CFD is nowadays an indispensable tool for the design and analysis of high performance turbomachinery. In the community, the commercial codes play a major role, offering specific features, especially in pre- and postprocessing, but also in the solver technology, suited to ease the approach to CFD for the development engineers. Nevertheless, in the last ten years many institutions, both in academia and in industry, have seriously started to look at alternatives in order to have more flexibility in the implementation of specific models and more freedom in the large-scale usage of CFD, like for example in automated optimization-processes and L-DES computations. Among the different possibilities, the open-source toolbox OpenFOAM® has been used in the turbomachinery community over a broad spectrum of applications, showing how well-suited it is for customization and how reliable the results can become, when the implemented solver-technology is upgraded to state-of-the-art models.
In the present publication a review of the community and some of the author’s development-activities are presented. About the latter, selected applications are presented, from transonic internal flow to turbine cooling and conjugate heat transfer, showing how specific customizations can allow to achieve industrially relevant results. Details on recent advances like the implementation of a fully-implicit mixing-plane interface and of a transition model show how competitive this environment can be. Moreover an outlook of ongoing future developments of the solver technology, such as a pressure-based coupled solver, is also given.