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Mathematical modelling

Computer-based modelling can involve anything from simple equations to a complex model of a process created by assembling many interacting equations and factors. 

Models can eliminate a significant amount of experimental time and expense and the knowledge and understanding gained from their use can be used to improve processes and their control. These computer models can also be used to investigate processes that do not exist yet or processes that would be difficult, time consuming, expensive or impossible to measure in their normal situation.

Computer models that RD&T have created and regularly use in support of their work include:

  • Models of heat flows in foods that allow the user to simulate temperature changes in foods and their surroundings.

  • Models that enable the design and specification of refrigeration systems.

  • Models that estimate the thermophysical properties of foods over a range of temperatures (these can be used in heat transfer models and calculations).

Bespoke models

Often simple mathematical models can greatly assist in the development of the design of a new refrigeration concept. A model can rapidly identify major issues and suggest methods to overcome problems.  It is advantageous to identify early on where the major problems lie so that these can be taken into account in the development of a prototype.

RD&T have developed simple models that have been used in the design and application of:

  • Bottle coolers
  • Retail display cabinets
  • Novel cooling concepts
  • Bespoke refrigeration concepts
  • Cold store doors protection
  • Energy use in cold stores
  • Application of VIPs (Vacuum Insulated Panels)
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

CFD can enhance the user's understanding of airflows and temperature distributions within any space, such as rooms, buildings or display cabinets, whether the airflows are hot or cold.  CFD is a computer-based tool for simulating the behaviour of systems involving fluid flow (such as air flow around a room or liquid flow in a vessel or pipe), together with heat transfer and other related physical processes.

Gaining understanding from a computer model can save considerable cost and time that would otherwise have been spent on repeatedly designing and evaluating equipment.

CFD can also help to design equipment or processes that would be very hard to take measurements of or evaluate by any physical means. For example, it is difficult to measure the airflows in refrigerated cabinets due to the space constraints and without the measurement devices affecting the airflows themselves.

RD&T have applied CFD techniques with in the following areas:

  • Design of refrigerated retail display cabinets.

  • Ventilation around supermarket refrigerated aisles.

  • Entrainment through cold store entrances.

  • Simulating airflows within cold stores for incorporation into cold store models.

To download further information about our consultancy services click here.