Close-up van Cartesius super computer
Case study

How do you look inside an aircraft engine?

An internal combustion engine seems like a fully developed product that can only be improved in details. Nothing could be further from the truth: the processes taking place in cylinders and incinerators still raise questions. Dacolt helps manufacturers gain a better understanding of these processes and thus develop cleaner engines.

Cleaner engines

Dr Ferry Tap, founder of Dacolt: "We make studies of combustion processes using computer simulations. These involve a wide range of equipment, from incinerators to aircraft engines. We do this on behalf of large industrial companies, which want more insight into exactly how such a combustion process works. As we understand this process better, we can also market cleaner and more efficient engines. Preferably through modifications in the combustion chamber itself, making the engine cleaner."

"You cannot see inside such a cylinder, the pressures and temperatures are very high. That's why we work with models and simulations."

Ignition of a diesel engine

Much is still unknown about combustion processes. Tap gives an example of the operation of a diesel engine: "The air in the cylinder is compressed, fuel is injected and the mixture then ignites spontaneously. But why it happens at that point in the cylinder, we don't know. These are processes that are very difficult to investigate directly. You cannot look inside such a cylinder, the pressures and temperatures are very high. That is why we work with models and simulations."

Detailed modelling of turbulence in gas

Dacolt uses the computing power on the national supercomputer at SURF as part of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). "We are researching combustion processes in gas turbines," says Tap. "The research focuses on how we can model turbulence in gases in detail. For this, we need computing power from a supercomputer." Tap has already experienced the benefits: "A simulation that takes three months with us can now be run in a few days. That makes it possible to do real research."

"We like to show what we have done."

Making research available

Cooperation with SURF is pleasant, Tap says: "We have good contact, the staff at SURF are very helpful. They invest in the relationship and we really appreciate that." The collaboration involves special rules for companies; one of them is that they make the results of their research available to other parties. This is not a problem for Tap: "It is actually important for us as a service provider to publish. We like to show what we have done."

icoon team

Team Data & Computing Services


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