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Kanto Gakuin University
Hands-on Lectures of scSTREAM for CFD Simulation in Class Helps Students Better Understand Fluid/Thermal Phenomena in Indoor Environments

Picture 1: Mr. Tomoyuki Endo (D.Eng.) Associate Professor, Kanto Gakuin University, College of Architecture and Environmental Design

[Vol. 1] How can students better understand fluid/thermal concepts such as thermal distribution, air flow, and illuminance distribution and their impact on architectural design? This was a question Dr. Tomoyuki Endo, Associate Professor of Kanto Gakuin University (Picture 1), considered for his environmental simulation lectures. To explain building fluid/thermal phenomena in a way that students can relate to, Dr. Endo incorporated computer simulation into his lecture demonstrations. While many different software products were available, Dr. Endo chose scSTREAM thermal fluid analysis software.

Kanto Gakuin University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design was established after internal reorganization in 2013. Designed to promote further understanding of fluid engineering, scSTREAM has been introduced in the environmental simulation lectures for junior and senior students. Dr. Endo from College of Architecture and Environmental Design started his lecture demonstrations in 2015. His laboratory undertakes research on indoor air and environment. Research topics include the indoor air and thermal environment created by ventilation and air-conditioning facilities, natural ventilation and effects on energy efficiency, and effective means of natural ventilation.

Deeper Understanding Promoted by Visualization of Thermal Distribution and Air Flow

According to Dr. Endo, the reason for introducing simulation software into his teaching portfolio was that his students had difficulties understanding fluid/thermal phenomena in building environments in classroom-based courses. Dr. Endo says “We only refer to averaged thermal indices when we lecture students about thermal indices. It is because the lecture focuses more on average temperatures in the environment rather than examining changes in space. In reality, the temperature is uneven depending on different spots. We teach students the level of ventilation required in a room, but the topics such as indoor air flow and ventilation efficiency are excluded. In some building design projects, the cleanliness level of the air must be evaluated. Simulation software promotes a better understanding of such phenomena.”

Kanto Gakuin University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design has a building dedicated to conducting fluid/thermal experiments, where students undertake experiments to evaluate the building environment and facilities. For example, students can observe actual phenomena by injecting water into a drainpipe. However, some phenomena, such as the flow of heat and air, are more difficult to understand because they are physically invisible. As a result, they are often ignored in daily lives. “Visualizing these changes helps students learn more. Applying computer simulation also enables juniors to review what they have learned. It is valuable for their learning to relate the notions of heat and air environment in everyday lives,” says Dr. Endo.

Computer simulation has become an emerging trend in building design to evaluate various factors. This makes incorporating simulation into the university curriculum even more important. The building Tower 5 where the college is located was actually designed on the basis of the evaluation of ventilation effects and promotion of energy efficiency of the building. Dr. Endo was involved in the Tower's fundamental design.

Dr. Endo is a member of the editorial team for a technical reference book on using CFD for indoor environmental design, published by the Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan (SHASE). While Dr. Endo has become very knowledgeable about most of the simulation software available on the market as a member of the society, other universities had started to introduce similar types of software. In this circumstance Dr. Endo chose scSTREAM CFD software to use in his lectures for a number of reasons. First, scSTREAM has a very user friendly interface which makes it inviting to use. It comes with a detailed and thorough user reference that is helpful for the student users. Second, the existing scSTREAM operation tutorial case examples are particularly applicable for the entry-level thermal analysts. “We can process analyses easily just by setting conditions by following the detailed wizard,” says Dr. Endo. Third, Software Cradle’s extensive support and prompt response to questions also encouraged Dr. Endo’s decision. And finally, the scSTREAM market share for building and environmental management is large. “The fact that scSTREAM is used by a considerable number of firms proves the reliability of its simulation results. I was convinced that encouraging students to learn scSTREAM will benefit them when they get engaged in practical architectural design in due course. That is why I introduced the software,” says Dr. Endo.

Picture 2: Seminar demonstrations on environmental simulations

Students Learning Basics of Simulation and Software Operations Using Laptop Computers Assigned to Each One of Them

Picture 2 shows how a lecture/seminar demonstration for environmental simulations is conducted. The picture was taken at the second half of the course which runs from fall to spring. The class of two consecutive 90 minutes consisted of 14 students; 12 juniors and 2 seniors. Dr. Endo begins the class by briefly explaining the objectives of a particular seminar demonstration with scSTREAM interface on screen, and then each student operates scSTREAM on their laptop. Dr. Endo freely walks around the room to see if students have questions or need help.

Dr. Endo often selects a case study problem from the scSTREAM operation tutorial and demonstrates the analysis approach while explaining each step in the process. “Earlier in this course, I started off with explaining the types of software available for simulating buildings and environment, and then moved onto the concepts of CFD and operation of scSTREAM. I then introduced case study problems,” says Dr. Endo.

Starting from the Basic Operation, students solved the case studies by referring to the outlined steps in the reference. Throughout the class, Dr. Endo alternates between instructing and demonstrating and then lets the students try for themselves. “Other universities often have students share one laptop or have only the lecturer’s demonstration throughout the session. In my opinion, to learn software operation, each student should have a go at actually using the software. I let students have one laptop each to analyze on their own and encourage them to ask me questions when they come across any problems,” says Dr. Endo.

*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of January 31, 2016 and subject to change without notice. We shall not be held liable for any errors in figures and pictures, or any typographical errors in this brochure.

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Kanto Gakuin University
College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Founded 1884
College Established 2013
Location Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa (Japan)
Type of University Private
URL univ.kanto-gakuin.ac.jp/index.php/ja/home-english.html

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