Following the release of the article “Thermal analysis of a lengthy section of a gas pipeline on permafrost”, we received lots of questions from users.
In this post, we cover the more frequently asked questions concerning the functionality of the updated version of Frost 3D Universal software. Firstly, however, we would like to remind readers that the new version of the software was released in May, 2014. Here, we implemented new technologies in the architecture of the software and its main components, which enables the calculation of computational meshes as large as 100 million nodes on a PC. To demonstrate the extraordinary performance of the newest version of Frost 3D Universal, we conducted the thermal analysis of a long section of pipeline lying on permafrost, with a mesh consisting of 58.5 million nodes.
Question: Why do we need such large computational meshes?
Answer: The necessity for such large quantities of computational mesh nodes derives from the following factors:
1) The computation of extensive regions and long or massive objects often involves many elements for discretization in the computational domain.
2) There are often relatively small elements in the computational domain; there could, for example, be a thin layer of heat insulation, or ground strata. A significant increase in mesh refinement is required to discretize these relatively miniscule elements.
3) Areas with significant temperature gradients (near heat insulators, heat sources, cooling devices, etc.) require increased computational mesh density, consequently significantly increasing the total amount of nodes in the computational domain.
Note that even with the use of a non-uniform cell size (at irregular computational mesh), for example, we still need a lot of nodes. The increase in the cell size in irregular computational meshes needs to be very smooth; otherwise, the numerical method returns significantly less accurate results.