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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software from ANSYS provides detailed flow predictions for equipment design, troubleshooting, and scale up. Using FLUENT software helps to understand and optimize the fluid mechanics that drive mixing, separation, heat transfer, chemical reactions and related operations in your process. The integration of the FLUENT CFD package with Aspentech’s process simulator Aspen Plus enables the use of CFD models as a blocks in an Aspen Plus flowsheet. APECS has also been demonstrated with other CO-compliant process simulators including Aspen HYSYS and gPROMS.

Benefits achieved

APECS provides significant benefits for the improvement of processes for the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and power industries. Process simulation can now be performed with more accurate models using consistent physical properties and reaction kinetics. Further, the detailed analysis of equipment using CFD technology provided by ANSYS now includes the process context including recycles and simplifies the collaboration of CFD and process analysts. APECS can automate the creation of reduced-order models (ROMs) from a set of CFD cases to provide an accurate yet efficient representation of equipment performance in the process flowsheet. By combining and blending the strengths of multiple methods, APECS manifests the concept of “hybrid simulation”, providing analysts more flexibility in the trade-off between model fidelity and computational cost.

APECS has been developed since 2001 under funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The combined FLUENT/Aspen Plus solution was successfully applied at ALSTOM Power for the modeling of conventional coal power plant as well as for a natural gas combined cycle power plant. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory is using integrated simulations to analyze zero-emission power systems that involve IGCC technology.