BETTER PRODUCTS THROUGH SIMULATION & VIRTUAL PROTOTYPING

Travis M. Jacobs

tjacobs@jacobs-anlaytics.com

303.818.0109


We created a fluid volume directly using SpaceClaim and analyzed the fluid flow in CFX to optimize the design of our new smoker.  The goal is to create a BBQ smoker that had no thermal gradients or hot spots on the grill.  The key to this is smooth and consistent airflow inside the smoker from the firebox through the smoking chamber.  Modeling the fluid volume directly reduces the cycle to create a new model from days or weeks to hours or even minutes.

We varied dozens of different parameters in the smoker design from the number and size of the air intake and the exhaust vents to the size and location of the firebox which holds the charcoal and smoking wood.  

Grizzly BBQ Smoker

We have utilized ANSYS to optimize the design which includes the air flow and combustion to create a new BBQ smoker that eliminates hot spots and reduces fuel consumption. This BBQ smoker can be monitored via Wi-Fi using a smartphone, it will even text you when your food is ready!  If the grill gets to hot it will adjust the airflow to regulate heat via servo motors.   Like other smokers on the market, you have the option of using a water pan in the smoking process. But, unlike others, our product features an automatic water refill which takes a lot of the guessing out of the smoking process.  You can fill the pan with water, apple juice, marinades, as well as herbs and spices to flavor the smoking process any way you like.

Veteran BBQ chefs know that trying to use a smoker in windy, cold, or rainy conditions can be an exercise in frustration and futility. The goal of our smoker is to maintain an even heat even at an outside temperature of -40° Fahrenheit with a 40 mph wind.  We are designing the BBQ to withstand everything from Blizzard conditions to a torrential downpour during windy conditions of up to 40 mph.

We started with three circular vents on the bottom of the firebox and using SpaceClaim we could move the location of the vents and the diameter with a couple clicks of the mouse. 

The modeled would be re-meshed and the solved using ANSYS CFX, we could assess the effect of the change in a matter of hours.  Plotting the streamlines in CFX we could quickly visualize the airflow inside the smoker and make improvements and re run the model.

We explored hundreds of combinations in a very short amount of time.  We could modify the SpaceClaim model and assess the change in a matter of hours.

We calculated and visualized the velocity inside the smoker using the isosurface tool to create a 3D visualization of the airflow, and could quickly identify any irregularities that would cause a thermal gradient.


​The key to good BBQ is constant and consistent temperatures, air flow is key in achieving this goal.  

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