Application Note: Adaptation
Survival of the fittest is a mechanism that drives adaptation to changing conditions. Those changes that prosper under new conditions and opportunities are propagated to future generations. The same can be said of software, which must adapt to the changing needs of its users or risk being cast aside.
This process of adaptation is easy to recognize in the most recent release of FLOW-3D, Version 8.1. Users pushed for faster solutions, smaller file sizes, better three-dimensional graphics, and many other features. We are proud to announce that all of these requests have been addresses in the latest release.
Parallelization of the program has been carried out to take advantage of machines
having more than one processor. This is the biggest changes in transitioning
from Version 8.0 to Version 8.1. The speed up that is realized in a computation
by using the parallel processors depends on the specific problem, but in general
it is greatest for large three-dimensional simulations. Users may select the
number of processors to be employed through the "preferences" option
on the main FLOW-3D window.
Other adaptations to customer requests include a capability to write a compressed version of the output file, when the size of the un-compressed file is expected to be very large. An estimate of the un-compressed output file size is given by the preprocessor so that a user can make the decision to do compression before starting his computation. Another useful feature is complete on-line documentation, including the theory manual.
As always, every new release contains new physical models. In this instance, we have added such things as a more general unsaturated flow model, a temperature-dependent cavitation model, and phase changes at two-fluid (liquid-vapor) interfaces.
Users will find significantly improved visualization capabilities in the latest version of FLOW-VU. This and other new features are covered in more detail elsewhere in this Newsletter.
Continuing education to user needs is what drives the evolution of FLOW-3D toward a fitter, more desirable, and increasingly useful analysis tool.