No more than 1 percent of the world’s water is readily available fresh water, according to the US Geological Survey. Water and wastewater management facilities face increasing pressure from consumers and regulatory agencies to adopt sustainable practices and infrastructure that will help make the most of this finite resource. Technology startup VorTech Water Solutions Ltd. (VorTech) helps solve these industry challenges by offering water and wastewater management solutions that treat water at high efficiency and low cost using fully recyclable equipment. To demonstrate its products to its customers, VorTech creates simulations that project the performance of its equipment, and these are based on each customer’s unique environmental factors.
Instead of relying wholly on physical prototypes, VorTech wanted a solution that would help its teams develop virtual pilots of its technology, so the company turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS). VorTech decided to use CADFEM, an AWS Partner, to deliver cloud-native simulations using high performance computing (HPC) solutions from AWS. VorTech also adopted advanced modeling and simulation technology from Ansys Inc. (Ansys), an AWS Partner, giving its teams the ability to recreate fluid-structural interactions with precision. By running its workloads on AWS, VorTech can reduce risk for its customers while meeting the performance requirements for running computationally intensive simulations.
Opportunity | Collaborating Alongside AWS Partner CADFEM to Build a Cloud-Native Environment for VorTech
Water and wastewater management companies face many challenges that make it difficult to treat and maintain clean drinking water. “The increase in the human population means that more volumes of wastewater are being produced, which is coupled with energy intensity and increasing electricity costs, resulting in a significant challenge,” says Sean Mulligan, CEO and founder at VorTech. “Companies are also striving for net zero while dealing with aging infrastructure. They’re forced to do a lot more with a lot less.”
VorTech was founded in 2019, with the mission of helping utility and water companies overcome these challenges through sustainable wastewater treatment processes. Its flagship patented product solution, Vortex Powered Aeration, aerates water through cyclonic flow, a process based on computational fluid dynamics. A variation of the technology also generates renewable energy from low-head hydropower opportunities in water treatment facilities. To add to its sustainability efforts, VorTech designs its products with virtually 100 percent recyclable components.
One of the hurdles that VorTech helps its customers with is planning for the installation and maintenance of its equipment. “The wastewater industry is highly risk averse,” says Mulligan. “We needed to build traction at a faster rate compared with other technologies that exist.” VorTech knew it could demonstrate the value of its products by creating simulations that account for the fluid-structural interactions that might occur. So VorTech turned to CADFEM, an AWS Partner, to architect a cloud-native environment that would scale to compute-intensive workloads. “The capability to create complex simulations 20 years ago would have been virtually impossible, particularly for an early phase startup like us,” says Paul Mannion, computational fluid dynamics lead at VorTech. “Because we’ve had the opportunity to simulate on AWS alongside CADFEM, we’ve been able to accelerate toward our mission from day one.”
The capability to create complex simulations 20 years ago would have been virtually impossible, particularly for an early phase startup like us. Because we’ve had the opportunity to simulate on AWS alongside CADFEM, we’ve been able to accelerate toward our mission from day one.”
Computational Fluid Dynamics Lead, VorTech Water Solutions Ltd.
Solution | Helping Customers Reduce Energy Usage by up to 41%
Through its collaboration with CADFEM, VorTech adopted Ansys CFX, Ansys Fluent, and Ansys Mechanical simulations to create digital twins of its customers’ industrial and municipal water treatment plants. VorTech supports the water management community by providing advanced multiphase flow simulations of complex infrastructure projects, such as deep tunnels and pumping stations, to evaluate mixing processes or sedimentary buildup. “We can design systems around what we learn through simulations and optimize client designs at an early stage,” says Mannion. “Our simulations save an incredible amount of capital expenditure, which means that our customers can finish their projects on time.”