Perhaps there is no better way to study fluid dynamics than by visiting your local water park. With its water slides, wave pools, water fountains and more, water parks are a seriously fun way to experience the study of fluids in motion.
Welcome to the world of fluid dynamics: the study of the motion of fluids, including both air and water! As with all things, energy is required to move objects through fluids and is lost when a fluid moves through an object—like water in a pipe or air through the ducts in a building. Major head losses occur in the friction forces between the pipe and the fluid, and minor head losses occur as the fluid travels through bends and valves.
One way to optimize designs is to eliminate sharp turns or widen your pipes. (Great for buildings, not so much for water parks.)
Cars are another everyday example of fluid dynamics at work. To improve aerodynamics and use less energy, you need to reduce the drag coefficient. For example, the Urbee case study has enclosed wheel wells and gentle curves in the front and back. These give it a streamlined shape that reduces its drag coefficient to about half that of normal cars.
Engineers can create energy-efficient designs that optimize fluid flow by making smarter choices on the forms, speeds and materials of their designs. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations can help you optimize your designs by helping you to better understand how your design will interact with fluids. You can experiment with CFD using the free technology preview Project Falcon on Autodesk Labs: http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/falcon/
To understand more about fluid dynamics, watch this short entertaining and informative video on the Sustainability Workshop: http://sustainabilityworkshop.autodesk.com/strategy/fluid-dynamics