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How to Monitor the Flow Solver & Preview Results – SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation CFD 2/13

How to Monitor the Flow Solver & Preview Results - SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation CFD

The computed solution for a SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation study can take a very long time to completeTo gain valuable insight into early results and identify setup problems before too much time is wasted, results can be post-processed during the solutionCut plots of the results can be created, goal result values can be monitored, and calculation statistics and estimated time remaining are all useful pieces of informationIn this study, a solver warning “a vortex crosses the pressure opening” is displayed and we discuss what it means and when it can be safely ignored.   

Flow Solver Info

The solver information window displays critical information at a glanceThe number of cells should be reasonable for the accuracy that you need from your results (under 1M for initial studies)You can see how much CPU time has been invested and how much is estimated to remain before it is completeThis is a helpful window to keep open during the solve as it may change over time. 

Solver Errors

Any solver warnings are displayed in the info window and should be reviewed and addressed.  The “A vortex crosses the pressure opening” error in this context simply means that the open slots along the sides of the enclosure have air entering and exiting those faces.  Because developed circular flow is not expected through the individual slots, this error can be safely ignored.   


If a boundary fails to resolve or an error about impossible results is displayed, this often means a setup problem is going to invalidate the results.  Consider stopping the study to resolve the error or carefully review results up to that point.  Impossible results can include negative absolute temperatures or high mach number flows where they are not expected, and is simply the energy balance equations trying to resolve a flow condition that can’t be accounted for any other way.  Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies can be setup with impossible boundary conditions that are impossible to achieve, and the solver’s response is to return similarly impossible results. 

Flow Solver Status

Along the bottom of the solver window is a status bar showing what is happening currently with a progress bar showing progress towards a converged solutionCalculation indicates it is workingSolver is finished indicates the solution has reached stopping criteriaAny other message in this box likely indicates the solver has stopped and is not doing anything, check the solver errors dialog for more information. 

Intermediate Cut Plots

Results can be visualized in a cut plot while it is still solvingSelect a plane and offset it if needed to cut the model and visualize results so farThe plot can be customized by parameter, modified to display a specific range of values, and modified to the specific size and area of interestThese plots are maintained for future solves in the same study if they are not closed out before exiting the solver dialogHaving too many cut plots active can slow down the solver as it renders the information. 

Goal Monitoring

Goals are primarily useful for establishing convergence criteria, but they are often very helpful for monitoring parameters of interestSeeing a value trend beyond an acceptable value early in the solution may indicate the study setup is wrong or there is something unexpected happening that should be investigatedMonitoring these values in the proper units makes it a lot easier to avoid wasting time and resources. 

Technical Support

Get help from our team by Calling us at 800-364-1652 x 2. You can also get assistance by clicking the Technical Support button or the Email Our Experts button below. 

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