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Fluent Software Training

TRN-98-006

Boundary Conditions

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TRN-98-006

Outline

Purpose of Boundary Conditions


Setting Boundary Conditions

Flow Inlets and Exits


Wall, Repeating, and Pole Boundaries
Internal Cell Zones
Internal Face Boundaries

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Purpose of Boundary Conditions

Boundary Conditions

out

Specify fluxes into computational domain of:

Mass
Momentum
Energy

K.E. of turbulence
Dissipation rate of turbulence

Speciestomass
fractions
Boundary Conditions are assigned
Zones.

Boundaries direct and constrain motion of flow.


Boundary Conditions are a required component of mathematical model.

Zones are a collection of cells (fluid or solid continuum)


or cell faces (boundaries, interior surfaces).
Surfaces are used for post-processing.
Surfaces can correspond to Zones:

Surfaces are automatically generated from cell face Zones.

walls
in

Surfaces corresponding to fluid and solid zones are not.

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Setting Boundary Conditions

To set boundary conditions for particular zone:


Define Boundary Conditions...

Choose the zone in Zone list.


Click on selected zone type in Type list
Click Set.. button

Can also select boundary zone in graphics


window using right mouse button.

Useful if:

Setting up problem for first time


Two or more zones of same type in problem.

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Flow Inlets and Exits - Introduction

Wide range of boundary conditions permit flow to enter and exit


solution domain.
Types of boundary conditions for specification of flow inlets and exits:

General

Incompressible

Velocity inlet
Outflow

Compressible flows

Pressure inlet
Pressure outlet

Mass flow inlet


Pressure far-field

Special

Inlet vent, outlet vent, intake fan, exhaust fan


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Inlet and Outlet Boundaries

Inlet and Outlet boundary conditions are available to specify fluxes for:

Internal Flows: jet engine, reactor


External Flows: aircraft in flight, natural convection flows

General guidelines:

Select inlet and outlet boundary location and shape such that flow either
goes in or out.

Should not observe large gradients in direction normal to boundary.

Not necessary, but will typically observe better convergence.


Indicates incorrect set-up.

Minimize grid skewness near boundary.

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Velocity Inlets (1)

Defines velocity and scalar properties


of flow at inlet boundaries.
Useful when velocity or velocity
profile is known at inlet.
Intended for incompressible flows
only.

Total (or stagnation) properties of


flow are not fixed.

Stagnation properties vary to


accommodate prescribed velocity
distribution.

Use in compressible flows nonphysical result

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Velocity Inlets (2)

User-defined functions (UDF) can be used to define spatial- and timevarying velocity profiles (magnitude and direction).
If upstream flow comes from region of constant total energy and there
are no losses (upstream), it may be easier to use the Pressure Inlet
condition.

Still need to specify direction of velocity vector.

Dont place velocity inlet too close to a solid obstruction.

Can force the solution to be non-physical, e.g., imposes velocity field, etc.,
at boundary that may not be intended.

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Determining Turbulence Parameters

When turbulent flow enters domain at inlet, outlet, or at a far-field


boundary, FLUENT 5 requires boundary values for:
Turbulent kinetic energy k
Turbulence dissipation rate
Four methods available for specifying turbulence parameters:

Set k and explicitly


Set turbulence intensity and turbulence length scale
Set turbulence intensity and turbulent viscosity ratio
Set turbulence intensity and hydraulic diameter

Intensity and length scale depend on conditions upstream, e.g.:

Exhaust of a turbine
Intensity = 20 %
Length scale = 1 - 10 % of blade span
Downstream of perforated plate or screen
Intensity = 10 %
Length scale = screen/hole size
Fully-developed flow in a duct or pipe
Intensity = 5 %
Length scale = hydraulic diameter
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Pressure Preliminaries

gauge
pressure

Can be expressed relative to


operating pressure as the gauge
pressure:
pabsolute p gauge poperating

absolute
pressure

Static pressure is thermodynamic


pressure (Stokes Hypothesis).

pressure
level

Absolute pressure is referenced to a


vacuum.

operating
pressure
operating
pressure

Expressible as absolute or gauge


pressure

Boundary conditions require gauge


pressure inputs.

