Document last revised 26/10/12
This document describes in detail all the control buttons and switches available in the PHOENICS VR-Editor, PHOENICS 2010. The reader should already be familiar with TR/324 - Starting with PHOENICS-VR.
Purpose of This Document
Modes of Operation
The VR-Environment Screen Layout Under Windows
This section describes the menus and dialog boxes available from the top bar of the main VR-Editor/Viewer graphics window. In some cases, the same functions can be accessed via the icons on the tool bar.
The Tool Bar,
The Status Bar
The VR-Editor is the default mode of operation of the PHOENICS-VR Environment. In this mode, it is possible to set up and modify the case to be analysed.
This section describes the functions of the VR-Editor hand-set buttons.
In the VR-Editor, all geometrical features are represented by objects. They may represent for example blockages, inlets, outlets or heat sources.
This section describes how objects can be manipulated - created, modified or deleted.
New Object, Import Object, Copy Object, Array Object, Select All, Refresh, Close
Open object dialog, Hide object, Reveal object, Delete object, Modify colour, Object wireframe, Object affects grid, Object constrained by domain, Object selectable, Surface contours, Show nett sources
Save, Delete, Modify
This section describes the functions of the VR-Editor object dialog.
Object 'General' Page
Object name, Object Type
Object 'Size' Page
Object 'Place' Page
Object Position, Object Rotation Angle
Object 'Shape' Page
Using the Supplied Geometry Libraries, Displaying Geometry File Shapes, Importing Shapemaker Geometry, Loading CAD Geometries, Importing CAD geometries by Group, Applying Textures, Body-Fitted Co-ordinates
Object 'Options' Page
Object Colour, Rotation Options
Rotation Centre, Rotation Mode, Rotate Object Face, Hide Object, Wireframe, Object Affects Grid, Object Constrained by Domain
This chapter describes the object types, and their attributes. The attributes of each object type are specific to that type.
|Object Type||Brief Description|
|Blockage||3D, solid or fluid. Can apply heat and momentum sources.|
|Inlet||2D, fixed mass source.|
|Angled-in||3D, fixed mass source on surface of underlying BLOCKAGE object.|
|Wind||3D, whole domain, applies wind profiles at domain boundaries|
|Wind_Profile||2D, fixed mass source following atmospheric boundary layer.|
|Outlet||2D, fixed pressure.|
|Sun||3D, whole domain, applies solar radiation heat load within domain.|
|Angled-out||3D, fixed pressure on surface of underlying BLOCKAGE object.|
|Plate||2D, zero thickness obstacle to flow. May be porous.|
|Thin Plate||2D, nominal thickness for heat transfer.|
|Fan||2D, fixed velocity|
|Point_history||single cell transient monitor point.|
|Fine Grid Vol||3D region of fine grid.|
|User Defined||2D or 3D, for setting user-defined sources (PATCH/COVAL).|
|Celltype||2D or 3D, for setting user-defined sources (cannot affect grid).|
|Null||2D or 3D. Used to cut the grid for mesh control.|
|PCB||3D, solid or fluid with non-isotropic thermal conductivity|
|Pressure Relief||single cell fixed pressure point.|
|ROTOR||3D, rotating co-ordinate zone in cylindrical-polar grid|
|Drag_lift||3D, region over which momentum imbalance (force) will be calculated.|
|Assembly||2D or 3D container object for multi-component object|
|Transfer||2D, transfers sources between calculations|
|Clipping_plane||3D, graphically clips the image. No effect on solution.|
|Plot_surf||2D or 3D, provides surface for contour or vector plots in Viewer. No effect on solution.|
Many objects types have a button labeled 'InForm Commands' on their attributes page. This leads to a dialog from which a selection of InForm commands can be attached to this object. It is described in here.
This section describes how to import CAD data from STL or DXF format files.
Importing a Single CAD Object
Assembling a Complete Geometry
The VR-Editor allows irregular geometries to be attached to rectangular objects. Within the solver, Earth, the intersections of the geometry with the grid lines are calculated.
By default, the Earth solver uses an accurate representation of the true geometry. This is the Partial Solid method, PARSOL.
In this method, sometimes known as a 'cut-cell' technique, the areas and volumes of partially-blocked cells are calculated to a high degree of accuracy, and the equation formulation is modified to account for the local non-orthogonality.
Fine-grid volumes can be used to increase the mesh density near a surface, and thus improve the resolution still further.
PARSOL works in Cartesian and Cylindrical-Polar co-ordinates, but is not available for BFC geometries.
The PARSOL method can be de-activated by setting Partial Solids Treatment to be OFF in the Geometry panel of the Main menu.
Sloping or curved surfaces are then represented in a 'stair-case' fashion. If the centre of a cell falls inside a solid, the entire cell is taken to be solid. If it falls in the fluid, the entire cell is open to flow.
In many cases, such an approach will provide entirely satisfactory results. In some cases however, such a representation is inadequate and will result in unacceptable loss of pressure.
The first image shows a flow through a turn-around duct with PARSOL turned off, the second with it turned on.
