banner image

NOV 2018, Luma Bendini

Understanding resolution levels for flow simulations with Ingrid Cloud

Besides the price, what is behind the different resolution levels? Easily put: the number of iterations performed during the simulation.

Solver, iterations and simulation resolution

When you sign up and run a simulation with Ingrid Cloud you will be able to pay as you go. As our CFD tool doesn’t need installation and the simulations are performed in a supercomputer cloud environment, the service is as easy as any pay-per-use solution can be.

The cost of the simulation will depend on the resolution level you chose

  • Prototype – medium resolution level. Ideal for early stages of the design process.
  • Design – high resolution level. Ideal for provide insights for design optimization.
  • Validate – very high level. Ideal to validate a case near to the end of the design process.


Besides the price, behind the different resolution levels there's an important concept: the number of iterations performed during the simulation. What’s an iteration?

To understand that you need to know what happens in a simulation solver – and remember: whatever images you see here are representations of numbers working on a computer to try to solve one of the hardest equations ever discovered, the one that describes turbulent fluid flow.

To calculate the dynamic of the flow, Ingrid Cloud’s numerical solver runs the simulation until the flow field is independent of the initial conditions and a steady flow feature is achieved. After each such simulation run, the mesh is adaptively refined, and a next iteration of simulation is started. The refinement is based on the estimation of the error and not on the geometry – what makes Ingrid Cloud incredibly efficient and powerful!

The more iteration, the better resolution. The better resolution, the more accurate is the simulation. This sentence is a simplified summary and it doesn’t mean that a professional will always aim for the highest resolution level.

Depending on what’s the goal of the analysis, the user will prefer a faster simulation than a more accurate one. When an architect wants to get a feeling of where the main flow is flowing, for example. This professional is more interested in a faster simulation than in an accurate one. Once the project is approved, the architect would run a batch with finer resolution (more iterations) so that it’s ensured that the solution is accurate.

So, the key element to choose the right resolution is to know what kind of phenomena or output you’re looking for.

Let’s look at the images generated by a simulation – flow visualization and mesh visualization – to understand that better.

CFD Simulation Resolution

When the flow first reaches the shape, the uniform behavior of the flow is not disturbed (red circle). So, if you’re an engineer interested in the entrance façade of the building (front), a low number of interactions will be enough to provide accurate data, considering that the flow behavior is not changing much in that area.

But more turbulence happens in the back of the geometry due to flow separation. So, if you’re interested in that area – let’s say for building a playground – you would need a higher resolution level for a better picture about how the wind will behave there. Here you can see how the mesh is refined only where turbulence is great:

CFD Simulation Resolution

Now, if you’re not sure about how a CFD analysis can improve your project – saving real time and money – or what kind of data you will be getting after a simulation, you can always count on our specialists to take a look in your project.

To check the pricing list for each resolution level:

To get in contact and ask further questions, click here.



Read more