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Adapted from material of A. Bakker Applied CFD & An Introduction to CFD of S. Lan

The convection-diffusion equations are transport equations for all variables, except for the pressure. Gradients in the pressure appear in the momentum equations, thus the pressure field needs to be calculated in order to be able to solve these equations. If the flow is compressible:

The continuity equation can be used to compute density. Temperature follows from the enthalpy equation. Pressure can then be calculated from the equation of state p=p(,T).

However, if the flow is incompressible the density is constant and not linked to pressure. The solution of the Navier-Stokes equations is then complicated by the lack of an independent equation for pressure.

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In order to maintain consistency among the numerical approximations used, it is best to derive the equation for the pressure from the discretised momentum and continuity equations rather than by approximating the Poisson equation

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A=

V x

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Notes on underrelaxation

Underrelaxation factors are there to suppress oscillations in the flow solution that result from numerical errors. Underrelaxation factors that are too small will significantly slow down convergence, sometimes to the extent that the user thinks the solution is converged when it really is not. The recommendation is to always use underrelaxation factors that are as high as possible, without resulting in oscillations or divergence. When the solution is converged but the pressure residual is still relatively high, the factors for pressure and momentum can be lowered to further refine the solution.

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Effect of under-relaxation parameter for pressure, p CDS, 32x32 CV uniform grid Number of iterations required to reduce the residual 3 orders of magnitude

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Effect of under-relaxation parameter for velocity, u Number of iterations required to reduce the residual 3 orders of magnitude

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cold

hot

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Convergence

The iterative process is repeated until the change in the variable from one iteration to the next becomes so small that the solution can be considered converged. At convergence:

All discrete conservation equations (momentum, energy, etc.) are obeyed in all cells to a specified tolerance. The solution no longer changes with additional iterations. Mass, momentum, energy and scalar balances are obtained.

Residuals measure imbalance (or error) in conservation equations. The absolute residual at point P is defined as:

RP = a P P nb anb nb b

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Convergence

Residuals are usually scaled relative to the local value of the property in order to obtain a relative error:

RP , scaled

a P P nb anb nb b = a P P

They can also be normalized, by dividing them by the maximum residual that was found at any time during the iterative process. An overall measure of the residual in the domain is: a P P nb anb nb b R = all cells a P P

all cells

It is common to require the scaled residuals to be on the order of 10-3 to 10-4 or less for convergence.

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If the residuals have met the specified convergence criterion but are still decreasing, the solution may not yet be fully converged. If the residuals never meet the convergence criterion, but are no longer decreasing and other solution monitors do not change either, the solution is converged. Residuals are not the solution! Low residuals do not automatically mean a correct solution, and high residuals do not automatically mean a wrong solution. Final residuals are often higher with higher order discretization schemes than with first order discretization. That does not mean that the first order solution is better! Residuals can be monitored graphically also.

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For models whose purpose is to calculate a force on an object, the predicted force itself should be monitored for convergence. E.g. for an airfoil, one should monitor the predicted drag coefficient. Overall mass balance should be satisfied. When modeling rotating equipment such as turbofans or mixing impellers, the predicted torque should be monitored. For heat transfer problems, the temperature at important locations can be monitored.

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aPnb anbnb = bP

nb

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