IMAGE: Without PARSOL
IMAGE: With PARSOL
The case in question is Library case 804.
When an object is first created, and a type is selected, one of the following .dat files will be used as the default geometry:
|Object Type||Cartesian Grid||Polar Grid|
|Blockage (solid)||Cube14 (grey)||Polcu8 (grey)|
|Blockage (solid+heat)||Cube4 (red)||Polcu7 (red)|
|Blockage (fluid)||Cubet (transparent grey)||Polcubt2 (transparent grey)|
|Blockage (fluid+heat)||Cubet1 (transparent red)||Polcubt1 (transparent red)|
|Inlet / Angled-in||Cube3t (transparent purple)||Polcu5t (transparent purple)|
|Outlet / Angled-out||Cube12t (transparent light blue)||Polcubet (transparent light blue)|
|Plate||Cube11 (light brown)||Polcu10 (light brown)|
|Plate + heat||Cube13 (orange)||Polcu2 (orange)|
|Thin plate||Cube11 (light brown)||Polcu10 (light brown)|
|Fan||Cube2t (transparent white) or Cylpipe if circular||Polcu4t (transparent white)|
|Point_history||Default (khaki)||Poldef (khaki)|
|Fine grid volume||Fine (special wire-frame)||Polfgv|
|User defined1||Default (khaki)||Poldef (khaki)|
|Celltype1||Default (khaki)||Poldef (khaki)|
|Null||Wirexyz (wire-frame)||Wirexyz (wire-frame)|
|PCB||Cube1 (green)||Polcu9 (green)|
|Pressure relief||Cubet (transparent grey)||Polcubet (transparent grey)|
|ROTOR||n/a||Polcub4t (transparent white)|
|Drag_lift||Drag (special wire-frame)||Poldrag (special wire-frame)|
|Wind_profile / Wind||Wind (transparent mauve)||n/a|
|Sun||Sun (transparent orange)||n/a|
|Transfer||Cubetran (transparent green)||Polcubtra (transparent green)|
These files are in the \phoenics \d_satell\d_object\public\default folder.
When the type of an object is subsequently changed, the geometry file will be changed according to the above table, as long as the current geometry is one of the above.
If the user has selected any other geometry, such as shapes\cylinder, then VR-Editor will not change it. Object types marked 1 in the table will also not change the geometry.
A description of the data file format is given in How do I make my own Clipart/Geometry files for PHOENICS-VR?
On exit from VR-Editor, a file called FACETDAT is created, which contains the definitions of the all the facets for all the non-cuboid objects. This file is read and interpreted by EARTH.
It is possible to make VR-Editor use a different geometry from that displayed on screen to create the FACETDAT file. This can be useful if the displayed geometry contains more detail than is required for the simulation.
Geometries whose file names appear in the file \phoenics \d_satell \d_object \replace.lst will be replaced by the default cube, or any other geometry specified there. The default replace.lst contains:
* File name replace.lst --------------------------------------- 24.12.02 * * Geometries whose file names match those listed below will be * replaced by the default cube at the time of setting facet cells and * before writing facetdat file. If a second geometry name is listed, * that will be used instead of the default cube. * If a rotation code is required for the replacement geometry, it can * be specified after the second name. * fan fan1 fan2 fire fire2 window window1 window2 window3 window4 paddle elgouna1 elg8 elcomp1 elcorep frnt_whl cylinder 5 back_whl cylinder 5
On the last four lines, the second string contains the name of the geometry used to create the FACETDAT entry. On the last two lines, a rotation code is also specified.
The Main Menu is where all the domain-related settings, such as domain size, variables solved, physical properties, numerical and output controls are set. Any source which operates over the whole domain is also set from here.
Grid and time-step settings
Models: Solution of variables, turbulence models etc.
Properties: Density, viscosity etc.
Initialisation: Initial values.
Help: Help on that panel.
Top menu: Go to the top level.
Sources: Whole-domain sources, e.g. buoyancy.
Numerics: Solution control settings.
GROUND: Values for GROUND.
Output: Print-out and field dumping controls.
OK: Return to VR-Editor. This button only appears on the top panel.
INFORM: Start the In-Form Editor.
Domain Faces: Apply fixed-flow, fixed pressure or friction boundary conditions to selected domain faces.
This section describes the spatial co-ordinate systems available, and shows how the associated grids can be modified. It also shows how to set time-step distributions for transient cases.
Switching Co-ordinate Systems
Cartesian and Cylindrical-Polar Co-ordinates
This section describes how the settings made in the various object dialog boxes are captured in the Q1 file. The description concentrates on those features unique to PHOENICS-VR. Standard Q1 settings are not described in detail - the meaning of PIL statements can be ascertained from the relevant Encyclopaedia entries.
Fine Grid Volume,
GENTRA Exit Boundary
This section describes the functions of the VR-Viewer.
Selecting the Files to Plot
The Object Dialog Box
VR-Viewer Scripting (Macro) facility
Short cuts to plotting functions:
Contours Surface contours Vectors Iso-surfaces Streamlines Line plots