Editor’s Pick: Extending popular open source CFD platform

ESI Group says OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve “anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to acoustics, solid mechanics and electromagnetics.” 

ESI Group says OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve “anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to acoustics, solid mechanics and electromagnetics.” 

The free, open source Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software OpenFOAM is used by a wide variety of science and engineering professionals. Image courtesy of ESI Group.


ESI Group makes available OpenFOAM v2106, the biannual update of the popular free and open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. ESI Group says this update extends a wide variety of features throughout the program. 

OpenFOAM is managed by OpenCFD, a wholly owned subsidiary of ESI Group. The company describes the mission of OpenCFD as sustaining the future of OpenFOAM “as a highly functional, freely available and open source CFD software.” The company sees OpenFOAM as a “long-term and viable complement to CFD codes, which are constrained by license costs and multi-user, multi-processor cost inflation.” 

ESI Group says OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve “anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to acoustics, solid mechanics and electromagnetics.” 

ESI Group, through its OpenCFD subsidiary, has enhanced OpenFOAM in seven categories. 

Here are some specifics: 

Solvers and physical models: 

●      New overset solvers 

●      Improved Multiphase solver 

●      New solar load model 

●      New turbulence field estimation

●      New layer addition/removal features 

●      Improved Ranz-Marshall model 

●      New multi-motion support for overset

●      Improved finite area parallel support 

Boundary conditions: 

Improved LES inflow Divergence Free Synthetic Eddy Method conditions 

●      Improved jump conditions 

●      New permeable conditions for multiphase flows 

Post-processing: 

●      New function objects for “multiRegion” and “multiFieldValve”

●      Improved function object for “momentumError”

●      Improved “Reynolds” and “Nusselt” number cloud function objects 

●      New heat transfer coefficient cloud function object

●      Improved Dynamic Mode Decomposition (DMD) tools

●      Improved distanceSurface sampled surface

●      Improved ParaView tools

Parallel: 

●      New AMI support for local worlds

●      New Finite Area parallel operations

●      Improved start-up time

●      Improved redistributePar performance

●      Improved decomposePar utility

Usability: 

●      Improved OpenFOAM packaging 

●      Improved parsing of scalars and labels

●      Improved command-line handling of filenames

●      Improved Function1, PatchFunction1 specification

●      New Compiler Support

●      Improved build-versioning

●      Improved portability

●      Improved standardization

OpenFOAM is distributed under the GPL license. It is available as a source code package, and as pre-compiled binary packages for the following platforms:

●      Ubuntu Linux: packaged installation for Ubuntu 18.04 20.04 20.10 21.04

●      openSUSE Linux: packaged installation for Leap15.2, Leap15.3

●      Redhat Linux variants: packaged installation for CentOS 7, 8 and Fedora 33

Windows users have three options for pre-compiled packages:

●      Using Windows Subsystem for Linux (Ubuntu, centos or openSUSE packs)

●      Native executables with cross-compiled

●      A docker installation

Mac OSX users have the option to compile from source, or use Docker containers for pre-compiled packages (more information).

This upgrade to OpenFOAM is now available for download here. 

Many members of the OpenFOAM community have uploaded tutorial and explanation videos to YouTube. For a list, click here. 

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