need all three to be successful.  The training requirements for CFD software are very important, and ADS impresses there as well.  For a new person to the field with a solid technical background, learning to use ADS should not present any problem. This was demonstrated by a young engineer working with me on the project who came up to speed very quickly.
FLOW: You answered the training question, but how about solving the computer hardware issue?
   Right, well most of the design cycles we run are 2D and require no more than a laptop to run.  But as we started to do iterative 3D design and multi-stage analysis, if we want to get more throughput than our laptops could handle, we have the ability to go to the cloud and get that resource and pay by the hour.  It is much cheaper than having to own and operate our own compute cluster and I get the turnaround time I require. 
FLOW: Sounds like the team will be able to take on alot.  
Yes, for such a design you need a sophisticated code and there are few options out there.  ADS Release 6.0 is an affordable solution that provides me with the confidence to take on a challenging designs.
FLOW: Thanks for your time, Fred.
My pleasure.
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PRODUCT: The ADS Foil Designer
The ADS Foil Designer is our parametric airfoil design module that is able to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional axial turbine and compressor stages as well as 3D radial turbines and impellers.   The ADS Foil Designer was developed to exist in the tight design loop.  This improved efficiency results in more design iterations, higher confidence and better designs. <more>
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