Alexandra Foley | August 21, 2013

Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are semiconductor devices that directly convert solar energy into electricity or voltage using the photovoltaic effect. These PV cells are more commonly known as solar cells, or solar panels, and in 2012 they produced roughly 93 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity — enough energy to power over 20 million homes. Because the cells must be directly exposed to the sun’s rays, they are housed outdoors where the panels are affected by the elements. Therefore, the cells must […]

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Valerio Marra | July 2, 2013

Of all boats, I find sailboats to be the most fascinating, especially when sails are their only means of propulsion. Kinetic energy is transferred from the wind to the sails, which results in a lift force that balances drag forces and allows the sailboat to move through the water. We are all familiar with the parts of a boat above the waterline: deck, spars, sails, and the rudder used to turn the boat (figure 1c). Not everyone pays attention to […]

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Alexandra Foley | June 17, 2013

The fact that oil and water don’t mix is something that you are probably all familiar with. At one point or another, you’ve most likely noticed what happens when you shake a bottle of say, Italian salad dressing, and the liquids mix momentarily, only to become separated again within seconds as oil bubbles rise to the surface. Creating a simulation describing how these two immiscible fluids interact is a great way to introduce computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applied to two-phase […]

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Jennifer Segui | April 11, 2013

If you enjoy ketchup with your food, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced what we’ll call here the all-or-nothing ketchup quandary. You know, that moment when you reach for a new glass bottle of ketchup, remove the cap, and turn the bottle practically upside down — and then nothing happens. Intuitively you shake or tap the bottle, and then suddenly your food is completely coated in ketchup (unless your reflexes are really good, of course). In this blog post we […]

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Alexandra Foley | March 8, 2013

Water purification is the process by which chemicals, contaminants, and sediments are removed from dirty water to make it clean, and there are many processes through which this can be done. What you might not know, is that ozone molecules can be used as a means of disinfection in the purification process. “Ozonation” has been used to purify water, kill germs and bacteria in food, and even get rid of bad smells. Not only does ozonation provide clean water without […]

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Fanny Littmarck | January 7, 2013

If I asked you to envision a wind turbine, odds are you’d picture a wind farm in some remote location. With good reason; that’s commonly where they are found. If you’re a student or faculty of Case Western Reserve University, on the other hand, you might think of the wind turbine you have on campus. Does it make sense to set up wind turbines in urban settings? These two researchers suggest that it does.

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Fanny Littmarck | November 12, 2012

December of 1903 marked the commencement of the Age of Powered Flight, and the Wright brothers went down in history. This was a time before personal computers and simulation software existed. Determining the optimal design of their airplane had to be done using physical prototypes and real-life experiments. What had the design looked like if the Wright brothers had been able to use computers and modeling software? Three researchers from Pennsylvania State University sought to find out how the design […]

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Fanny Littmarck | October 17, 2012

About a month ago we had a webinar on CFD, and one of the demonstrated examples was the modeling of fluid flow from an inkjet. This technology has many applications and is a great example of how accurate CFD simulation is being used in the design process.

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Cinzia Iacovelli | August 17, 2012

During a recent Heat Transfer Simulations webinar we demonstrated some good examples using “everyday life” type scenarios. Heat transfer occurs in many situations indeed: potatoes cooking in the microwave, hot coffee in a cup, and on the beach, with solar radiation. And most of us have at some point boiled water to make pasta for dinner. Heat transfer is at work then too.

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Valerio Marra | July 19, 2012

Remember those retro desk ornaments of the 1960’s, those lamps filled with colorful wax that began to move when the lamp was lit? I’m talking about lava lamps, or as I like to call them, “Rayleigh–Taylor instability machines”. They may not be popular among today’s youth, but I still own one and I thought it would be interesting to look beyond the dyed blobs of wax and observe the physics involved in lava lamps.

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