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STAR-CCM+ and the Cervélo S5
Posted Mon March 19, 2012 @03:02PM
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Application As anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle on a windy day will testify, aerodynamics play a huge role in cycling. Perhaps more than any other sport, top-level cycling is dominated by aerodynamics. Drag makes up 80-90% of the resistance experienced by an average rider on a flat road. 80% of this drag is due to the rider, with the remaining 20% down to the bicycle itself.

Since 1995, Cervélo’s mission has been to produce lighter, stronger and more aerodynamic cycles using the most advanced technology in both engineering and manufacturing, with the aim of helping their customers win races.


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The S5 is the most advanced aerodynamic road bicycle ever developed by Cervélo. Inspired by the demands of the world’s top pro riders, the S5 deploys everything Cervélo has learned in 16 years of aerodynamic design and is based on extensive wind tunnel testing and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation.

In a new video, we take a look behind the scenes and examine the extensive role that CD-adapco’s CFD tool, STAR-CCM+ played in the design and testing of the S5, backed with extensive computer resources provided by Intel and R Systems. Cervélo’s engineers carefully simulated each component on the S5, looking for ways to minimize aerodynamic drag. Each small reduction in drag allows the cyclist to ride faster for the given energy expenditure – which over the course of a race can deliver the vital seconds that turn failure into victory.

Designed around the principle of automation, the overriding goal of STAR-CCM+ is to empower engineers, like those at Cervélo, to concentrate on engineering analysis, freeing them from the repetitive routine tasks traditionally associated with preparing and running simulations. This cooperative and integrated approach allowed Cervélo engineers to focus their time on generating a constant stream of useful information to guide the design process, ultimately resulting in faster, more innovative, and better engineered bicycles which get to market first.

In the design of the S5, Cervélo ran simulations using the STAR-CCM+ Power-on-Demand licensing scheme on R Systems HPC resources powered by multi-core Intel processors. STAR-CCM+ Power-on-Demand allows users to run STAR-CCM+ simulations using an on-demand cloud computing service such as that available at R Systems.

“CD-adapco’s philosophy is Engineering Success,” said Bill Clark, Senior VP Operations. “Cervélo is a perfect example of this: turning engineering success into sporting success by using STAR-CCM+ to design the most innovative cycles in the peloton.”

About CD-adapco
CD-adapco (www.cd-adapco.com) is the world's largest independent CFD focused CAE provider. Our core products are the technology-leading simulation packages, STAR-CCM+ and STAR-CD. The scope of our activities, however, extends well beyond CFD software development to encompass a wide range of CAE engineering services in fluid dynamics, heat transfer and structural engineering. Our ongoing mission is to "inspire innovation and reduce costs through the application of engineering simulation software and services." A privately owned company, CD-adapco has maintained 17% organic year-on-year growth over the last 5 years. CD-adapco employs over 550 talented individuals, working at 21 different offices across the globe.

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