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3.

Computational Fluid Dynamics Techniques


Computational fluid dynamics is based on 3 fundamental principals:
1. Conservation of mass
2. Newtons 2nd law F=ma
3. Conservation of energy
Using these 3 principals, a control volume and the definition of shear stress, the
Navier-Stokes equations can be derived. In order try and solve these equations, they
can be averaged giving the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS).
The RANS equations can be decomposed into a mean and a fluctuating component.
The fluctuating component is non-linear and is called the Reynolds stress. In order to
obtain solutions to these equations and hence predict flow fields, the equations need
to be closed by creating a model for the Reynolds stress. This is where a turbulence
model is used. There are a variety of different models based on different numbers of
equations and principals. Some that will be considered in this project are outlined in
Table 1.

Turbulence model
SpalartAllmaras

Equation
s
1

K-epsilon (k-)

komega

SST - Combines 2
the k-omega and kepsilon models and
switches between
the 2 for the area
most
suited
to
each.

Performs well in the Downsides


following conditions
Boundary layers
subjected
to
adverse
pressure
gradients.
Low Reynolds
numbers
Free-shear layer
More
intensive
flows
with
on
computer
relatively small
memory.
pressure
Accuracy
gradients.
reduced for flows
Confined flows
containing large
where
the
adverse pressure
Reynolds shear
gradients,
stresses
are
unconfined flows,
most important.
curved boundary
layers
and
rotating flows.
Inner region of
Strong
free
flow
near
stream sensitivity
boundary wall
The inner region
More sensitive to
of the boundary
convergence
layer
and
issues
switches and in
the free shear
flow.
Table 1

All of these have their advantages and disadvantages for the problems presented in
this project. Their uses will be discussed later during section.. where the system is
set up for turbulence model independence.
Once a turbulence model is selected the flow field needs to be discretised into cells
so that a solution can be obtained for each grid point. The space between grid points
is called cells and they act as small control volumes on which the equations can be
calculated by ensuring mass, energy and momentum are conserved. A finite different
approximation is then used to relate cells together producing a large matrix, which
once inverted gives solutions to the flow field. Most codes use an iterative solver to
deal with the non-linear terms in the RANS equations. This means, when a

neighbouring value isnt available, it is guessed and so the solver can continue. This
is an approximate value but speeds up computational times significantly and also
allows the solution of non-linear equations. As a result, the solver must make multiple
iterations to converge on values in order to obtain a more accurate solution. As the
number of cells increases, the accuracy of the solution increases but the time
required to get a solution increases.