Undercurrent: The Alden Blog

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Industrial fluid dynamics insights


Fluid Dynamics Hobbies IV: Archery
For many employees at Alden, fluid dynamics is part of their life outside the office--in the sports they choose for their free time.  In many cases, a sport was what came first and later helped inform a career choice in fluids and fluid flow.  This ongoing series features some of the various and unique ways our employees spend some of their non-working hours and how CFD and fluid flow analysis is being used to improve techniques used in those sports.   Part IV: Archery - Duncan Phyfe   Duncan Phyfe, a senior CFD engineer at Alden, started enjoying archery thanks to his mother.  She was one of the riflery coaches at Choate-Rosemary Hall prep school.  When the school needed an archery instructor, they assumed she could do it, since she already knew how to get one type of projectile to hit a target!  So Duncan has been shooting arrows since he was about 6 years old.   When Duncan was 10 years old, he started attending The World Archery Center (TWAC), and that is when he started to learn the physics and aerodynamics of archery. ...

Fluid Dynamics Hobbies III: Whitewater Kayaking
You might never know when one seemingly minor decision could change your life. One summer weekend, just before entering my third year in the Civil & Environmental Engineering program at Tufts, I found myself on a whitewater kayaking class for beginners run by volunteer instructors with the Appalachian Mountain Club. A friend recruited me to join at the last minute; they needed more new “boaters” to reach their minimum capacity. Some combination of perfect weather, good company, and new challenges that weekend got me hooked on the sport. The more time I spent on the river, the more folks I met who had degrees and careers related to hydrology or engineering. That would eventually include me, too – my love for this hobby & fluid dynamics led me to work here at Alden. When I returned to school in the fall, I took my first fluid dynamics course. The coursework and the new hobby complemented each other – spending time in a boat made it easier for me to understand certain fluid mechanics topics. One of those topics is ...

Fluid Dynamics Hobbies Part I: Synchronized Swimming
For many employees at Alden, fluid dynamics is part of their life outside the office--in the sports they choose for their free time.  In many cases, a sport was what came first and later helped inform a career choice in fluids and fluid flow.  This new and ongoing series will feature some of the various and unique ways our employees spend some of their non-working hours and how CFD and fluid flow analysis is being used to improve techniques used in those sports. Part 1 - Synchronized Swimming - Amie Humphrey Facendola I have loved swimming and being in or on the water since I was very young.  I was fortunate enough to join the local synchronized swimming team in my early teens and the sport has played a significant role in my life.  I competed with the Synchro-Maids of Central Massachusetts for 6 years in middle/high school and again as a masters swimmer for 4 years after college. A love of water is the reason I chose the concentration of civil and environmental engineering in college and was one reason ...

Venturi Design for a Circulating Dry Scrubber
One of Alden’s key business areas is designing, analyzing, and improving air pollution control equipment for fossil power plants.  Over the last decade, circulating dry scrubbers (CDS) have become a popular way to remove SO2 and other acids from the flue gas of coal-burning power plants.  A few of the benefits of CDS technology include a relatively low cost of installation, high removal efficiency, low water usage, and no wastewater that needs to be treated – in fact it can be a means to dispose of other wastewater from the plant. The technology works by injecting lime powder into a reaction vessel, and also spraying in a small amount of water (Figure 1).  The water coats the lime particles and eventually evaporates, which helps to improve acid removal.  The powder is suspended in the reaction vessel and mixed using a high velocity stream of flue gas entering from the bottom of the reactor.  Once mixed and reacted, the gas carries the solids out through the top of the reactor into a fabric filter, which acts like a vacuum bag to ...