Simulation in the Energy Industry

Ansys FEA and CFD engineering analysis software have been widely used in all power generation applications.

Simulation Methods Advancing the Energy Industry

In addition to engineering simulation software and services, SimuTech Group is a leader in providing blade frequency testing, moment weighing, and strain gage & telemetry services to the power generation industry.




Common Power Systems

The expert team at SimuTech has extensive capabilities and experience in the design and engineering of steam turbines with Ansys CFD and FEA software for structural, thermal and fluid dynamics, as well as fatigue analysis with fe-safe.

Over more than 30 years, SimuTech Group has established itself as a leader in the steam turbine industry, specializing in physical testing services such as modal testing & MAC and blade frequency testing. Please contact us at any time to see how we can assist you.

  • Generators
  • Steam Turbines & Steam Turbine Failure
  • Heat Exchangers

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Common Power System Elements | Ansys Energy Simulation

Design Elements Challenges Simulation Benefits
Steam Turbines
  • Part life/erosion
  • Costly downtime for failed equipment
  • Thermal stresses
  • Determine and then design for likely nucleation and condensation regions
  • Maximize part life through optimizing fatigue/creep trade-offs
Motors & Generators
  • Need to dissipate large thermal loads with a minimum of parasitic power losses – rapidly achieved with Ansys Energy Simulation Software
  • Generating a clean voltage signal
  • Determine generator characteristics before creating a physical prototype:
    • Subtransient reactance
    • Open-circuit saturation curve
    • Output voltage signal harmonic distortion
    • Heat transfer in air passages
Balance of Plant:
  • Erosion/Corrosion
  • Poor performance
  • Fatigue failure
  • Maximize efficiency
  • Design for uneven flow distribution
  • Reduce erosion in virtual prototypes
Transmission Systems
  • Failures can affect thousands of customers
  • Keeping electric field strengths within specifications
  • Designing for complex failure modes
  • Simulate complex coupled physics during the design process
  • Improve safety and reliability

Coal Power Generation | Ansys Energy Simulations

Design Element Challenges Simulation Benefits
Pulverizers and Classifiers
  • Control product fineness for low carbon loss, minimal NOx
  • Balance competing forces of mill
    • Efficiency
    • Throughput
    • Power consumption
  • Reduce design time by:
    • Understanding flow patterns to improve design
    • Predicting performance and erosion behavior for varying designs
    • Predicting dynamic behavior, stress, strain for rotating parts
  • NOx reduction
  • Unburned carbon (LOI)
  • Fatigue and creep from thermal stresses in coal nozzle
  • Reduce design effort and field tests by
    • Predicting temperature, NOx, and LOI with varying fuel, load, swirl
    • Predicting thermal loads and stresses for different designs
  • Maintaining stable flame under varying load conditions
  • Pollutant formation control
  • Maintaining proper radiation and convection properties with retrofitted low NOx burners
  • Optimizing retrofitted air staging
  • Minimizing water wall corrosion
  • Designing optimal spray system for Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR)
  • Ensuring retrofit success by predicting
  • Flame shape and thermal loads
  • Impact of various air staging methods
  • Corrosion prone regions
  • SNCR local NOx reduction
  • Avoiding further downtime in a trial-and-error approach
Fluidized Beds
  • Erosion
  • Maximizing gas-solid contact
  • Avoiding channeling
  • Maximizing heat transfer to immersed tubes
  • Creep and fatigue due to thermal stresses
  • Avoid costly problems after manufacture by:
    • Predicting erosion in virtual prototypes
    • Predicting channeling problems
    • Predicting thermal stresses
  • Optimize heat transfer
  • Ensuring complete reaction
  • Varying fuels, loads
  • Thermal stresses and heat transfer
  • Carbon capture
  • Gasifier design
    • Impact of inlet positions and flow rates on performance
    • Impact of fuel changes
    • Calculate and design for scale-up effects
  • Minimizing erosion and fly-ash buildup
  • Optimizing heat transfer to incoming water
  • Determine areas of likely erosion and fly-ash buildup early in design phase
  • Make flow distribution modifications that will resolve problems before manufacture
Flue Ducts
  • Uneven flow distribution impacting pollution control equipment performance
  • Air leakage
  • Sagging and deformation
  • Optimize vanes and turns for flow distribution prior to manufacturing
  • Ensure deformations will be within limits by testing/optimizing design specs
Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems
  • Poor ammonia/NOx mixing
  • Ammonia slip
  • Hopper fly ash capture efficiency
  • Plugged catalysts
  • Thermal stresses within catalyst beds
  • Retrofit to improve poorly performing existing SCR units without resorting to a trial-and-error approach with physical prototypes. Predict:
    • Ammonia spray distribution, evaporation, and mixing
    • Flow distribution into the catalyst beds
    • Local NOx concentrations
    • Overall system performance
    • Ash and particulate distribution, and hopper performance
    • Thermal stresses
  • Reduce the design cost and increase the performance of new SCR designs
Sulfur Dioxide Scrubbers
  • Poor distribution of spray and/or flue gas
  • Designing spray nozzle placement
  • Improve retrofit and new scrubber performance by using virtual prototyping, predicting:
    • Air and spray droplet flow distribution throughout the scrubber
    • Local sulfur absoprtion and concentration
    • Droplet-wall interaction
Particulate Control
  • Short life of systems and components
  • High cleaning frequency
  • Often caused by:
    • Uneven flow distribution
    • Uneven loading of baghouses, filters, and electrostatic precipitators
  • Determine expected loadings prior to field implementation
  • Determine stresses on components
  • Use results to optimize ducts and turning vanes
  • Few shutdowns
  • Shorter cleaning frequencies
  • Longer bag and plate life

