Among the many skills of Enel Research, computational fluids dynamics analysis is among the most complicated for the layman. Bringing together efficiency and innovation, CFD is a calculation system used in fields ranging from construction to the naval industry, automobile manufacturing and the biomedical and chemical sectors, as well as in environmental studies.
The concept of fluids mechanics might sound like a paradox. Anyone would think that only magicians could be capable of predicting the behaviour of moving fluids, but CFD is used both by NASA to launch its space shuttles and by automotive manufacturers to build car engines. And Enel's research centre in Pisa has for decades been a leader in the study of CFD.
The centre has since the '80s specialised in CFD analysis applied to electricity generation plants, predicting in order to innovate and improve. By using algorithms within complex software and calculators that can simultaneously perform a huge number of operations, Enel's CFD models help predict the behaviour of fluids in order to make the best use of energy sources, improve the performance of thermoelectric and renewable facilities and identify new solutions for geothermal wells, coal plant flue ducts and gas-powered turbines' combustion systems.
Enel Research was rewarded for its excellence in CFD at the Ansys user meeting 2014, an international event that brings together representatives from industries using CFD. The award was given to Enel for the work carried out by the research centre in Pisa, whose models improved the efficiency of the thermal electric power plant in La Spezia, the hydrogen-powered Fusina facility and some of Enel Green Power's geothermal wells. In the age of Big Data, the two decades of experience in CFD models honed by Enel Research is testament to a leadership in innovation that is set to move into an even brighter future.