CFD is short for Computational Fluid Dynamics. Burns Energy Systems uses the very latest CFD technology to accurately predict the thermal performance of our industrial furnace equipment. This technique enables us to build a virtual furnace and simulate operating conditions, so we can understand how heat flows around the furnace, and how these flows affect production rate and product quality. As with all simulations the element of risk is that we are predicting something that is unknown, because for the most part each furnace we build is custom designed for a particular application. To mitigate that risk we start off with accurate data collected from furnaces we have already constructed and that have been in operation for years. We use these data to calibrate the simulation which in turn means that we are able to predict with a great degree of confidence the conditions inside the new furnace.
Fossil fuel is a diminishing resource and is projected to be more expensive in most countries. Careful analysis using CFD is one of the tools we use to help us to minimize the production fuel usage. The consequential benefit is a reduction of CO2 emissions. We are concerned however that one of the main strategies we apply to improve thermal efficiency is return of waste heat to the furnace via a heat exchanger. The effect of this is to raise flame temperature and this can increase the rate of NOx formation.
CFD helps us to design systems where the kinetic energy of the gas flame is used to rapidly reduce the volume of the high temperature flame envelope and this in turn helps to minimize NOx. As this effect is impacted by the shape and the location of the load relative to the high temperature gas flow, CFD is used by Burns Energy to better understand how furnace gas entrainment can be maximized.