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How to Model Fluid Flow Systems:

Computational Fluid Dynamics versus Fluid System Simulation

Purpose and Scope

In engineering, the introduction of complexity for its own sake rarely has virtue. This is especially true in the simulation of fluid flow, as complex flows are commonplace in engineering systems, and the temptation to model flow regimes in all their most general three-dimensional (3D) detail may seem difficult to resist. Yet there may be quicker, more costYeffective ways to meet project objectives, and, if so, the project workflow would almost certainly benefit from the early availability of results and consequentially reduced analysis costs. With the appropriate decisions, analysis quality and accuracy may even be enhanced. These guidelines aim to help practicing engineers decide what type of flow simulation tool to use, and when to use it.

The advantages and disadvantages of 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods are compared with one-dimensional (1D) System Simulation methods. Each type of method has its strengths and weaknesses. Neither is 'better' nor 'worse' than the other, but one may be more appropriate for a given task than the other. In some cases, the judicious use of both tools may be recommended which can provide an approach which delivers the 'best of both worlds'.

In this book, guidance is provided on the selection of the right tool for the right job followed by an overview of System Simulation methods.

Intended Audience

Graduate engineers (of any seniority) who are considering the need to undertaNe some sort of flow analysis with a range of modelling tools at their disposal.


  1. Introduction 

  2. Computational Fluid Dynamics or Fluid System Simulation?

  3. Choosing the Right Method for the Right Job

  4. Using Fluid System Simulation in Practice 

  5. Case Studies

  6. Conclusions

  7. Abbreviations and Acronyms 

  8. References

Purchasing Details

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£17.5 | $23 | €20

Non-Members Price
£75 | $97 | €85
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David Kelsall
Steve Massey
David L. Hunt
Francesca Iudicello

First Published:

January 2017
Softback, 46 Pages