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Publication# Large eddy simulation of the differentially heated cubic cavity flow by the spectral element method

Christoph Bosshard, Abdelouahab Dehbi, Michel Deville, Emmanuel Leriche, Riccardo Puragliesi, Alfredo Soldati

*Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, *2013

Journal paper

Journal paper

Abstract

Large eddy simulations of the turbulent natural convection flow in a differentially heated cavity have been carried out at a Rayleigh number of 10(9) using the spectral element method. To obtain the large eddy simulation equations, a low pass filter given by the numerical space discretisation is applied to the Boussinesq equations. The subgrid tensor in the filtered momentum equation is modelled by a subgrid viscosity computed by the dynamic Smagorinsky model. To model the subgrid heat flux vector in the filtered temperature equation, a subgrid diffusivity is used which is related to the subgrid viscosity by a dynamically computed subgrid Prandtl number. All filtering operations are done in an elementwise defined hierarchical polynomial basis. The test filter for the dynamic procedure is chosen so that the grid filter and the combination of the grid with the test filter are self-similar. An important parameter of the simulation namely the choice of the decomposition of the computational domain into spectral elements is fully discussed. Large eddy simulations for three different grid resolutions are validated and compared with a highly accurate direct numerical simulation. At the end, turbulence structures associated with the maximum of the turbulent kinetic energy production are identified by the lambda(2) criterion. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Related concepts (14)

Direct numerical simulation

A direct numerical simulation (DNS) is a simulation in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in which the Navier–Stokes equations are numerically solved without any turbulence model. This means that the

Turbulence

In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is fluid motion characterized by chaotic changes in pressure and flow velocity. It is in contrast to a laminar flow, which occurs when a fluid flows

Rayleigh number

In fluid mechanics, the Rayleigh number (Ra, after Lord Rayleigh) for a fluid is a dimensionless number associated with buoyancy-driven flow, also known as free (or natural) convection.

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Vincent Maronnier, Marco Picasso, Jacques Rappaz

A numerical model is presented for the simulation of complex fluid flows with free surfaces. The unknowns are the velocity and pressure fields in the liquid region, together with a function defining the volume fraction of liquid. Although the mathematical formulation of the model is similar to the volume of fluid (VOF) method, the numerical schemes used to solve the problem are different. A splitting method is used for the time discretization. At each time step, two advection problems and a generalized Stokes problem are to be solved. Two different grids are used for the space discretization. The two advection problems are solved on a fixed, structured grid made out of small rectangular cells, using a forward characteristic method. The generalized Stokes problem is solved using a finite element method on a fixed, unstructured mesh. Numerical results are presented for several test cases: the filling of an S-shaped channel, the filling of a disk with core, the broken dam in a confined domain. (C) 1999 Academic Press.

1999In nuclear safety, most severe accident scenarios lead to the presence of fission products in aerosol form in the closed containment atmosphere. It is important to understand the particle depletion process to estimate the risk of a release of radioactivity to the environment should a containment break occur. As a model for the containment, we use the three-dimensional differentially heated cavity (DHC) problem. DHC is a cubical box with a hot wall and a cold wall on vertical opposite sides. On the other walls of the cube we have adiabatic boundary conditions. For the velocity field the no-slip boundary condition is valid. The flow of the air in the cavity is described by the Boussinesq equations. Complex flow patterns develop and the flow characteristics depend on the non-dimensional Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers. The predominant flow type in the DHC is a turbulent natural convection flow. This work aims at reaching Rayleigh numbers and turbulent levels as high as possible given the available computational resources. The method used to simulate the turbulent flow is the large eddy simulation (LES) where the dynamics of the large eddies is resolved by the computational grid and the small eddies are modelled by the introduction of subgrid scale quantities using a filter function. Numerically, the LES equations are discretized by the spectral element method. Particle trajectories are computed using the Lagrangian particle tracking method, including the relevant forces (drag, gravity, thermophoresis). Four different particle sets with each set containing one million particles and diameters of 10 μm, 15 μm, 25 μm and 35 μm are simulated. The complexity and the size of the large three-dimensional problem requires the use of massively parallel supercomputers. Spectral element methods are naturally suitable for parallelisation by distributing the elements among the processors. For the Lagrangian particle tracking we use a method where equal numbers of particles are assigned to every processor. The flow field is broadcast and every particle processor tracks the assigned particles, a procedure which leads to a perfect load balancing. Simulation results for the flow field and particle sizes from 15 μm to 35 μm at a Rayleigh number of 109 are compared to previous results from a direct numerical simulation. First order statistics of the LES flow fields are in very good agreement with the direct numerical simulation while the agreement of second order moments is fair. Also the turbulent structures associated to the maximum of turbulent kinetic energy production are correctly reproduced. Particle statistics in the LES and the direct numerical simulation were similar and the settling rates practically identical. Contrary to previous particle simulations in LES, it was found that no model was necessary for the influence of the unresolved flow scales on the particle motions. This can be explained, because the important settling mechanism is through gravity and particle deposition at the walls by turbophoresis is negligible.