Gas Turbine Power Generation | Ansys Energy Simulations

Design Elements Challenges Simulation Benefits
Inlet Systems
  • Fogging and cooling
    • Delivering a uniform temperature to the compressor
    • Ensure complete evaporation of spray
  • Avoiding compressor fatigue caused by non-uniform air flow distribution
  • Icing of air filters
  • Design with virtual prototypes
    • Calculating motion, evaporation, mixing and thermal impact of spray
    • Simulate non-uniformities of inlet coolers or heaters
Shaft and Gear Systems
  • Ensuring rotational stability
  • Avoiding interferences caused by rotation-induced strains
  • Predict critical speeds, whirl, stability, base excitation and transient responses
  • Seamless integration between analysis and optimization tools
  • Including Design for Six-Sigma
  • Off-design performance
    • Avoiding surge over a range of power settings
    • Flow separation
    • Flow-induced vibration
  • Understand rotational and flow-induced vibration modes before building physical prototypes
  • Simple extension of quasi-1D tools to full 3D physics for design refinement
    • Turbo design environment
    • Investigation of separation and tip gap characteristics
    • Installation effects
  • Maximizing thermal energy generation while minimizing NOx and CO emissions
  • Designing liner and other components for proper thermal load
  • Thermal stresses during “staging” or at partial loads
  • Make early design changes necessary to keep creep and thermal stresses within limits under all operational conditions w Ansys Energy Simulation
  • Optimize combustion and reduce emission levels with virtual prototyping
  • Cooling blades sufficiently without sacrificing performance
  • Flexibility in design for partial power loads
  • Flow separation
  • Rotation and flow-induced vibration
  • Gas flow in secondary flow passages
  • Design for non-ideal fluid and structural effects of separation, heat transfer, and blade cooling
  • Flexibility of connecting blade passage analysis with secondary flow passages and cooling effects in a user environment geared towards turbomachinery simulation
  • Design for rotational stability
Acoustic Enclosures
  • Designing ventilation systems to avoid combustible mixtures caused by gas leaks
  • Improve safety and reduce design costs
    • Test and improve ventilation designs under various leakage conditions before manufacturing
Design Elements Challenges Simulation Benefits
  • Determining accurate seismic loads and responses
  • Providing accurate safety analyses to regulators
  • Estimating hydrogen release hazards
  • Avoid over-designing by performing accurate seismic analyses
  • Accident simulation when 1-D tools are insufficient
    • Impact of accidents on structural integrity
    • Fracture mechanics
    • Emergency core cooling system behavior
    • Showing jet-strike survivability
    • Hydrogen dispersion within containment
Coolant Pumps
  • Cavitation
  • Installation effects not taken into account by original design
  • Understanding performance in off-design (start-up and accident) conditions
  • Understand the impact of installation effects before deployment
  • Optimize performance by determining inlet and outlet flow angles and separation patterns
  • Reduce the number of hardware prototypes needed in the pump design and installation process
  • Allows parametric investigation of scale-up effects for these extremely large pumps, which is not possible through testing, but straightforward with simulation.
Reactor Pressure Vessels
  • Safety analysis for complex stratified flow
  • Code-checking for stress analysis in a timely fashion
  • Supply regulators with thermal hydraulic predictions for a wide range of LOCA scenarios
  • Stratification caused by thermal variations across cold legs
  • Use a pressure vessel design tool with built-in code checks
Fuel Assemblies
  • Designing for seismic safety without over-designing
  • Optimizing for thermal transfer in operating and LOCA conditions
  • Designing for flow-induced vibration
  • Limiting cladding fretting and wear
  • Reduce design time and physical prototypes through simulation
  • Spring design
  • Assembly seismic vibration analysis
  • Mixing vane design
  • Fluid-structure interaction simulation
  • Designing steam generation and spray cooling system for optimal responsiveness to pressure changes
  • Design time for code checks
  • Cost savings through virtual prototyping of new designs and troubleshooting for existing units
    • Heat transfer and phase change due to heating
    • Natural circulation
    • Spray distribution
    • Local condensation rates
  • Rapid vessel design with built
Steam Generators
  • Tube vibration
  • Accident analysis under natural convection conditions
  • Design for optimal heat transfer
Reduce expensive and time-consuming scaled test loop experiments

