Now that fall is upon us, I find myself leaving the windows open at night instead of using the air conditioning to keep my room cool.  Hopefully I am not the only one, but I like having a window fan direct the cool ambient air into my room at night as well.  I just mentioned that the fan directs cool air into my room, but this is where the question is formed:  Which way should the fan face?

Does directing the cooler air into the room effectively cool the room quicker than directing the warmer air out?  I have always been one to point the fan into the room but if you’re familiar with the second law of thermodynamics you know heat travels from hot to cold.  So if the “air” inside the room is naturally trying to escape to reach equilibrium would it be more beneficial to point the fan out and aid in the natural thermodynamic property?

At this point I was questioning my entire childhood of whether or not I pointed the fans in the right direction.  This became extremely problematic. Well, not really, but it drove me nuts for at little while.  I wanted to get to the bottom of this; as much as I wanted to test the idea, but I have no tools or data collection methods in order to “real world” test the problem.  The one tool I do have, though, is Franco.  Not that Franco is a tool but he knows how to use Flow Simulation.  I ran to him with my idea and he said that if I created a room he would use that for a Flow Simulation.  Let the modeling begin!

Off the top of my head, I don’t know the exact size of my room but I looked up some approximate sizes and settled with a 15’x15’ room to keep it pretty generic.  I extruded a box, shelled it out and added my window cut.  Check it out below.

I know what you’re saying, “Wow, Derek, that’s a beautiful room”.  Even though it’s entirely sarcastic, here is where the interior designer comes out in me.  I want to add some bedroom amenities and make it look like my own room.  This is not necessary for the Simulation but I want to make it look good while I am at it.  Where better to find modeled consumer products than 3D ContentCentral so I don’t have to design any of it?  Examining the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane you will find the 3D ContentCentral plugin.

As you can see, they have folders for Categories, Suppliers and even a User Library.  When looking for a specific component like a filter, pump, terminals or anything of that nature, the Categories page is where you need to be.  If you always get your parts from a specific supplier, you can search through all of their components and download them directly to SOLIDWORKS.  Since I am not really looking for a category of parts (just some specific ones), I will go to the User Library and search for what I want.

As you can see below my search for “bed” returned a lot of hits.  Time to pick the one I want.

One great thing about 3D ContentCentral is that eDrawings is embedded into the web page for most models so you can manipulate the part to make sure it is the one you want.  Check it out below.

Right next to the eDrawings window is the download options.  I just specified the file format and even the SOLIDWORKS Version I am using and then it is ready to be downloaded.  Once downloaded, I can put the bed and other 3D ContentCentral components into my room.  Hopefully it is a little more aesthetically pleasing now.

My bedroom is now modeled, the specs for the window are noted, and I can pass over my design with boundary conditions to Franco.  He is going to run them in Flow Simulation and post results in the upcoming blog.  Stay tuned for the outcome!


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