Leeds University

Modelling and Simulation

The goals of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are to be able to accurately predict fluid flow in complex systems, which involve one or all of these phenomena.

It is universally recognised that CFD is a driving force in many industrial processes and it is being employed at a rapidly increasing rate in R&D, manufacturing, environmental and medical applications. At present engineers are using CFD to cut manufacturing costs and to reduce the overall time of marketing new products. Therefore CFD can have a major impact on industries bottom line.

The Centre for Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Leeds is a unique interdisciplinary centre involving researchers from across the University. The University has expertise in modelling and simulation across an extensive range of energy areas from Air quality and pollution, to Fuel combustion to wind resource management right through to industrial and IT modelling. Industrial partners include Powergen, Synetix, Rolls Royce, ICI and Shell.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been acknowledged as a useful design tool for many years in engineering applications. CFD models are capable of providing a detailed and accurate representation of complex thermal and fluid flow phenomena occurring within a power plant.

Energy Leeds collaborates with several major energy providers, such as Doosan Power Systems, E.ON New Build and Technology, and RWE, etc., to investigate the combustion processes in oxy-fuel environments. The combustion test facilities of our industrial partners are numerically simulated by using the most advanced CFD models available. For example Large Eddy Simulation (LES) have already been successfully employed for the simulation of turbulent pulverised coal combustion in test scale facilities. Furthermore, specific sub-models for oxy-fuel combustion are currently under development. Such models are validated against the experimental data provided by our partners.


CFD can give detailed description/simulation of a single or multiple components within a power plant. However, it is not feasible to be used to simulate a whole power plant.. On the other side, process simulation allows complex models of overall power plant operations to be constructed to investigate all aspects of system optimisation, but it may be lack of accuracy since only reduced order models are employed. A power plant is a complex system, and the effect of every single component on the whole system has to be taken into account. Furthermore, oxy-coal technology is still moving its first steps and involves deep modification to the present power plant design. It is therefore necessary to develop a tool that can provide process/equipment co-simulation capabilities for model-based decision support in process design and optimization.

Energy Leeds is currently developing a new tool combining process simulation with enhanced CFD models for key power plant components. CFD will be integrated in process modelling software, such as ASPEN and/or PSE gPROMS, in order to accurately simulate the combustion process, while reduced order models will be used to take into account the other components of the whole power plant. Furthermore, techno-economic tools will be linked to the power plant model in order to provide us with an immediate response of the system from the economic point of view. Moreover, an intuitive graphical user interface will allow us to provide the input to the simulator and to monitor the behaviour of the system.

Leeds one of the thirteen partners of the “Reliable and Efficient Combustion of Oxygen/Coal/Recycled Flue Gas Mixtures” - RELCOM project, funded by the European Commission Seventh framework Programme. Leeds tasks are the CFD simulation of some of the CTF of the other partners, the CFD/process model integration, the development of a non-gray radiation model for oxy-fuel combustion and experimental and theoretical studies on mercury kinetics.

Large Eddy Simulation of the E.ON Combustion Test Facility








Large Eddy Simulation of the E.ON Combustion Test Facility