  • Investigate and optimize tube vibration sensitivity to flow conditions
  • Extend test results from experimental to full scale conditions
  • Confirm results from system level tools
  • Investigate installation effects
Passive Safety Systems
  • Inaccuracy of system-level tool safety analyses when natural circulation and mixing are fundamental to the process
  • Scale-up of parametric relationships from lab to full size
  • Gain physical insight about flow structures to guide safety system design
  • Generate new parametric relationships to embed in system-level tools
  • Extend behavior prediction from experimental to full scale conditions
Generation IV Reactors
  • Modeling high temperature gaseous flows (sometimes involving chemical reactions) with codes designed for water and steam
  • Modeling natural circulation and mixing in 1-D
  • Scale-up of parametric relationships from lab to full size
  • Model the full flow physics of gas-cooled reactors
  • Gain physical insight about flow structures to guide safety system design
  • Generate new parametric relationships to embed in system-level tools
  • Extend behavior prediction from experimental to full scale conditions
Waste Storage and Handling Meeting regulatory requirements for repositories and transport and storage devices

  • Thermal management
  • Structural impacts
Cost-efficient design and troubleshooting of storage devices and repositories to comply with regulatory requirements

  • Structural integrity during container impact
  • Cooling efficiency from forced or natural convection and conduction
  • Pool fire thermal predictions
Design Elements Challenges Simulation Benefits
Wind Power
  • Seismic load calculations and assurance
  • Fluid-structure interaction of lightweight composite structures
  • Maximizing efficiency of turbines and turbine placement
  • Generator design and analysis
  • Transmission Systems
  • Straightforward linear and non-linear vibration analysis
    • Integration with other standard tools (ASAS integration with Flex5)
  • Coupled physics for true virtual prototyping
    • Electromagnetics, thermal/structural, fluid/thermal
  • Optimize turbine output and placement
    • Wind speed prediction over complex terrain
Hydro Power
  • Turbine design
  • Minimizing flow separation in ducts under a wide range of flow rates
  • Fish protection
    • Fish-friendly turbines
    • Maximizing oxygen levels
    • Aeration
    • Fish ladders
  • Dam design
    • Seismic loads
  • Structural stability assessments
  • Understand the impact of installation effects before deployment
  • Optimize performance by determining inlet and outlet flow angles and separation patterns
  • Reduce the number of hardware prototypes needed in the pump design and installation process
  • Allows parametric investigation of scale-up effects for these extremely large pumps, which is not possible through testing, but straightforward with simulation.
Solar Power
  • Wind loads on panels and resulting vibrations
  • The search for cheaper manufacturing methods
  • Designing for thermal loads
  • Maximizing efficiency
  • Design to minimize fluid-structure interaction with virtual prototypes
  • Simulate and optimize manufacturing methods
  • Predict thermal loads to make necessary design refinements before physical prototyping
  • Maximize heat exchanger and power conversion efficiencies for solar-thermal systems
  • Understanding the impact of fuel changes
  • Slagging, fouling, and corrosion
  • Air staging and emissions control
  • Grate combustion
  • The capability to design furnaces for a variety of fuels
    • Understanding scale-up implications
  • Understand air staging implications on emissions, heat transfer and ash
    • Access to biomass combustion models
Fuel Cells
  • Channel design that optimizes distribution of oxygen (hydrogen) to the cathode (anode)
  • Water management
  • Thermal stresses and cooling plate design
  • Materials
    • High costs
    • Property variation
  • Space limitations
  • Probabilistic design in virtual prototypes
    • Design for Six Sigma
  • Minimize costly physical prototypes using analysis based on first principle physics (electrochemistry, fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, structural mechanics)