The research work reported in the present dissertation is aimed at the analysis of complex physical phenomena involving instabilities and nonlinearities occurring in fluids through state-of-the-art numerical modeling. Solutions of intricate fluid physics problems are devised in two particularly arduous situations: fluid domains with moving boundaries and the high-Reynolds-number regime dominated by nonlinear convective effects. Shear-driven flows of incompressible Newtonian fluids enclosed in cavities of varying geometries are thoroughly investigated in the two following frameworks: transition with a free surface and confined turbulence. The physical system we consider is made of an incompressible Newtonian fluid filling a bounded, or partially bounded cavity. A series of shear-driven flows are easily generated by setting in motion some part of the container boundary. These driven-cavity flows are not only technologically important, they are of great scientific interest because they display almost all physical fluid phenomena that can possibly occur in incompressible flows, and this in the simplest geometrical settings. Thus corner eddies, secondary flows, longitudinal vortices, complex three-dimensional patterns, chaotic particle motions, nonuniqueness, transition, and turbulence all occur naturally and can be studied in the same geometry. This facilitates the comparison of results from experiments, analysis, and computation over the whole range of Reynolds numbers. The flows under consideration are part of a larger class of confined flows driven by linear or angular momentum gradients. This dissertation reports a detailed study of a novel numerical method developed for the simulation of an unsteady free-surface flow in three-space-dimensions. This method relies on a moving-grid technique to solve the Navier-Stokes equations expressed in the arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) kinematics and discretized by the spectral element method. A comprehensive analysis of the continuous and discretized formulations of the general problem in the ALE frame, with nonlinear, non-homogeneous and unsteady boundary conditions is presented. In this dissertation, we first consider in the internal turbulent flow of a fluid enclosed in a bounded cubical cavity driven by the constant translation of its lid. The solution of this flow relied on large-eddy simulations, which served to improve our physical understanding of this complex flow dynamics. Subsequently, a novel subgrid model based on approximate deconvolution methods coupled with a dynamic mixed scale model was devised. The large-eddy simulation of the lid-driven cubical cavity flow based on this novel subgrid model has shown improvements over traditional subgrid-viscosity type of models. Finally a new interpretation of approximate deconvolution models when used with implicit filtering as a way to approximate the projective grid filter was given. This led to the introduction of the grid filter models. Through the use of a newly-developed method of numerical simulation, in this dissertation we solve unsteady flows with a flat and moving free-surface in the transitional regime. These flows are the incompressible flow of a viscous fluid enclosed in a cylindrical container with an open top surface and driven by the steady rotation of the bottom wall. New flow states are investigated based on the fully three-dimensional solution of the Navier-Stokes equations for these free-surface cylindrical swirling flows, without resorting to any symmetry properties unlike all other results available in the literature. To our knowledge, this study delivers the most general available results for this free-surface problem due to its original mathematical treatment. This second part of the dissertation is a basic research task directed at increasing our understanding of the influence of the presence of a free surface on the intricate transitional flow dynamics of shear-driven flows.