Turbomachinery Special Interest Group

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The Turbomachinery Special Interest Group advances the modelling capabilities of OpenFOAM for Turbomachinery applications.


  • Both incompressible and compressible turbomachines are of interest.
  • Open developments in the OpenFOAM framework are promoted, not limited to a particular version of OpenFOAM.
  • A first goal is to sum up the present capabilities and differences between different versions (and in applications and libraries that do not yet belong to any version), and to identify the need of further developments and alignments.
  • A second step is to put in place a test harness with cases that specifically test turbomachinery functionality, aiming at minimizing problems at version upgrades.
  • A third step is to identify the most important developments that need to be done, and to form groups that can realize them. Finally, a continuous task for this committee will be to document the turbomachinery-related functionalities that are available.

Work process

Not being limited to a single version of OpenFOAM, a project has been set up at SourceForge, at https://sourceforge.net/projects/turbowg/. It was first populated with updated versions of the work done by the Turbomachinery Working Group that started in 2007 and was very active for a number of years. Those test-cases were originally set up for foam-extend, but will now as far as possible also be set up for the most recent ESI OpenFOAM version. Some additional stand-alone applications and libraries are also gathered with the aim to eventually integrate them into the main releases. A summary of the status of the test cases, tutorials, applications, libraries and test harness is made available through a Wiki, at https://sourceforge.net/p/turbowg/wiki/Home/.


To stimulate the group members to stay active, we have one hybrid (on-line/IRL) meeting at each of the annual OpenFOAM workshop and OpenFOAM conference, and two intermediate on-line meetings between those occasions. At the workshops there will as well be an open Turbomachinery SIG meeting for anyone that is interested.

A list of meetings is supplied at the bottom of the page.


The committee progress will be reported once a year in conjunction with the OpenFOAM conference, occasionally as a presentation, but at minimum as a report to the OpenFOAM Governance Steering Committee. The developments will continuously get delivered through the SourceForge project. Once a development has reached a matured and “polished” status, it will be suggested to be merged into the main release(s) and discontinued in the SourceForge project.


Here are the present members, led by Håkan Nilsson who acts as chairperson.

  • Håkan Nilsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Chairperson. Special interest in hydropower applications. (Info, Wiki)
  • Martin Beaudoin, Former employee of IREQ / Hydro Quebec, still a regular contributor to the foam-extend project. Special interest in hydropower applications.
  • Fred Mendonca, ESI/OpenCFD. Permanent Chair of the OpenFOAM Governance Steering Committee and PI for the EuroHPC-JU exaFOAM project. Special interests in steady-state and transient turbomachinery applications including acoustics and frequency based methods.
  • Saeed Salehi, Chalmers University of Technology. Special interests in transient operation of turbomachines.
  • Jiri Polansky, ESI/OpenCFD.
  • Eric Lillberg, Vattenfall Research and Development, Special interest in hydropower, pumps and wind turbine applications.
  • Remo De Donno, Saleri group. Special interest in 3D incompressible internal flow of centrifugal pumps.
  • Greg Burgreen, Optimal LLC/Mississippi State University. Special interest in rotary blood pumps.
  • Tessa Uroic, FSB Zagreb. Special interest in centrifugal pumps, hydropower and rotor-stator interactions.
  • Jean Yves Fouchecourt, Howden. Special interest in 3D compressible flow of centrifugal fans and compressors.
  • Bryan Lewis, Brigham Young University-Idaho. Special interests in transient turbine blade and guide vane interactions and undergraduate CFD instruction.

Skilled people who are interested in contributing to the efforts can get in touch with Håkan Nilsson. We are particularly looking for people working on compressible flow turbomachines.

List of meetings

  • 14th April 2023: Meeting with primary point to decide on RFQ for mixingPlane in ESI/OpenCFD version. The proposed RFQ was decided to be sent to the steering committee.
  • 30th November 2022: Mail voting on priority developments for turbomachinery in OpenFOAM.
  • 11th July 2022: SIG Turbomachinery meeting at 17th OpenFOAM Workshop. Hybrid.
  • 15th March 2022: Kick-off meeting. On-line.

List of prioritized developments

The group had a quick internal discussion on prioritized developments in OpenFOAM for turbomachinery applications during fall 2022. Here is the outcome, in order of priority:

  • mixingPlane
  • Coupled solver
  • Specific functionObjects for turbomachinery
  • Specific boundary conditions for turbomachinery
  • Harmonic balance method
  • Binary file support for fluent3DMeshToFoam
  • Meshing tool for turbomachinery