Heat transfer and fluid dynamics

Maintaining a high level of prosperity, minimising the impact on the living and built environment, and using a minimum amount of raw materials and energy. To achieve this, society and industry must use reliable and efficient construction and production systems. We contribute to this by coming up with innovative solutions based on our expertise in heat and fluid dynamics.

Over the past 40 years, the Heat Transfer & Fluid Dynamics expertise group has amassed a great deal of expertise in heat and fluid flows in buildings and process installations. This knowledge covers gas and fluid flow in pipeline systems and devices, as well as the energy management of buildings. With physico-mathematical computer models, it is possible to minimise the mechanical load on the HVAC or process installations and maximise efficiency. Resulting in a reliable and efficient production process or building.

In addition to computer modelling, TNO has various climate chambers and test setups. Using those facilities, we analyse heat and fluid flows of new concepts and validate models. We also apply our expertise regarding measuring heat and fluid flow, noise and vibration for analysing buildings and process installations in practice, both onshore and offshore.

Products and services

Heat Transfer & Fluid Dynamics supplies the following products:

  • PulsimSuite: software to verify compliance with API 618/674 standard.
  • Operation Support Systems: measuring and control systems based on computer models, that determine the optimal strategy during the process, and also give advice to the operator.

We offer the following services in the form of consultancy projects:

  • Trouble-shooting: using on-site measurements and computer modelling analyses, we advise on how a specific problem can be solved quickly.
  • Design optimisation: based on computer modelling analysis and scale experiments in our test facilities, we advise on which design is most reliable and/or efficient.

In addition to consultancy projects, we also work on research and innovation (R&D) projects. Based on our expertise, we develop technology that our customers use to improve their products or production processes.

We provide annual courses on pulsations and vibrations (PVC) and Flow Assurance (FAFW). In addition, we organise in-house tailor-made courses and workshops at our client's location on more specific topics, such as uncertainty quantification, flow-induced pulsations, measurement methods and root cause analysis.


The oil and gas industry and the construction sector play an important role in enabling the transition to a sustainable energy supply, and to meet the goal of energy-neutral buildings. We apply our expertise mainly in 5 areas:

  1. gas transport and storage
  2. offshore production systems
  3. well and pipeline management
  4. energy performance of buildings
  5. comfortable and healthy indoor environment

We help the oil and gas industry achieve reliable and optimal production by providing our expertise in pulsations, noise and vibration, multiphase flow, flow control and flow chemistry. In addition to energy efficiency, a comfortable and healthy working and living environment are essential for the construction industry. We contribute by providing solutions based on our construction physics expertise. These include innovations in HVAC components, ventilation concepts, smart external walls and energy efficiency analyses.

Want to know more?

Read the white paper 'Boosting The Energy Transition'.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD): complex fluid flows

Process intensification has a major impact on the chemical industry. The combination of process steps creates new challenges. The transition from batch processing to continuous operation requires new innovations. The ability to describe complex fluid flows is essential when designing effective systems and useful solutions.

The benefits of CFD technology

We enable companies to assess their chemical equipment by using computer simulation for different phases and scales. With our software tools, we simulate the precise conditions and reactions. This provides chemical companies with valuable data and accurate predictive models. By testing the effectiveness of new processes, we accelerate development, shorten time-to-market and reduce costs.

With CFD technology, we can identify trends in complex fluid flows when testing new or existing systems. The highly accurate results, in combination with the right models and data, ensure that design errors are detected early. This avoids any unnecessary testing.

CFD makes it possible to use an infinite number of virtual sensors to assess the performance of a unit. Because flawed designs are tested for a shorter time, companies using CFD develop a working solution more quickly.

Opportunities for further development

We share our knowledge and expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics with the chemical industry and chemical plant suppliers. Thanks to our software, we shorten the lead time, which also makes development quicker and more accurate. We increase the competitiveness of companies, and remove obstacles to development. This way, companies are able to develop better solutions.

We enter into partnerships with companies to address specific challenges. In addition, we foster faster innovation through Shared Research Programmes. We believe that by joining forces with other players in the sector and sharing the risks of innovation, we can achieve better innovations for the entire industry.