Doyle CFD


Doyle CFD is a partnership between Doyle Sailmaker's engineering division and computational fluid dynamist (CFD) Tyler Doyle. By coupling high-definition RANS CFD with composite finite element modeling (FEA) and automated shape optimization we provide yacht designers, sailmakers and others interested in turbulent flow engineering with a complete simulation environment capable of answering real world design questions.


Computational Capabilities

Doyle CFD utilizes both general purpose commercial simulation software (Fluent, Ansys Structural) as well as freeware/shareware programs from the academic and research community. We have the ability to run medium to large scale simulations in house and the ability to remotely solve large problems on powerful workstation clusters.

Sail Shape Optimization

Shape optimization of both upwind and downwind sails is our specialty. Utilizing powerful nonlinear optimization procedures we approach shape optimization by exploring parametric design models. RANS CFD simulations are used to accurately model important turbulent flow features such as leading and trailing edge separation, stall conditions and unsteady turbulent wakes.

VPP Coefficient Data

Wind tunnel testing is often used in the design cycle of large yacht projects to produce VPP aerodynamic coefficients, explore sail plan configurations and optimize flows around rigs and superstructures. Our CFD/FEA simulation environment can provide all of the data produced by a wind tunnel testing program. In addition our simulations provide detailed maps of flow variables at millions of points around the model to help designers understand not just what is the best, design but why it is the best design.

Fiber and Panel Layout Optimization

A composite layup pre and post processor is used to accurately model and optimize both inlaid fiber sails as well as paneled sails by building a composite layered FEA model that takes into account varying fiber and panel orientations as well as varying fiber strength and density. Loads are applied to our FEA model by transferring surface pressure data from our CFD system and by applying proper rig based constraints.

Green Power Generation

The techniques we have developed to handle non-linear optimization using high definition CFD to resolve turbulent flow fields are generally applicable to any turbulent flow engineering problem. Recently, we have applied our optimization techniques to a number of green energy projects.

Wind Turbine Blade and Structure Optimization

Using rotating meshes we have the ability to model both Vertical Axis (VAWT) and Horizontal Axis (HAWT) wind turbines. Optimizing VAWT and HAWT each have their own challenges but also have many things in common. One common theme we are actively investigating is using flow acceleration technology to reduce the minimum wind speed needed to economically produce power.

Wind Turbine Site Modeling

One question that often arises with wind energy projects is whether a given site is a good location or not for a wind turbine or a wind turbine farm. Once a site has been selected the location of the turbine or turbines needs to optimized to ensure maximum power generation. At Doyle CFD we have technology that can answer both of these questions.

Underwater Turbines

Leveraging lessons learned with wind energy projects Doyle CFD has recently started a new research project investigating the use of underwater turbines for commercial scale power generation.

Rendering & Animation

We combine professional level rendering and animation with CFD simulation data to create eye-catching unique graphics that help bring yacht projects alive.


1: RANS CFD Simulations. The Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations are solved on unstructured grids to accurately model the type of turbulence encountered around sails and other complex engineering surfaces such as wind turbines, buildings and down town urban environments.

2: CFD – Fluent, FEA – Ansys Structural with ACP composite pre-post processor, Optimization – Ansys DesignExplorer, HPC – High Performance Computing

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