Water collector simulation in OpenFOAM 19.12

Nowadays, collection of water for drinking and irrigation is a major challenge. There are various ways to obtain pure water – one of them are the so-called “fog collectors”. We evaluated a fog collector design for our customer using open-source simulation tools.

A fog collector device includes a net that allows extraction of small water droplets naturally occurring in moist air. Different net designs use various fiber materials and structure (topology). The main goal when designing such a device is to maximize efficiency of fog particles collection for given velocity of blowing wind.

We’ve run a simulation of thin cylindrical fibers in 2 parallel rows for our customer. Due to limitations based on customer requirements, we’ve chosen a quick approach to determine collection efficiency, based on lagrangian particle simulation of fog particles. Correct solution requires structured mesh of good quality. We’ve created such a mesh in the Salome meshing tool with high fidelity around fibers. Then we’ve performed simulation in OpenFOAM 19.12 software, which gave us proper flow field, and finally collection efficiency of all fibers was computed for particles with 15 μm diameter. Thanks to using open-source software, there were no licensing costs involved in this simulation.