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Introduction

blueCFD®-AIR is a brand new application that allows a more efficient application of CFD to problems in buildings and structures. AEC professionals thus gain access to an easy to use and highly precise tool, to aid in the analysis of one or several design alternatives.

Currently it supports two geometry input file formats:

  • gbXML (Green Building XML): These files are usually generated by CAD and BIM applications, as well as other LEED applications that use gbXML for building and energy information exchange. For this format, a plug-in is provided for Autodesk® Revit®.

  • STL (Stereolithography): This file format is used for providing both the geometry and how the surfaces relate to each room in the building. To make it easier to generate files in this format, an easy export-and-open plug-in for SketchUp is provided.

The CFD capabilities used by blueCFD-AIR are provided by blueCFD-Core, which is a high quality cross-compiled build version of OpenFOAM®; the possibility to couple to other software like STAR-CCM+® is planned for future versions of the software.

  • OpenFOAM® is a free open source CFD software package produced by a commercial company, OpenCFD Ltd. This offering is not approved or endorsed by OpenCFD Ltd (ESI Group), the producer of the OpenFOAM software and owner of the OPENFOAM® and OpenCFD® trade marks.

  • STAR-CCM+® is a comprehensive engineering simulation software (featuring CFD solvers) and is produced by CD-adapco™.

  • AUTODESK and REVIT are registered trademarks of AutoDesk, Inc.

  • SketchUp is a registered trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited.

 

Features

In blueCFD®-AIR are currently provided the following features:

  • Simple work-flow for simulating incompressible fluid flow inside rooms and buildings, including:

    • Import building models from the following formats:

    • Defining the boundary conditions;

    • Mesh generation;

    • Setting up and running the simulation.

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  • Automatic and manual post-processing of the simulation results, without the need for 3rd party applications.

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  • Simulate the age of air within rooms and buildings.

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  • On-demand creation of a summarized report of the performed simulation and its results in HTML format.

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  • Among the advanced features are the residual plots and configuring the mesh generation.

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  • Runs in the most common Windows Operating Systems, for both 32 and 64 bit platforms on x86 processor architectures.

With blueCFD-AIR are also provided the following plug-ins:

  • An easy export-and-open plug-in for Autodesk® Revit®, which relies on the file format gbXML.

  • An easy export-and-open plug-in for SketchUp, which relies on the file format STL.

The following features are planned for the periodic releases of blueCFD-AIR until the next major version 2.00:

  • Buoyancy flows (implemented as of 1.03).

  • Extended range of boundary conditions (ongoing).

  • Higher degree of customization (ongoing).

  • Simulate fluid flow outside of buildings (technology preview since 1.03).

  • Run on any Linux distribution and on Mac OS X (sometime in the near future).

The release notes for blueCFD-AIR 1.04 are provided here.

Please take a look at our development roadmap for further information on this topic. If you have an opinion regarding this development roadmap we are keen on hearing it, so, please, do feel free to get back in touch. Last but not least, we are open to sponsoring opportunities that may result in a reshuffle of the development roadmap so that the feature that interests you more, gets released sooner rather than later.

 

How to Buy

blueCFD®-AIR is available with the following licenses, all of which require registration on our website:

  • 1 year subscription, available for 400 USD per machine (plus any tax/shipping fees if applicable; dollar-equivalent in other currencies) for early adopters. This offer ends with the release of blueCFD-AIR 2.00, even though the license will remain valid until the end of said year and will thus grant access to updates, bug-fixes and training materials released until then.

    • How to acquire: please use the contact form.

    • Payment method: can be done through PayPal or Bank transfer.

    • Volume licensing is available.

    • Free for academic use, as long as users register with an email address from their academic institution.

  • FREE Trial mode where, for a period of 30 days, you can use all features that blueCFD-AIR provides. Please use the contact form for requesting a trial license.

  • FREE Limited Trial mode, which can be used anywhere, but only allows the use of one model (TRIAL). Loading of saved projects is also not allowed.

 

System Requirements

Minimum requirements:

System Characteristic 32-bit 64-bit

Microsoft Windows versions

XP or 7

XP or 7 (both 64-bit)

Linux based Distributions (in 2014)

-

-

Mac OS X (contact us)

-

-

Processor

Single-Core 1.0 GHz

Single-Core 1.0 GHz

Memory (GB)

1

2

Approximated cell count limit

500000

1000000

Maximum estimated indoor volume

(m3, medium refinement)

250

500

Graphics (MB)

(w/ OpenGL through hardware)

128

256

Hard Drive (MB)

150

180

 

Suggested workstation characteristics:

System Characteristic 32-bit 64-bit

Microsoft Windows versions

XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1

Server editions: 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2

XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1

Server editions: 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2

Linux based Distributions (in 2014)

-

-

Mac OS X (contact us)

-

-

Processor

Dual-Core 3.0 GHz

Quad-Core 2.5 GHz

Memory (GB)

21

8

Approximated cell count limit

1500000

7000000

Maximum estimated indoor

(m3, medium refinement)

750

3500

Graphics (MB)

(w/ OpenGL through hardware)

256

1024

Hard Drive (MB)

150

180

Legend:

1 2GB is the maximum for any application in 32bit.

 

 
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