Leeds University

Modelling and Simulation

The goals of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are to be able to accurately predict fluid flow in complex systems.

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.

We have a wide range of expertise in modelling and simulation:

  • air quality & pollution
  • fuel combustion
  • wind resource
  • industrial applications
  • IT applications

Industrial partners include Powergen, Synetix, Rolls Royce, ICI and Shell.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian


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 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
  • sub-models for oxy-fuel combustion are currently under development

 Models are validated against the experimental data provided by our partners.

Large Eddy Simulation of the E.ON Combustion Test Facility 












Large Eddy Simulation of the E.ON Combustion Test Facility 


Where CFD is not able to simulate a whole power plant, process simulation allows complex models of overall power plant operations to be constructed to investigate all aspects of system optimisation. These models may lack accuracy since only reduced order models are employed.

Due to the complexity of power plants, where each component has a vital role to play in the performance of the system, it is 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.

Techno-economic tools will be linked to the power plant model in order to provide us with an immediate economic response of the system. The model will be easy to use and allow the user to monitor the behaviour of the system when parameters are changed in the simulation.

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.