Research Topics : Fluid Mechanics
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
The research group is since more than 30 year active in the field of CFD.
This has also led to the creation of a spin-off company NUMECA Int.
Current CFD research focuses on algorithmic developments for schemes and
solvers as well as Large Eddy Simulation and its application in different
fields such as computational aeroacoustics, combustion, biological flows,
sedimentation problems, etc. In the framework of RANS the focus is on
non-deterministic methodologies based on polynomial chaos.
- Non-deterministic methods:
- NODESIM-CFD - Non-deterministic simulation for CFD-based Design Methodologies.
Period: 01/09/2006 - 31/08/2009. Financing:
- Biological Flows:
- ASiLung - Towards Air-Breathing Simulations in Realistic Tracheobronchial
Geometries of the Normal and the Diseased Lung.
Period: 01/01/2009-31/12/2012. Financing: Concerted Research Action
Functional imaging using computer methods to predict the effect of thoracic
surgery and endoscopic volume reduction on post-intervention long volumes.
Period: 1/10/2009-1/4/2011. Financing: IWT TBM (Applied Biomedical Research).
Towards the development of clinical aerosol applications based on
multidisciplinary numerical-experimental analysis of air- and aerosol flows in the upper airways.
Period: 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2006 and 1/10/2007-31/9/2009.
Financing: Horizontal Research Action.
Medical aerosols : characterisation of aerosol tranport by the upper airway structures.
Period: 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2005 Financing: FWO project.
- Computational Aeroacoustics:
- Turbulent Combustion:
- Simulation of non-premixed turbulent combustion with CMC models in combination with LES.
Period:01/01/07 - 31/12/2010. Financing: FWO (Flemish Science Foundation).
Large Eddy Simulation for multiphase flows and complex physics flows with emphasis on combustion applications.
Period:01/01/2002 - 31/12/2005. Financing: FWO project.
Numerical study and application of non-premixed turbulent combustion with LES techniques.
Period:01/10/2002 - 30/09/2006. Financing: FWO aspirant fellowship.
- Development of simulation models for two-phase flows on geophysical scale
with application to sediment transport in estuaria and coastal zones.
Period: 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007. Financing: FWO project.
The Department has been active in wind energy for many years and has developed and designed vertical and horizontal
wind turbines. Also, we have been instrumenting and measuring many large scale industrial wind turbines ranging from 50 kW up to 2000 kW.
In addition various computer programmes for the static and dynamic behaviour of Wind Turbines have been developed.
Recent research focuses on the simulation of wind conditions on rough
terrains and on the optimization of wind parks.
The department has 2 windtunnels and both a LDA and a PIV non-intrusive
measurement system. This infrastructure is, apart for educational purposes,
used for wind engineering studies which are mostly upon request of industry.
Recent studies were done for Northern Manuport NV, Renson, Atlas Copco.
|Low speed tunnel for industrial aerodynamics
(length 12m, test section 2m x 1m)
|Experimental tunnel for turbulence research
with a deformable upper wall
(length 8m, test section 1.4m x 0.4m)
|Laser Doppler System with Test Bench and
Axial Test Pump in Test Bench with LDS probe
Research Topics : Thermodynamics
Energy technology assesment
The group has been involved in technology assessment studies since 1991,
with different studies regarding future energy production in Belgium (federal government),
and renewable energy more in particular (Electrabel, Flemish government, federal AMPERE end ENERGY 2030 commissions).
Recently, assessment of liquid biofuels is initiated through a federal project in cooperation with UCL and 3E engineering.
Second law analysis
An original two step design procedure for power cycles has been developed and succesfully applied
to evaporative gas turbine cycles (REVAP®), CO2 semi-closed cycles, cycles with chemical recovery,
and more recently on the inclusion of biomass in natural gas combined cycles through indirect steam reforming (patent pending).
Inclusion of chemical reactors in pinch analysis has been developed and applied in the chemical looping gas turbine cycles.
Energy from biomass
With support from the EC, the Flemish Government (VLIET) and the region of Brussels,
a 500 kWe biomass power plant has been built on the VUB University campus.
The plant aimed at demonstrating the external firing of a product gas from
biomass gasification in a gas turbine. It has been operated successfully till 1996.
A small scale cyclone type biomass combustor is currently under development,
aiming at combustion of small granulometries and low emissions (twister).
As a result from external combustion activity, a new cycle layout has been
proposed to replace 5% of natural gas in combined cycles power plants, without
major loss in efficiency (patent pending). A proof of concept is under development on a 100kWe scale in the lab.
Fundamental work in the field of
combustion consists in the modeling of emissions with emphasis on nitrogen oxides.
Starting from detailed kinetic modeling improved engineering correlations are searched
which should predict tendencies in emissions, in function of major combustion parameters.
This work occurs in parallel with detailed experiments a
flat adiabatic flame burner where flame speed, temperature and composition are measured.