The use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to improve an engineer’s understanding of methods to reduce NOxemissions is becoming more prevalent as high-end computational resources become more economically accessible. These trends have allowed engineers to better design and improve the efficiency of power plants and thus reduce NOx. While these computational models have proven very useful over the past few years, the full extent to which they can be used to gain a better intuition about a design has not been fully explored. One such way to extract more information from these simulations is to use virtual engineering tools to interrogate these models. Currently, there are many virtual engineering tools that are being developed to facilitate the investigation of power plant systems. One such suite of virtual engineering tools is called Virtual Engineering Suite (VE-Suite). The capabilities of this suite include rapid CFD recalculation, optimization routines for large thermal fluids systems, coupling of multiple computational resources, hybrid CFD solvers, interaction with multiple CFD data sets, and manipulation of system geometry. VE-Suite is discussed as an initial platform for this integrated hierarchy of models that can provide a foundation for virtual engineering. VE-Suite has an extensible software architecture and is composed of several tools including VE-Builder, VE-Conductor, VE-Explorer, VE-Designer, and a Computational Engine. One example of the potential use of these virtual engineering tools in the reduction of NOx is presented. In addition, the factors for successful implementation of future virtual engineering tools for the reduction of NOx are proposed.

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