R. Ponzini, D. Feo, R. Pieri (DOI: 10.24874/jsscm.2017.11.02.04)
Selective catalytic reduction using ammonia is one of the most important industrial applications involved in NOx emissions reduction by means of filtering systems. The optimization of such systems is a complex problem mainly related to control of the fluid dynamics patterns right above to the filtering system present in the plant and driven by the correct definition of a set of angles of a set of turning vanes present upstream. Historically, this kind of optimization activity necessary to guarantee a limited pollution of the environment and preserve expensive filtering facilities ensuring longer life to vital parts of the energy production plant, was performed by means of experimental test bench coupled with some tailored computational model mainly used for a final verification of the selected optimal configuration. Today, thanks to the enormous improvement in computational modelling and computing facilities, this kind of activity can take advantage of using automatic, open-source tools and high-performance computing platforms to exploit a wider and autonomous analysis of the possible optimal configurations. Therefore, in this study, an automatic CFD optimization workflow has been developed for this kind of applications using open-source software on a selected practical case. The workflow is intended to autonomously evolve from a baseline plant CAD design to an improved one, modifying the angle of the turning vanes present in the model in order to decrease a quantitative synthetic index related to the level of uniformity of the velocity field distribution on the inlet section of the filtering system. The workflow designed is proven effective and able to autonomously decrease the selected index. Moreover, n the selected test case, the new design obtained shows an improved value of the target index of about 10%.