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Development of new technologies through simulation — Koja is participating in VTT’s GECFD research project

The GECFD research project coordinated by VTT is creating an open simulation and collaboration platform for the development of new technologies required for green fuels and the digital modeling of their use. Digital tools enable new technologies to be developed more cost-effectively and to enter the market more rapidly. Koja is involved in the project as an industrial partner.

World-class development

VTT has been engaging in the development of computational fluid dynamics for a long time, but the GECFD (Green Energy Computational Fluid Dynamics) project is involving the Finnish technology industry in development work for the first time on such a broad front. In addition to VTT, Wärtsilä and Neste, the project involves AGCO Power, Koja, Finno Exergy and Vahterus as industrial partners. The research project is coordinated by VTT and funded by Business Finland. The GECFD project is part of two larger leading ecosystems of Business Finland: Wärtsilä’s Zero Emission Marine and Neste’s “Novel sustainable & scalable solutions for transportation and chemicals.”

New technologies are a prerequisite for the transition to fossil-free fuels. Wärtsilä’s ZEM ecosystem aims to develop a combustion engine running on green fuels for the needs of shipping, focusing on hydrogen-powered engines and their simulation in particular. Through cooperation, the project is developing tools that can simultaneously simulate multiphase flows combined with heat transfer. The tools are based on open-source OpenFOAM software, meaning they will be freely available.

Koja is providing the project with a test example for calculating the thermohydraulic properties of Koja’s heat exchangers under condensing conditions. Koja’s heat exchangers are widely used in air handling units in buildings and ships, including the world’s largest cruise ships.  

Application possibilities of new technologies

Turo Välikangas and Petteri Sippola, who are involved in the development of air handling units and heat exchangers at Koja, are participating in the project.

“The project has an excellent development team. We need a tool that can solve problems in combined heat transfer and flow effectively, accounting the impacts of condensation water on heat transfer and other thermohydraulic properties. Through world-class development of this type, simulation may be possible one day,” says Välikangas.

Koja’s R&D Center offers a wide range of air handling testing options. Simulation and virtual platforms can be used to further expand and accelerate testing.

“The development of computational methods provides the basis for a thorough understanding of physical phenomena. Our R&D Center also makes it possible for us to validate the simulated results against the measured reality. We definitely want to be involved in this development,” says Sippola. 

Read more about the GECFD research project

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