Virtualwind

Virtualwind logo

Virtualwind is a 3-D wind flow modeling and visualization software solution. It empowers users to quickly predict, understand, and convey complex wind flow phenomena in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Virtualwind wraps its advanced wind flow technology in user interfaces that are intuitive and natural. Complex wind and dispersion phenomena are simulated with our easy-to-use 3-D visualization tools. Screen Shots

Keywords

wind simulation, virtual wind tunnel, microclimate simulation, wind flow in urban environments, advanced wind flow visualization

Validation/Testing

Virtualwind was used as an internal analysis tool within its parent company, RWDI, for approximately five years before it was released commercially. It has been run on hundreds of internal projects. These studies are not publicly available. Virtualwind Inc. is currently working on a suite of more formal validation studies. Once complete, these studies will be made publicly available via its Web site.

Expertise Required

No formal training in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) or fluid dynamics is necessary; however, a learning curve is associated with fully understanding the software. Several tutorials and online training videos are intended as free, self-paced learning materials; we also offer paid courses for customers who want customized instruction.

Users

Released in June 2009, Virtualwind has approximately 800 registered trial users. We have sold approximately two dozen licenses, including five site or floating licenses. Trial users are distributed across the globe; our customers include people and organizations from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Israel.

Audience

Virtualwind is targeted toward CFD nonexperts who need to understand 3-D microclimate wind flows in complex environments. Virtualwind may also be of interest to architects, urban planners, government regulators, and university-level educators and students.

Input

Virtualwind needs to be supplied with predefined structural and/or terrain geometry, which must obey a limited set of restrictions (for example, the border of geometry to be recognized, as terrain cannot overlap itself). The user must also supply input parameters for the simulation; for example, wind speed, simulation resolution, spatial extents, and monitoring quantities. All simulation parameters have default values; several are adaptive "best-guess" attempts, but the user will typically have to manually adjust some values. Geometry must be defined outside of Virtualwind. All simulation parameters are specified via a Windows-themed GUI.

Output

Virtualwind's output (simulation results) is primarily communicated to the user graphically: the user can view the data through a variety of "actors." Users can view the results as isolines, solid contours, or as vectors on horizontal or vertical planes. Data can also be displayed on surfaces of constant elevation. Quantitative values at discrete sets of points can be output.

Computer Platform

Hardware:
Virtualwind is expected to be run on a medium- to high-end, off-the-shelf workstation (for example, a multi-core, multi-CPU computer with at least 4GB of RAM and considerable hard drive space). That said, Virtualwind can be run on a laptop or on lower performance machines, but responsiveness and simulation times will be slower. Operating System:
Virtualwind is officially supported on PCs that run Windows XP. However, users have reported success on a wide array of Windows platforms, including Server 2003/2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Virtualwind has also been successfully run on Apple computers that run Microsoft operating systems; however, minimal manual configuration may be required.

Programming Language

Virtualwind is written in C++.

Strengths

Virtualwind was designed as a conceptual design tool for exterior, microclimate, urban, and rural wind flows in complex environments. It is most applicable on the microclimate scales such as ~50 m - ~5000 m.

Weaknesses

Virtualwind is not intended for high-end CFD analysis of general flow physics processes, for which several costly commercial high-end CFD software packages are available. Virtualwind is also not intended to replace highly accurate physical wind tunnel modeling, such as the determination of pressures on buildings and outdoor structures.

Contact

Company:

Virtualwind

Address:

Suite 1000, 736 8th Ave. SW.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 1H4
Canada

Telephone:

403-232-6771 x2645

E-mail:

supportdesk@virtualwind.com

Website:

http://www.virtualwind.com

Availability

Virtualwind can be downloaded from www.virtualwind.com; a free user account must be created. The download is a fully featured, time-limited trial. Single-seat commercial licenses are available for $499 (Standard Version) and $999 (Pro Version). Bulk discounts and academic discounts are also available. A full pricing matrix is available at www.virtualwind.com; sales inquiries should be directed to salesdesk@virtualwind.com.