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À la carte fireplaces that are mathematically friendly to the environment

Nova: À la carte fireplaces that are mathematically friendly to the environment

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Friday 26/01/2018 10:07

Heaters, ventilation systems and stainless steel pipes integrated into the landscape paint a new landscape in energy consumption. Clean combustion has come to stay. But how can we achieve sophisticated and sustainable fireplaces? Dinak, an industry leading Galician company, uses cloud-based simulation with high performance computing as a competitive advantage. This method of advanced calculation makes it possible to design the most suitable product for each home or industry in one week, minimizing the need for physical prototypes.

Fumes released by gas heaters, wood fireplaces or malfunctioning heaters can be very dangerous. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 10,000 people suffer carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in Spain every year. Nevetheless, the control of these gases and the search for optimal ventilation, is possible. The use of state-of-the-art technology by the industry can achieve zero emissions.

What is the secret of the new fireplaces? Numerical simulation. Recreating reality using mathematical methods and powerful computers makes it possible to generate models based on a set of variables provided by the designer. The virtual recreation and representation of processes and products without the need for costly time-consuming physical prototypes has been used in industrial processes since the 1960’s.

Simulation or numerical modeling meant a revolution for industry, doing away with pencil and paper. Companies soon realized the advantage of obtaining high quality digital versions of aircraft, ships, parks, buildings or energy platforms before final construction.

In this method, the Galician company Dinak found its magic wand for manufacturing fireplaces "à la carte". They were looking for a improved competitiveness by creating the most suitable design for each home or factory based on space, measurements, appearance and quality standards. By simulating their designs using high-performance computing the company can save 50,000 euros a year and produce the final product in a week, when it used to take about a month.

The modernization of an industry

Environmental demands to achieve cleaner combustion have brought about a change of mindset in recent decades. Objective: to become more sustainable. The obligation to limit emissions of CO2, the main cause of global warming, created an energy consumption landscape without room for open fireplaces or traditional uncontrolled heaters.

But how to achieve this emissions reduction and greater efficiency in the use of heat energy? By optimizing the design of fireplaces with the aid of advanced computing technologies.

Based in Vigo with more than three decades of experience in the sector, Dinak needed to move ahead in the manufacture of stainless steel modular concentric fireplaces with an airtight combustion circuit. Before numerical simulation, a month of work was needed to design and test a new fireplace. Each product required the efforts of three engineers and two technicians to test various options, design prototypes and verify standards compliance.

Tests with complex calculations

The improvement process involves many variables and the company knew that physical testing was not feasible in terms of cost and time. What was the critical step? Using high performance computing to achieve the most detailed cloud simulation possible, with digital testing and visualization to find the most suitable design for each case without the need for physical prototypes.

Complex calculations are involved to define the design each product. This technological solution based on numerical simulation with OpenFoam open source software is available to the company thanks to the resources provided by Supercomputing Center of Galicia (CESGA). In this way, Dinak has access to comprehensive fast calculation equipment to obtain optimized fireplaces. The simulation model designed by the Aimen Technology Center and the interface made by the Computer Architecture Group of the University of A Coruña makes it possible for Dinak to configure simulations, execute them and visualize the results on a computer screen.

Reduced timeframes and costs

What is the most amazing aspect? Less time and more profits. By adopting numerical simulation, the company saves more than 90% of the costs associated to the design of each new fireplace model. In addition, the process only takes a week, when it used to take a month., Dinak is currently present in seven countries with offices in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland and they develop between three and four new products each year.

The high performance calculation system provided by CESGA has represented a turning point for Dinak. The collaboration between the University of A Coruña and Aimen Technology Center for introducing simulation into the company's processes has completed the circle of improvement based solely on the Galician R&D and Innovation System. Meeting this challenge has expanded the horizons for Dinak, which is advancing in the installation of heaters and new generation ventilation systems in 24 markets.

 

 


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