# ACTEA 2009

July 15-17, 2009 Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon

Comparison of pressure-velocity coupling schemes for 2D flow problems
Edouard Audi, Imperial College London, IEEE
Abstract— Predicting accurately the behaviour of fluids, whether it is water, air, petrol or blood, is of crucial importance in numerous fields such as engineering and medicine. The most widely used way to solve fluid flow problems is to use pressure-correction methods based on algorithms such as SIMPLE (Semi Implicit Method for Pressure Linked Equations), SIMPLER (Revised), SIMPLEC (Consistent) or PISO (Pressure Implicit with Splitting of Operators). FLUENT and STAR CD are the main software capable of calculating and plotting fluid flows for specified problems, using pressure-correction methods. Nevertheless these programs, intended for commercial use, are not ‘user friendly’ and are therefore very difficult to use efficiently; furthermore once the program finds the answer it is not easy to understand how it got to it. The aim of this research is to implement the algorithms SIMPLE, SIMPLER, SIMPLEC and PISO into Matlab in order to create a ‘user-friendly’ program that a novice user can use straightforwardly and efficiently, whilst at the same time understanding what calculations the computer performs between the specification of the problem and the answers. Using this code we will then solve 2D flow problems with the different algorithms and compare their different performances (computer time, convergence and accuracy). This research should result in a program which is user-friendly and which uses a new improved algorithm (combination of the above or new altogether) that performs better than the existing ones, thereafter reducing computational times and improving accuracy.

∂ρu ∂ρu 2 ∂ρuv ∂p ∂ ∂u ∂ ∂u + + = − + (μ ) + (μ ) + Su ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂y ∂y ∂ρv ∂ρuv ∂ρv 2 ∂p ∂ ∂v ∂ ∂v + + = − + (μ ) + (μ ) + Sv ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂y ∂x ∂x ∂y ∂y ∂ρ ∂ρu ∂ρv + + =0 ∂x ∂y ∂t
where u and v are the horizontal and vertical components of the velocity respectively, p is the pressure, ρ is the density of the fluid, μ is its dynamic viscosity and S are the source terms. These equations are generally unsolvable by hand due to non-linearity and pressure-velocity coupling issues [10]. Pressure-velocity coupling algorithms such as SIMPLE, SIMPLER, SIMPLEC or PISO are the most widely used methods to bypass these difficulties. Nevertheless the computational time and the accuracy of the solution is very dependant on the algorithm chosen and on the problem to solve. The aim of this research is to create an algorithm in Matlab, organized in specific organized blocks, in order to compare the cited algorithm for several 2D flow problems in details. II. THE ALGORITHMS A. PRELIMINARY Pressure-correction methods are preferred to other methods as they provide an efficient mean to deal with the role of the pressure in the Navier-Stokes and continuity equations. These equations are closely linked as each component of the velocity appears in every equation but there is no equation for the pressure [10]. All of the algorithms used start by guessing the pressure field and then gradually correct it until convergence is obtained, which deals efficiently with the problem. The finite volume method is used to discretise the equations. This method has several advantages over other discetisation schemes, the most important of which being that it satisfies any conservation properties of the partial differential equations that are being approximated, regardless of the mesh spacing or the truncation error, since the flux going into a control volume must equal the flux going out of it [10]. A staggered grid is used in order to prevent uncoupling of the pressure and the velocity or “checker boarding” [8]. Instead of storing all the variable at a single node, the components of the velocity are stored midway between the

I.

INTRODUCTION

The computation of fluid flows is very important in diverse fields ranging from medicine and the blood flow to engineering and the flow past a sports car or through a pipeline. All of these problems lead to solving the NavierStokes and continuity equations, which are presented here in their 2D unsteady form: