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Tapping onto our forte research capabilities in simulations and analysis, IHPC industry projects have greatly benefitted our industry collaborators, cultivating strong R&D ties, creating synergies and extracting their projects into long term partnership with the institute.
In 2013, one of the leading water treatment companies in the Asia Pacific region turned to A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) to conduct a joint study on their DPA system.
SIF Technologies, an SME based in Singapore, is a specialist in chemical-free water treatment technology used in sectors such as aquaculture and eco-friendly environmental engineering systems including rainwater harvesting.
As a Singaporean company that is at the forefront of harnessing technological advances for their business development, it saw the advantages in teaming up with IHPC’s Fluid Dynamics researchers to enhance their technical capabilities in water solutions.
The primary function of the DPA system is to generate hydrocavitated water and produce dissolved oxygen in the water. The system uses hydrodynamic cavitation bubbles to improve water quality and is consists of a series of constrictions at the cavitation caps attached at the inlet and outlet of the device, a liquid compartment, and a curved pipe. Such a system can be deployed in land-based hatchery, aquaculture and rain-water harvesting.
WATER FLOW SIMULATION
Under Phase I of the project, Dr. Ohl Siew-Wan from the Fluid Dynamics department in IHPC was brought in to oversee the joint project that lasted for a period of three months.
The team simulated the flow of water in the deployed DPA applications. Five geometries were constructed and meshed in 3D to simulate the fluid flow in tanks of different shapes, inlets and outlets of different arrangement using Fluent, a commercially available finite volume software. The results harvested were also used as references, and applied for analysis on the various business projects SIF is currently handling.
In addition, the successful findings from this project has convinced SIF to continue working with IHPC and A*STAR for Phase II of the project, which aims to study the system’s disinfection properties.
SIF Technologies’ goal is to address the specific target groups interested in the area of bacterial (e.g. algae) control. Algae-control is a major problem that has caused the Eco-Environmental and Aquaculture industries to spend several billions of dollars annually in controlling measures.
FLOWING INTO PHASE TWO
A successful conclusion to Phase II of the project was conducted by Dr Tandiano from the Fluid Dynamics Department in IHPC. He discovered that it was not necessary to pump the liquid at a very high velocity so that the liquid pressure falls below its vapour pressure in order to initiate cavitation.
On the contrary, the cavitation bubbles are actually produced at a much lower flowrate, at a higher pressure than – theoretically -- required to generate hydrodynamic cavitation in pure liquids. He also managed to perform several experiments to characterize the system’s disinfectant properties.
The concrete simulation results from IHPC, which translate to higher efficiency for the DPA system, will help to distinguish SIF’s DPA system from the aeration systems used by other players in the environmental and aquaculture industries - and significantly raise the economic value of the enterprise.
The experimental and simulation results (e.g. Computational Fluid Dynamics and high-speed imaging) are expected to provide solid scientific evidence for the company to establish technology differentiation and overall market advantage. The results of this project with IHPC will potentially enable SIF to significantly strengthen its profile and market position, and inspire the company to develop other industrial applications too.
Note: In 2004, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) under the SEEDS funding scheme, took a strategic equity stake in the company. This investment is currently managed by SPRING SEEDS CAPITAL Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPRING SINGAPORE.
This page is last updated at: 18-JUN-2014