Fluid Dynamical Shape Optimization with cashocs

Software Aids the Improvement of Chemical and Production Processes Through Design optimization.

Our sophisticated software package cashocs supports the solution of industrial problems by solving shape optimization problems and providing new design suggestions. As a special focus, we use cashocs in fluid dynamics, where we use the software to improve flow components, e.g., in continuous chemical reactors.

Fluid dynamic shape optimization deals with the question of how an improvement of a flow component – e.g. continuous chemical reactors or electrolysis cells – can be achieved. How should the shape of such a component be modified in order to improve the process? This is often crucial as special process conditions, such as a uniform flow or residence time distribution or a low pressure loss, must often be achieved in the components. Our software cashocs automates the shape optimization of such components and systems for industrially relevant problems. This enables us to solve even extremely complex problems within the shortest development time.

Software Tool cashocs Uses State-Of-The-Art Numerical Solution Algorithms

Our software uses specialized algorithms that correspond to the current state of the art in the field of shape optimization with partial differential equations (PDEs) and which are both extremely efficient and very robust. Due to the intuitive Python interface, cashocs reduces the time between simulation and optimization of a system enormously. As soon as a simulation is possible, the optimization process with cashocs is shortened from weeks and months to hours or even minutes. 

Space-Mapping Technique Enables Coupling With Commercial Simulation Tools

The advanced space-mapping methods we have developed enable us to use commercial simulation tools such as Ansys Fluent® for simulation and to couple these with cashocs for optimization. A simplified model is used in cashocs, which can be quickly optimized and calibrated with the simulations of the commercial software. This enables the optimization of complex problems and saves a lot of time. This significantly reduces the time and effort required by companies to solve industrially relevant problems.

Optimized Design of a Microchannel Cooling System
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Optimized Design of a Microchannel Cooling System

Wide Range of Industrial Applications With cashocs

We use cashocs for shape optimization of

  • Electrolysis cells
  • Chemical reactors
  • Microchannel systems
  • Polymer spin packs

Additionally, we use cashocs to solve parameter identification problems in the context of chemical reactions.

Initial design of the flow field of an electrolytic cell. The flow is not uniformly distributed and focuses on the middle channels
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Initial design of the flow field of an electrolytic cell. The flow is not uniformly distributed and focuses on the middle channels.
Optimized Design of the Flow Field of an Electrolytic Cell
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Optimized design of the flow field of an electrolytic cell. The flow is significantly better distributed and the design represents a compromise between uniform flow distribution and mechanical stability.

The Extensive Documentation Shows Features of the Software

In the documentation of our software there are many examples of how cashocs can be used. We highlight the features of the software in detail in standalone tutorials. Additionally the public API of the software is described.

Further Publications

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Animation of the shape optimization of the flow field. The length of the channels is adjusted in the optimization steps, resulting in a uniform flow through the flow field.