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October 3, 2017 Comments (1) Views: 3708 HELYX, Overview

Conjugate Heat Transfer and a New Design are Just Some of the New Features of HELYX v3.0.0

What are we so excited about over here at ENGYS?  HELYX® v3.0.0 was released after 20+ months of customer feedback, design meetings, coding marathons, and rounds of beta-testing.  Version 3.0.0 will enable Engineers to:

  • Solve more complex engineering problems via an increase in available physics and tools
  • Leverage improved usability of a powerful library of Open-Source CFD solvers and utilities
  • Access high-performance computing resources more easily with the new Client-Server framework
  • Evaluate designs more efficiently via a completely new GUI design

The development of HELYX® v3.0.0 is driven by our customers’ engineering design & analysis needs and the know-how of ENGYS’ expanding team worldwide.  From the engineers and developers at ENGYS, here are just some of the many new features available in HELYX® v3.0.0 we’re really excited about (in no particular order).



Creating a thoughtful layout is one of the driving forces behind the new ergonomic ribbon interface within the mesh, setup, and solve tabs.


Figure 1: HELYX® v3.0.0 meshing tab with the motor bike tutorial ready for meshing.

When you’re looking to perform an action like splitting a mesh into multiple regions, you can easily find this action in the regions section on the meshing tab (Figure 1).  The new meshing tab has:

  • Better organization of mesh manipulation tools to extrude and transform meshes 
  • Extended mesh import capability from numerous commercial software
  • Control over mesh decomposition and region creation for parallel and/or multi-region simulations
  • Extended CAD/Surface importing and manipulation tools to facilitate complex domain creation and geometry setup

Users traversing the already straightforward meshing workflow, can control every aspect of the hex-dominant mesher on more complex industrial cases.  A time-saving improvement that the new design aimed to achieve.

Beyond meshing, the overall workflow in each stage of CFD analysis is similar to previous versions of HELYX, but now with a streamlined, more functional, and visually pleasing interface.  Users interact with thoughtfully designed popup tools to perform tasks like setting up time-varying boundary conditions via data import or manually add each entry from within a focused interface (Figure 2).


Figure 2: The setup tab in HELYX® v3.0.0 showing a time-varying tracer injection inlet condition through a packed bed geometry.

Overall, the interface is more intuitive and functional, making the learning process easier for novice and experienced CFD/CAE engineers.


A world where engineers need to capture more physics to further optimize new designs, requires a more capable simulation software.  For conjugate heat transfer (CHT) physics, Engineers using HELYX now have a complete end-to-end process for mesh generation and analysis via a multi-region meshing and CHT solver architecture.  New functionality now provides:

  • An easy-to-follow meshing process where users can import surfaces, define mesh parameters, create a mesh, and split the mesh to create mapped patches between regions.

    Figure 3:  Inter-region mapping boundary conditions and a fin heat sink actively cooling a heated computer chip

  • A fast, accurate, and stable conjugate heat transfer solver that leverages a new region-coupled framework, using an implicit inter-region thermal coupling to increase computational performance and produce verified results with other commercial codes.

The new CHT solver is ideal for simulating steady and transient thermal behavior in electronics, complex heat exchangers, automotive components, and built environments.


Greater access to high performance computing (HPC) resources enables engineering teams to increase throughput, where simulation and analysis are a bottleneck in the design process.  Users can now access local, remote, and on-demand computing resources using:

  • A platform independent client where users can seamlessly access remote computing resources, irrespective of local operating system (Windows or Linux)
  • A single work environment in which meshing, case setup, management, and execution are handled via a client i.e. no remote desktop software needed
  • Secure SSH tunneling for added security while connected to remote resources
  • Server side rendering to reduce the rendering work performed on the local client

The client-server architecture allows the user full local interactive control (e.g. setting up case, performing analysis, and viewing), while the actual work/action is being performed on a remote system and the 3D visualization is transmitted back to the local client.  The configuration of this system is performed from within the GUI


Figure 4:  The client-server architecture allows for local and remote connections to enable greater access to computing resources

and can be easily setup by users.  Ultimately, users will have greater access to in-house or remote high performance computing resources without advanced knowledge of HPC submission systems and complicated submission scripts.


Meshing computational domains constitutes a considerable portion of total time and has a strong influence on the results of CFD analysis.  HELYX uses a quality-driven cut cell mesher to quickly generate high-quality meshes.  helyxHexMesh is an improvement over its predecessor, snappyHexMesh, in that users can:

  • Capture complex geometries with various feature angles with improved snapping
  • Work with “leaky” surfaces by automatically detecting and closing large surface gaps.
  • Resolve boundary layers more accurately with better layer coverage and layer addition controls
  • Reduce cell-counts and refine more precisely with anisotropic volume refinement

helyxHexMesh is under continuous development to provide new features like mesh optimization and dualization (presented at OFW11) for greater layer coverage (Figure 5).

helyx helyxHexMesh-automotive

Figure 5:  An example of the helyxHexMesh mesher on a DrivAer Model (Courtesy of TUM) with 37 million cells and 6 surface layers


HELYX v3.0.0 is a major iteration from previous versions, with new functionality driven by customer sponsored projects and customer feature requests.  HELYX continues to evolve as a general purpose CFD tool, with comparable features to other commercial codes.  For more specialized problems, HELYX Add-On Modules can enable users to:

  • Perform automatic design and optimization with the most advanced and robust continuous adjoint solver in the market (in production since 2010) via HELYX ADJOINT
  • Model Turbomachinery and strongly coupled momentum physics with HELYX COUPLED
  • Capture compressible multiphase flows with HELYX HYDRO
  • Evaluate marine designs via calm water resistance calculations and seakeeping analysis with HELYX MARINE

Overall users can leverage HELYX and HELYX Add-On Modules to enhance their engineering workflow and expand their simulation and optimization capabilities.


If you’re interested in HELYX, contact us and join us in our on-demand webinar “Introduction to Meshing with HELYX” for a demonstration of the meshing capability within HELYX GUI.  There, you will see the full meshing process within the GUI from geometry import, all the way up to a final mesh just before case setup.  Thanks for reading and be sure subscribe to future blog post and share on social media if you liked the post or think others may want to join in on the discussion.

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