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OpenFOAM CFD Toolbox V1.3 Released
Posted Fri March 31, 2006 @08:44AM
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News OpenCFD are pleased to announce the release of version 1.3 of their OpenFOAM open source CFD toolbox. OpenFOAM uses finite volume numerics to solve systems of partial differential equations ascribed on any 3D unstructured mesh of polyhedral cells.

Version 1.3 contains numerous developments aimed towards improving the efficiency and robustness of OpenFOAM for large-scale engineering CFD.


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Significant developments include:
  • Improved parallel running
    Parallel running of OpenFOAM has been improved significantly with: easy implementation of integral boundary conditions, e.g. fixed mass flow rate; faster performance of the parallelised AMG solver; faster parallel communications.
  • Increased speed
    Significant improvements in speed and memory storage through careful code optimisation.
  • Better numerics
    Several discretisation schemes have been added for better accuracy and better stability on "bad" (e.g. tetrahedral) meshes.
  • Single precision option
    OpenFOAM can be switched from double to single precision for all floating point numbers to reduce memory requirements, e.g. for large steady-state external aerodynamics calculations (F1).
  • OpenMPI
    Support for and shipped with OpenMPI (although still released compiled with lam-MPI by default).

The other main changes have been predominately driven by commercial demand and comprise of the following:

  • Development tools
    New, automatic stack trace on code abort; optional initialisation of dynamically allocated memory to trap use of uninitialised floating point variables; processor-labelled error messages for easier debugging.
  • Application development
    The developments of the solvers centre around low and high speed aerodynamics, heat transfer and buoyancy-driven flows. There are many new utilities, particularly for mesh conversion/manipulation and post-processing.
  • Mesh handling
    There has a major reorganisation and development of mesh structures to improve capability for generation, topological change, sliding interfaces, etc.
  • Switchable base system of units
    Physical constants are no longer hard-coded but read in from file enabling the use of a different base system of units from the default (SI).
  • Changes to models
    There are some changes in particular relating to wall functions of turbulence models.
  • Library restructure
    The finite volume method is separated from the main library so that other discretisation techniques may be easily supported; libraries have been reordered to prevent cyclic dependencies.
  • Compiler
    Released compiled with GCC 4.1, a version with superior optimisation, better adherence to the C++ standard and improved error messaging; support for the Intel C++ 9.0 compiler.

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