our four stage process

Cofan's CFDaaS

Our typical "CFD as a Service" will have four stages.

Pre-Processing, Processing, Post Processing or Results Analysis and Validation/Verification The Cofan "CFD as a Service" process begins with a initial consultation or coversation with the client. During this Requirements stage of the process our client provides and in-depth technical insight into their products and defines their goals and objectives as part of an in-depth discussion between the respective engineering teams. It is during this phase that the Problem definition clearly defines the physical problem you want to study, including the geometry, boundary conditions, fluid properties, and other relevant parameters.


Pre Processing or Problem Definition Requirements

Typical Questions that will help to define the parameters of the simulation in a accurate way is explored during the Pre-Processing stage of the consultation process are:

  • The objectives of the analysis
  • Easiest way to achieve those objectives
  • Which Geometry(ies) should be included
  • Freestream and/or environmental operating conditions
  • Dimensionality of the spatial model is required (1D)
  • What should the flow domain look like
  • What temporal modeling is appropriate
  • Nature of the viscous flow (convection, laminar, turbulent)
  • Thermal limits of components (junction or case temperature)
  • Thermal design inputs required by the customer from Cofan
  • Range of ambient temperatuires for simulation
  • What types of analysis (component, board, system)
  • Will heatsink optimization / design services required
  • Will physical / empirical testing be required in support of simulations

Required Input from the Customer

  • CAD Models of all Components, Hardware and Systems
  • Power Levels of all components
  • Fan Performances Curves
  • Thermal Performance Objectives
  • Initial and  Environmental Boundary Conditions

Required Output from the CFD Study

  • Definition of project scope and deliverables
  • Phased timeline
  • List of Deliverables
  • Junction or Case Temperature of specified Components
  • Fluid flow conditions documentation
  • Reports, Design/engineering recommendations, databases, etc
  • Cost Breakdown

Processing or Solver Phase

This phase of the "CFD as a Service" is the stage where the numerical simulation is actually executed to solve the governing equations that describe fluid flow and related phenomena within a defined computational domain. This phase involves using a CFD solver, which is the specialized software program used by COFAN designed to implement the numerical methods required to solve these equations.  The solver iteratively calculates the flow and temperature fields over the computational mesh, considering the boundary conditions and fluid properties.

The processing phase can be computationally intensive, and the required time for simulation varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the geometry, the desired accuracy, the chosen numerical methods, and the computing resources available. Efficient processing often involves a balance between accuracy and computational cost, as well as careful consideration of solver settings and convergence criteria.

The processing or solver phase is divided up into multiple steps


"Virtual" computational mesh established that govern computational equations and how they are applied using numerical methods, such as finite difference, finite volume, or finite element methods.


The initial set of conditions for the fluid flow, temperature distribution, pressure, and other relevant parameters within the computational domain, to mimic real-world starting state(s) of the system.

Time Stepping (if applicable)

Simulations can progress in "time steps", to better identify problems. At each time step, the solver re-calculates the flow and related properties over the computational mesh. The time step size is determined by factors like stability and temporal accuracy desired.

Solver Iterations

Repeated value updates of flow properties (velocity, pressure, temperature, etc.) across the entire computational mesh. The solver iterates until a certain convergence criterion is met, indicating a stable state or acceptable level of accuracy. 

Boundary Conditions

Boundary conditions are applied to the computational domain to reflect interactions between the system and its surroundings. Conditions include inflow, outflow, wall conditions, symmetry conditions, and more. 

Post Processing Output or Analysis

After the simulation is complete, CFD post-processing tasks are performed.  These include extracting relevant data and involves analyzing, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the simulation predicted quantities. Visualization output of the simulation results obtained from the CFD simulation is the most effective manner to provides valuable insights into the behavior of fluid flow/patterns, temperature and pressure distributions/variations, and other relevant parameters of interest within the simulated system.   It helps engineers gain a deeper understanding of fluid dynamics behavior within the system, relevant predictive termperatures of specific components, identify potential issues, and optimize designs for better performance. It also enables the communication of results to stakeholders and provides a basis for making informed decisions about system improvements or modifications. Some of the more common aspects of CFD post processing output includes the following:


Contour Plots:
Contour plots display variations of a specific parameter (e.g., velocity, pressure, temperature) across the computational domain. Color-coded contours help visualize gradients and trends.
Vector Plots:
Vector Plots represent velocity vectors at different locations in the domain, indicating flow directions and magnitudes.
Streamlines depict the path that fluid particles follow within the flow field, providing a clear visualization of flow patterns.
Pathlines and Streaklines:
Showing the trajectories of individual fluid particles released at different points over time, helping to understand flow behavior over longer periods.
Surface Plots:
Surface Pressure Distribution: This plot shows the pressure distribution on the surfaces of objects within the domain, helping identify regions of high and low pressure. Heat Transfer Analysis: Surface temperature distribution plots provide insights into the heat transfer characteristics of the system.
Cut Planes and Slices:
These representations involve cutting through the computational domain to visualize internal flow structures, temperature gradients, or other properties along specific planes or sections.
Transient and Time-Averaged Data:
For transient simulations, animations can be created to visualize the evolution of flow patterns over time. Time-averaged data helps understand statistical properties of the flow, such as mean velocity profiles or temperature distributions.
Reports and Data Extraction:
Extracting quantitative data, such as maximum/minimum values, average values, or integrated quantities (e.g., mass flow rates), for specific regions of interest within the domain.
Generating reports that summarize key simulation results and findings.
Insights and Analysis:

Conclusions about flow behavior, identifying areas of interest, and making design decisions based on the analysis of simulation results and able to be drawn from concatenating the different types of plots

Validation and Verification

Validating CFD simulation models is a crucial step to ensure that the numerical simulations accurately represent real-world physical behavior. Validation involves comparing the simulation results with experimental data or analytical solutions to assess the accuracy and reliability of the CFD model.

Data for simulation validation could come from any number of physical measurements in a controlled environment, such as wind tunnel tests, flow visualization techniques, thermocouple measurements or other relevant sources.  Overlaying the simulation results with experimental data provides one methodology to validate the accuracy of the simulation.

It's important to note that perfect agreement between simulation and experimental data might not always be achievable due to uncertainties in both the simulation setup and experimental measurements. However, a reasonable level of agreement within acceptable tolerances demonstrates that the simulation model is reliable for its intended application.

About the Company

Established in 1994, COFAN USA provides advanced thermal solutions like AC Fans, DC Fans, Blowers and Impellers.  Engineering and fabrication services combined in our local facilities with ability to transition volume production to our manufacturing locations in Taiwan, China, or Korea make Cofan an ideal partner for your thermal assembly requirements.

Get in Touch

46177 Warm Springs
Fremont, CA 94539

+ (510) 490-7533