While OpenFOAM can be used as a standard simulation package, it offers much more because it is open source and because it is designed to be a flexible, programmable environment for simulation by having top-level code that is a direct representation of the equations being solved, e.g.:
is represented by the code:
+ fvm::div(phi, U)
- fvm::laplacian(mu, U)
This makes OpenFOAM an excellent choice for customisation, compared to closed source software:
- Users have total freedom to create or modify a solver.
- Users can easily reuse functionality that is pre-compiled into shared libraries.
- Compiled solvers can be tailored by a user for a specific need rather than ’bolt-on’ subroutines, making OpenFOAM ideal for research and development.
- All applications, including those for CFD simulation, pre- and post-processing, meshing, etc, are compiled using common functionality in the collection of libraries included in OpenFOAM. This ensures consistency across the whole of the OpenFOAM distribution, rather than having a suite of packages compiled from entirely separate source code.
- Transparent solution algorithms which can be viewed by the user, encouraging better understanding of the underlying physics.
The use of advanced level C++ as the core programming language brings major benefits to users:
- Advanced error checking at both complile and run time.
- Extremely robust solver and utility executables.
- High speed calculation with efficient memory management and fast linear equation solvers.
- Parallel processing with linear speed up with number of processors.