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How to validate the results of CFD

This presents an overview of the process of the verification and validation of
computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The overall objective is to
demonstrate the accuracy of CFD codes so that they may be used with confidence
for aerodynamic simulation and that the results be considered credible for decision
making in design.
One should first understand the distinctions between a code, simulation, and model.
The formal definitions of these terms are defined on the page entitled Glossary of
Verification and Validation Terms. Essentially, one implements a model into a
computer code and then uses the code to perform a CFD simulation which yield
values used in the engineering analysis. Verification and validation examines the
errors in the code and simulation results.
Credibility is obtained by demonstrating acceptable levels of uncertainty and error.
A discussion of the uncertainties and errors in CFD simulations is provided on the
page entitledUncertainty and Error in CFD Simulations. The levels of uncertainties
and errors are determined through verification assessment and validation
Verification assessment determines if the programming and computational
implementation of the conceptual model is correct. It examines the mathematics in
the models through comparison to exact analytical results. Verification assessment
examines for computer programming errors.
Validation assessment determines if the computational simulation agrees with
physical reality. It examines the science in the models through comparison to
experimental results.
There is professional disagreement on exact procedures for verification and
validation of CFD simulations. CFD is maturing, but still an emerging technology.
CFD is a complex technology involving strongly coupled non-linear partial
differential equations which attempt to computationally model theoretical and
experimental models in a discrete domain of complex geometric shape.
A detailed assessment of errors and uncertainties has to concern itself with the
three roots of CFD: theory, experiment, and computation. Further, the application of
CFD is rapidly expanding with the growth in computational resources.
Verification and validation are on-going activities due to the complex nature of the
CFD codes and expanding range of possible applications. Some basic verfication
should be done prior to release of a code and basic validation studies should be
performed on classes of flow features prior to use of the code for similar flows.
However, as the code continues to develop, verification and validation should

CFD Workflow : Interpreting Results

There are many powerful visualization tools in Autodesk Simulation CFD to help us
interpret our CFD simulation results, and to make decisions for modifying the design
based on the results. These tools allow us to look at different variables in numerous
ways to best understand the behavior of the fluid flow.

A study of a pump showing the flow field colored by velocity, which can be easily
inspected to look for altered flow characteristics

Simulation CFD contains a wide assortment of tools to display your simulation

results. These include Results Planes, Particle Traces, Iso Surfaces, and XY Plots. You
can plot myriad output quantities including velocity, pressure, and temperature.
Additionally, Simulation CFD contains several tools for extracting results at finite
points, through two-dimensional cross-sections, on wall surfaces, and on individual
Because solving a single simulation is typically just the first step, Simulation CFD
contains a comprehensive set of tools for comparing results from multiple
simulations. These tools provide the ability to extract data from specific locations
and compare them side by side in a clean, user-friendly environment. We can also
compare graphical data from multiple simulations either side-by-side or by flipping
between results. However we choose to compare our results, Simulation CFD
ensures that we have the information we need to make informed, substantive
design decisions.

Using Verification and Validation Techniques to

Evaluate the Accuracy of CFD Results:
Verification and validation (as known as "V & V") is a huge topic on which, literally,
whole books have been written. These days, production CFD solvers are large and
complex, so we can count on bugs being in there somewhere. If that's the case, how
can one evaluate the accuracy of CFD results?
We can't check everything, but don't let that discourage, we don't have to check
everything. There are many steps which we can take to assure ourself that the CFD
solver we are using is capable of giving us the results we need at the fidelity our
While many of these techniques can be applied to any solver, some of them require
access to the source code and a compiler (or two). If we are using a solver that does
not come with the source code, just skip over these techniques.

we may be thinking that this is not something that you as a user of CFD need to
worry about. If so, I encourage all to read more on the importance of verification
and validation . The road to CFD hell is paved with the bones of careless CFD
users...or something like that.

With that out of the way, our first stop deals with the dangers of compiler errors. .
This is an area that most CFD users never worry about, but it has caused me
problems more than once. CFD solvers are complex collections of software iterating
on equations which describe dynamic non-linear systems. It doesn't take much of an
error to produce a wildly divergent result sometimes.
Another powerful tool in the CFD verification and validation toolkit is theMethod of
Manufactured Solutions (MMS). In fact, the line plot above is from an MMS
application where the solver in question had a coding error. This error was not
apparent from just looking at the results of regular applications. Using MMS,
however, it was possible to not only determine that it was present, but also that it
was something about one of the boundaries that was causing the problem.