Software Package for Simulation of Heat Transfer in Ground with Phase Transitions

Frost 3D Universal software allows you to develop scientific models of permafrost thermal regimes under the thermal influence of pipelines, production wells, hydraulic constructions etc., taking into account the thermal stabilization of the ground. The software package is based on ten years’ experience in the field of programming, computational geometry, numerical methods, 3D visualization and parallelization of computational algorithms.

Frost 3D Universal is certified in the Russian Federation and complies with international standards.

Operational concept

1. Create the computational domain with initial and boundary conditions

System requirements

OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
CPU: Intel core i3 (release after 2011)
RAM: 4 Gb
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 400+ series, GDDR5 512Mb
HDD: 5 Gb of free space
Internet access required

2. Automatically generate the computational mesh

3. Use the database, manipulate physical properties, and set heat-exchange conditions

4. Review the resulting distribution analysis of three-dimensional temperatures,
ice content and filtration flows

5. Analyze section data

Frost 3D Universal Conference Demonstration

Main functionality of Frost 3D Universal:

  • Creation of 3D computational domain with surface topography and soil lithology;
  • 3D reconstruction of pipelines, boreholes, basements and foundations of buildings;
  • Import of 3D objects including Wavefront (OBJ), Stereolitho (STL), 3D Studio Max (3DS) and Frost 3D Objects (F3O);
  • Library of thermophysical properties of the ground, building elements, climatic factors and the parameters of cooling units;
  • Specification of thermal and hydrological properties of 3D objects and heat transfer parameters on the surfaces of objects;
  • Simulation of the temperature and unfrozen water content distribution in the computational domain with phase transition and convective heat transfer;
  • Simulation of ground water filtration;
  • 3D visualization of thermal fields, unfrozen water content and ground water filtration speed in dynamics;
  • Visualization of the thermal fields and unfrozen water content in the form of isolines and as color distribution of sections;
  • Features the ability to build graphical dependencies for temperature and unfrozen moisture content change on coordinates or time.

Initial data for thermal analysis: 

1) Initial data for 3D geometrical model creation:

a) geological soil structure;

b) project drawing, location of heat-insulation materials.

2) Thermophysical properties of soils: thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity in thawed and frozen state, density, freezing point, total gravimetric soil moisture (over all types of soil water), dependence of moisture content on temperature.

3) Thermal conductivity, heat capacity and construction material density, including insulation materials.

4) Initial vertical temperature distribution in the ground (borehole temperature log).

5) Meteorological data: air temperature variation, wind speed, changes in snow cover thickness.


3D computational domain model

3D computational domain model

Temperature distribution (plane y=0)

Temperature distribution (plane y=0)

Temperature distribution in the form of isolines(plane y=0)

Temperature distribution in the form of isolines

Мoisture content (plane y=0)

Мoisture content (plane y=0)

Advantages of Frost 3D Universal:

  • It is based on modern scientific achievements in numerical methods and mathematical simulation of heat-and-mass transfer processes in the ground;
  • Frost 3D Universal computational algorithms are parallelized for multi-core, 64-bit CPU and GPU architecture, offering a tenfold increase in computational speed with respect to sequential computational algorithms;
  • It is a unique software solution that can simulate permafrost thermal stabilization processes with cooling devices;
  • It allows you to make long-term predictions of permafrost thawing across large computational domains (kilometers);
  • It takes into account the influence of snow-depth dynamics and the intensity of solar radiation on soil temperature;
  • Thermophysical properties and heat transfer conditions can be changed during the computation process;
  • Simulation of ground water flow;
  • Takes into account convective heat transfers due to groundwater flow.

Frost 3D Universal versions:

Frost 3D Universal version Functionality
64-bit, single core CPU Max number of cells in computational mesh is 5 million. 5 GB RAM + 3 GB main application memory required. Computation is processed on a single core CPU.
64-bit, multicore CPU Max number of cells in computational mesh is 20 million. 16 GB RAM + 10 GB main application memory required (for computational mesh with 20 mln cells).
Up to 8x acceleration2 (depending on the number of cores in the CPU), compared with a single core CPU version.
64-bit, multicore GPU Max number of cells in computational mesh is 100 million. Up to 58 million cells are guaranteed ( 12 GB RAM required.
Up to 46x acceleration2, compared with a single core CPU version.
Filtration module It is required for thermal mode simulation under high flow velocities (dams, dikes, complex hydrological conditions), including ground water convective heat transfer.

For further information, click here:

1After Jan 1, 2015 technical assistance including updates will no longer be available
2with optimal parameters for the numerical solver, such as: multiplicity of mesh cells and computational cores, mesh uniformity, conformity of thermo-physical properties of materials and the number of boundary conditions.

More about the mathematical substantiation of the methods used in Frost 3D Universal can be found here.

Video presentations of Frost 3D Universal at the “Earth Cryology: XXI Century” international conference is possibly here.
Today, Frost 3D Universal is the fastest and most precise solver of heat transfer problems with phase transitions!

Examples of Projects:

Frost 3D Universal on conferences:

Interpolating Initial Conditions for Design of Transport Infrastructure. Moscow 2016

Permafrost Thermal Regime Modeling with Further Analysis of Ground Settlement. Moscow 2016

Computer Simulation of Permafrost Thermal Regime. Potsdam 2016

Challenges in the Design and Construction of Oil and Gas Fields. Tomsk 2016

Modeling of construction projects at the design stage under rough climatic conditions. Tyumen 2016

Prediction of thermal impact of gas transmission systems on permafrost. Moscow 2015

Computer simulation of permafrost thermal regime. Pushchino 2015

3D Simulation of Ground Thermal Regime in Engineering Design. Tyumen 2015

Computer Simulation Technology for Thermal Processes in Grounds. Moscow 2014

Thermal Analysis in the Design of Oil and Gas Facilities in Permafrost Regions. Tyumen 2014

Software Development for Specific Problems in Oil and Gas Industry. Tyumen 2013

Computer Simulation of Artificial Ground Freezing. Pushchino 2013

Frost 3D Universal in press:

Forecasting of Permafrost Thawing Around an Underground Cross-Country Pipeline

Article «3D simulation of ground thaw bulb formations including ice wedges around the pipeline»

«Journal of Oil and Gas Construction» (№3/2013)

Frost 3D Universal mathematical methods in «Applied and Computational Mathematics» 2013

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Frost 3D Universal and ANSYS comparison in thermal analysis

Frost 3D Universal FAQ

Frost 3D Universal versions: computational speed comparison

Simulation of groundwater flow in Frost 3D Universal

Frost 3D Universal versions and hardware comparison

Choosing the appropriate mesh type in Frost 3D Universal

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