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Wind Simulation & Wind Load Generation

With the stand-alone program RWIND Simulation, wind flows around simple or complex structures can be simulated by means of a digital wind tunnel.

The generated wind loads acting on these objects can be imported to RFEM or RSTAB.

  1. Display of Load Distribution in RFEM

    RWIND Simulation | Transfer of Wind Loads to RFEM or RSTAB




    When you start the analysis in the interface program, a batch process starts that puts all member, surface, and solid definitions of the RFEM/RSTAB model rotated with all relevant factors in the numerical RWIND Simulation wind tunnel, analyzes the model, and returns the resulting surface pressures as FE node loads or member loads to the respective load cases in RFEM and RSTAB.

    These load cases containing RWIND Simulation loads can be calculated and combined with other loads in load combinations and result combinations.

  2. RWIND Simulation | Features




    • 3D incompressible wind flow analysis with OpenFOAM solvers
    • Direct model import from RFEM and RSTAB or from STL files
    • Easy model modification via drag and drop and graphical manipulators
    • Automatic corrections of model topology using shrink-wrapping meshes
    • Possibility to add surrounding objects (buildings, terrain, ...)
    • Elevation-dependent velocity profiles according to the standard
    • k-epsilon and k-omega turbulence models
    • Automatic meshing adapted to the selected level of detail
    • Parallel calculation fully utilizing the performance of multicore PCs
    • Results in a few minutes for low resolution simulations (up to 1 million cells)
    • Results in a few hours for medium/high resolution simulations (1-10 million cells)
    • Graphical display of results on clipper/slicer planes (scalar and vector fields)
    • Graphical display of streamlines
    • Streamline animation (optional video creation)
  3. General Data for Generating RFEM/RSTAB Load Cases

    RWIND Simulation | Input




    RFEM and RSTAB have a special interface for exporting models (i.e. structures defined by members and surfaces) to RWIND Simulation. In this interface, the wind directions to be analyzed are defined by means of related angular positions about the vertical model axis, and the elevation-dependent wind profile is defined on the basis of a wind standard. Based on these specifications, you can create your own load cases for each angle setting by using fluid parameters, turbulence model properties, and iteration parameters that are all saved globally. These load cases can be extended from STL vector graphics by partial editing in the RWIND Simulation environment using terrain or environment models.

    You can also run the program RWIND Simulation manually without the interface in RFEM and RSTAB. In this case, the structures and terrain environment in RWIND Simulation are directly modelled by importing a vector graphic from an STL file. The elevation-dependent wind profile and other fluid mechanical data can be directly defined in RWIND Simulation.

  4. Considering Terrain Models in RWIND Simulation | ©

    RWIND Simulation | Calculation




    The RWIND Simulation program simulates the defined structures and their environment in a numerical wind tunnel on the basis of a wind profile that is variable by height.

    For this purpose, a freely definable rectangular wind tunnel area with an inlet area as well as an outlet area around the defined structures is defined in the 3D space of RWIND Simulation. The elevation-dependent wind profile is applied to the inlet area.

    To discretize the rigid structure surface, the program usually applies a "shrink-wraping" mesh to the structures. This mesh acts like an "airtight" skin and ensures that the aerodynamics of the structures is not affected by any flow-changing gaps in the original model. The conservation equations to determine the 3D wind flow around the structures are discretized by an adaptive solid mesh that becomes smaller and smaller towards the structures. On the basis of this meshing, the program solves the defined flow problem for the given wind tunnel orientation by means of the Finite Volume Method (FVM) with the free calculation kernel OpenFOAM.

  5. Streamlines in RWIND Simulation

    RWIND Simulation | Output




    In addition to these resulting load cases in RFEM and RSTAB, more results of the aerodynamics analysis in RWIND Simulation are obtained which display the flow problem as a whole:

    • Pressure on structure surface
    • Pressure field about structure geometry
    • Velocity field about structure geometry
    • Velocity vectors about structure geometry
    • Flow lines about structure geometry
    • Forces on member-shaped structures that were originally generated from member elements
    • Convergence diagram
    • Direction and size of the flow resistance of the defined structures

    These results are displayed in the RWIND Simulation environment and evaluated graphically. Since the flow results about the structure geometry are confusing in the overall display, you can see freely movable section planes for the separate display of the "solid results" in a plane. Accordingly, in the 3D branched streamline result, an animated display in the form of moving lines or particles is shown in addition to a structural representation. This option helps to represent the wind flow as a dynamic effect.

    All results can be exported as a picture or, especially for the animated results, as a video.

  6. Graphical Display of Mode Shape in RF-/STEEL AISC

    Eigenvalue Solver for Member Design in RF-/STEEL AISC

    The determination of the critical buckling moment is carried out in RF-/STEEL AISC by using the eigenvalue solver which allows an exact determination of the critical buckling load.

    The eigenvalue solver is completed by a display window of the eigenvalue graphics which ensures the check of the boundary conditions.

  7. Input

    After starting the module, the joint group (rigid joints) is selected first, followed by joint category and joint type (rigid end plate connection or rigid splice plate connection). The nodes to be designed are then selected from the RFEM/RSTAB model. RF-/JOINTS Steel - Rigid automatically recognizes the joint members and determines due to its location if they are columns or beams. The user can intervene here.

    If certain members are to be excluded from the calculation, they can be deactivated. Similarly designed joints can be analyzed simultaneously for several nodes. The governing load cases, load combinations or result combinations have to be selected for the loading. It is also possible to enter sections and loads manually. The joint is configured step by step in the last input table.

  8. Module Window 1.4 Geometry


    The design is carried out according to EN 1993-1-8 and EN 1993-1-1. It is assumed that the internal forces are directly located in the defined node. In case of beam-column connections, additional eccentricities thus appear to the connection level which have to be considered in the calculation. Besides the design of the sufficient ultimate limit state of the connection, a calculation and classification of the connection with regard to stiffness is performed.
  9. Module Window 3.1 Designs - Summary


    Result windows list details of all calculation results. Moreover, a 3D graphic is created where it is possible to show and hide single components as well as dimension lines and, for example, weld data.
    The summary shows whether or not the individual designs have been fulfilled. In addition, the node number and the governing load case or the governing load/result combination are indicated.

    When selecting a design, the module shows the detailed intermediate results including the actions and the additional internal forces from the connection geometry. Moreover, there is the option to display the results by load case and by node. The connections are represented in a realistic 3D rendering possible to scale. In addition to the main views, it is possible to show the graphics from any perspective.

    You can add the graphics with dimensions and labels to the RFEM/RSTAB printout or export them as DXF. The printout report includes all input and result data prepared for test engineers. It is possible to export all tables to MS Excel or as a CSV file. A special transfer menu defines all specifications required for the export.

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