We are very excited to announce the latest development of our In-House CFD R&D program in collaboration with ODS Engineering http://www.ods-engineering.com/ enabling us to recreate fully modifiable ‘Twisted Flow’ studies in our CFD analysis software.
Wind tunnels can replicate real world aerodynamics in order to fine tune the lift and drag properties of a wing or foil etc, but in sail design, where the sail is vertically orientated it is crucial that the effect of the gradient wind (slowing of velocity due to surface friction) and its resultant apparent wind angle vectors are taken into account.
The first wind tunnel to recreate this ‘twisted airflow’ was created by the University of Auckland. This is the ultimate in wind tunnel testing for sailing yachts and is something we have been trying to recreate at Solo Sails in our computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software for the last year!
In collaboration with the CFD software provider ODS Engineering in Australia, we have now managed to create a new inlet boundary condition that is simply modifiable to a set of basic input parameters including yacht speed, true wind angle/speed and anemometer height. The software then looks up the resultant gradient wind and computes the correct input vectors to re-create the apparent twisted flow experienced in the real world.
This is a real breakthrough for us at Solo Sails in terms of analysis capability and will enable us to develop our sail designs further than ever before.