Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

SimScale: Results

How can we visualize the results from a wind simulation, and how can we understand the wind behaviour? In this video, Dr. Ico Broekhuizen explains.
Hi, in this video, we’ll have a look at visualizing the results of a SimScale run. So once a run is complete and is marked with the green icon on the menu to the left, you can go to solution fields to see the results of your simulation. And here you can apply different filters to the results that SimScale has generated. What is the one that’s most useful to us is the cutting plane. You can add a new one using the button at the top here, and here is one that I prepared earlier. So what I’ve done here is that I switched the orientation to Z, so we got a horizontal plane.
And if we then set the height of this plane to say one and a half meters, we can get this map of the wind speeds that we would be getting on the streets at the pedestrian level. You can use the cube in the bottom if you want to look at the model perfectly from the top. Here at the bottom, we have the legend of what the different colors mean. By default, this will scale all the way up to the highest wind speed anywhere in the model, which will be somewhere closer to the top of the wind tunnel.
If we are only interested in what is happening at the pedestrian level, you can reduce this maximum level by simply dragging the arrow until a point where you can clearly see the differences between areas with low and high wind speeds in the pedestrian level.
You can also add some vectors or arrows to this, to further help you visualize the way the wind is behaving around the different buildings. And there is a number of settings available to control how long they should be and how many arrows should be shown.
Another useful feature is the use of a particle trace to help you visualize the wind even further. So to add a particle trace, use the button here at the top. And then what we can do with this pick position option active is click anywhere in the model, and SimScale will place a number of particles in the air and it will then track both where they came from, so what winds blew them there, and where they are going after that. So one way in which you can use this is if we want to understand why high wind speeds are being generated in a specific area.
So say that we want to know why we are getting high wind speeds here, we can start the particle trace there. And as you will see, SimScale is figuring out both where those high wind speeds are originating and what is happening with them later on. So here, for example, we can see quite clearly that the high wind speeds here are not just the result of this wind hitting this building and then traveling downwards, but also that some of the wind that was being deflected by this building here then flows along this curved building here and joins the wind in that area, contributing to the increased wind speed.
You can also use the sliders here to adjust how many particles should be shown, how close they should be to each other, and what visual style should be used for them and how wide they should be and so on. So this is a very useful tool to help you visualize what is really happening. So you can try and improve your design to create a better wind environment for pedestrians in this area. For example, in this case, because we know that’s part of the wind that is causing the high wind speeds here, is being deflected by this building. It may be possible to design a building somewhere in this region so that we deflect that off to the other side instead.
And then we might be able to create better conditions in this area that we are looking at right now. Another tool that can be useful in the results visualization is also to use the cutting plane again, but instead align it with either the X or the Y axis. And in that case, what you end up with is something like this where you get a cross section through some part of the model. You can adjust that with this position slider, and this can also help you understand better what is going on and where the wind is going and why high wind speeds are being created in specific areas.
And once again, you can also add the vectors or the arrows to help you interpret these results more easily.

Once a simulation is complete, SimScale offers many options for visualizing the results, such as maps or cross sections of wind speeds in the area or virtual smoke effects to show the path the wind is taking around the area. These can help you understand and optimize your design for the pedestrian wind environment.

This article is from the free online

Placemaking and Public Space Design: Unlocking Design Potential

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education