Computational Fluid Dynamics: Improving Energy Efficiency for Everything That Moves

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

8:00am – 10:00am

Organizer: Gelvin Stevenson, PhD

Host: Sidley Austin LLP

787 Seventh Ave. (AXA Equitable Building, between 51st and 52nd Streets), 23rd Floor

Everything that moves through air, water or any other medium creates friction. That friction requires energy—and usually, more energy than is necessary. A lot more.  So major energy, automotive, aerospace, electronic design, chemical and pharmaceutical companies use  Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to predict turbulent liquid and gas flows within and around solid objects, promising to eliminate or at least reduce the need for physical testing. For instance, wind turbine designers use CFD software to optimize turbine blades and turbine placement in wind turbine farms. Similarly, automobile designers use CFD software in an effort to minimize drag forces so as to reduce fuel consumption, in particular by large trucks, essentially replacing wind tunnels with “numerical wind tunnels”. Yet the algorithms they use aren’t always accurate.

The CFD market is dominated by a few large CFD software vendors, which all - including dozens of smaller players - have the exact same public-domain algorithm at the core of their products. Unfortunately, this core algorithm is inherently inaccurate, requires extensive expertise and effort to set-up, fails to predict important physical phenomena even in simple geometries, and requires High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources.

VorCat says it has solved all these problems. Using $5.4M in Advanced Technology Programs and other government grants, VorCat developed, patented and is starting to market revolutionary Fast 3D Vortex Tube software that is very accurate, easy to use, can be deployed in the HPC cloud and, as importantly, can be deployed on desktop machines with commercially-available hardware accelerators. As a result, VorCat expects not only to become the #1 or #2 player in the market, but to expand the market to small and medium-sized businesses that previously could not afford to gain CFD expertise nor acquire the use of appropriate hardware.

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GIF thanks Investors Circle and Sidley Austin for their generous support, and Geoff Miles, Chino Maduagwu, and Gary Kier for developing and operating GIF’s video, social media and design capabilities.

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According to the Gartner market research firm, “CFD has numerous applications for a number of industries, and many of these areas remain under-penetrated to date.” The current CFD market is $1.3B, growing at 12-15% annually, but could be much larger once the accuracy, learning curve and computing resource constraints are solved.

 

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Disclaimer: The Greentech Investors Forum (GIF) is not soliciting funds for the presenting companies, nor is it encouraging parties to invest in them. We try to find good companies—not necessarily good investments. They have been advised on what is acceptable in terms of predicted results, but GIF takes no responsibility for what they actually do, say, or how they perform in the future.

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Indeed, the uses of CFD are vast and include such notable applications as predicting:

 

  • aerodynamic forces on ground and air vehicles,
  • design and optimal placement of wind turbines and hydro-turbines,
  • pollutant formation and dispersion of hazardous materials in the environment,
  • hydrodynamic forces on ships,
  • noise generation about moving vehicles and airborne systems,
  • cooling of electronic components and efficiency of engines,
  • mixing characteristics of chemical reactors,
  • safety studies of transport air traffic and helicopters.

 

A main attraction of CFD is economic: CFD reduces dependence on costly and time-intensive physical experiments so products can be brought to market faster and at less expense; it permits exploration of a wide range of design or performance parameters so products have higher quality; it can often provide flow information that is too dangerous or impractical to acquire in physical experiments, and, CFD can provide a more complete flow description than can be obtained with physical probes. Many experts estimate that moving to “virtual design” methods, e.g., simulations instead of physical models, can save up to 50% in the cost of design cycles, and considerably shorten time to market.

 

The company is seeking a $5M equity investment to develop cloud Apps that will target important flow applications that are mostly utilized by the Automotive, green/clean energy and other industries, complete proof-of-concept evaluations with Fortune 100 companies and enhance VorCat's intellectual property.

 

 

Bios

 

Dr. Jacob Krispin, Founder and CEO – an experienced manager and accomplished scientist with more than thirty years of experience in research and development (R&D), and engineering and management work at a national laboratory (Israel), academia (University of Maryland) and startups. Jacob has substantial understanding of the CFD market through many years of CFD consulting.

 

Bruno Dov Lerer, Esq., Counsel for the company, is an attorney with Littman Krooks. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Senior Associate Vice President at a broker-dealer-venture capital company.

Bruno focuses his practice on business tax, finance and accounting issues, specializing in the information technology sector.

He is fluent in Hebrew and Romanian and dabbles in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. In his spare time, he builds high powered gaming desktop computers (and actually uses them).

Bruno received an LLB from the Tel Aviv University School of Law in 1979 and an LLM in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 1981. He is admitted to practice in New York.

 

Bhargav Gajjar is a robotics scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of bioinspired robotics company Vishwa Robotics. He is an inventor,[1][2][3] educator,[4] physicist, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, aerospace engineer [5] and an entrepreneur. He studied theoretical physics and mechanical engineering focused on robotics mechanisms at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and aerospace engineering, electrical engineering and robotics at University of Central Florida and MIT.
 
He is best known for assisting the USAF in developing one of the first man-made, avian inspired, drones called MAVs that can fly and actively grasp and perch on a tree branch and perform local ground mobility on roof tops, post landing for tactical perch and stare missions.[6] The core technology in the artificial hawk was integrated into the MAV in place of a traditional roll out landing gear and was developed directly by copying the musculoskeletal anatomy of biological sparrow hawk (American kestrel) claws.[7][8]
 
As of 2014, he is focused on developing an anthropomorphic underwater robotic grasper for US Navy's Atmospheric Diving Suits (ADS) and Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV).[9] He is the president of bioinspired robotics company Vishwa Robotics and his research has been funded by all 3 branches of United States Department of Defense including NavyArmy and Air Force besides DARPA and numerous national and international private commercial businesses.
 

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