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Calculations Using Pressure

Total (stagnation) pressure is defined as:

ptotal = pstatic + 1/2 v2

Pressure at thermodynamic state which would exist if fluid were brought


to rest (zero velocity) isentropically.
1/2 v2 is referred to as the dynamic pressure.

Density can be calculated from the ideal gas law:

For incompressible flow:

poperating
RT

For compressible flow:

pabsolute
RT
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Setting Operating Pressure

For compressible flows:

Set operating pressure = 0


Treat gauge pressures as absolute pressures

For incompressible, constant-density flows, operating pressure not


used.
For incompressible flows using ideal-gas law to determine density

Select incompressible-ideal-gas in Define Materials...


Set operating pressure close to mean pressure in problem.

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Pressure Inlet Boundary (1)

Defines total pressure, temperature, and


other scalar quantities at flow inlets.
Also requires direction of velocity
vector to be defined.

Can get non-physical results if you


dont specify reasonable direction for
velocity vector.

Useful when:

flow rate and/or velocity is not known


(e.g., buoyancy-driven flows).
free boundary in an external or
unconfined flow needs to be defined.
Suitable for compressible and
incompressible flows.

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Pressure Inlet Boundary (2)

Inflow stagnation properties are prescribed:

Mechanical head of pressure/total pressure drives flow into


computational domain.
Mass flux varies depending on interior solution and direction specified
for velocity vector.

Note:

Value specified for total pressure used as static pressure wherever


outflow occurs.
Total temperature set to static temperature for incompressible flows.

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Pressure Outlet Boundary (1)

Flow exits computational domain at


fixed static pressure.
Requires specification of static
(gauge) pressure at outlet boundary.
All other flow quantities at the
pressure outlet boundary are
extrapolated from the interior.
Value of specified static pressure:

used only while exit flow is


subsonic.
ignored for supersonic flow
(pressure is extrapolated from flow
in interior).

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Pressure Outlet Boundary (2)

Backflow conditions must be specified.

Required for calculations if flow reverses direction at Pressure Outlet boundary


during solution process.
When backflow occurs, it is assumed to be normal to the boundary.

Cannot specify the direction of the flow entering the domain, in contrast to
pressure inlet boundary condition.

Convergence difficulties minimized by realistic values for backflow quantities.


Value specified for static pressure used as total pressure wherever backflow
occurs.

Pressure Outlet must be used when problem is set up with Pressure Inlet.

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Outflow Boundary

Flow exiting domain at Outflow boundary has zero normal


gradients for all flow variables except pressure.
FLUENT extrapolates required information from interior.
Useful when:

Details of flow velocity and pressure not known prior to solution of


flow problem.
Appropriate where exit flow is close to fully developed condition.

Note: Use of Pressure Outlet (instead of Outflow) often results in


better rate of convergence when backflow occurs during
iteration.

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Restrictions on Outflow Boundaries

Outflow Boundaries cannot be used:

with compressible flows.


with the Pressure Inlet boundary condition (use Velocity Inlet instead):

Combination does not uniquely set a pressure gradient over the whole domain.

in unsteady flows with variable density.

Do not use outflow


boundaries where:

Flow enters domain


Gradients in flow
direction are significant
Conditions downstream
of exit plane impact
flow in domain

outflow
condition
ill-posed

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outflow
condition
not obeyed

outflow
condition
obeyed

outflow
condition
closely
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Modeling Multiple Exits

Using Outflow boundary condition:


Mass flow divided equally among all
outflow boundaries by default.
Flow Rate Weighting (FRW) set to 1 by
default.
For uneven flow distribution:

specify Flow Rate Weighting for each


outflow boundary: mi=FRWi/FRWi.
static pressure varies among exits to
accommodate flow distribution.

velocity
inlet

FRW1
FRW2

Can also use Pressure Outlet boundaries


to define exits.

velocity-inlet (v,T0)
or
pressure-inlet (p0,T0)
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pressure-outlet
(ps)1
pressure-outlet
(ps)2
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Other Inlet/Outlet Boundary Conditions

Mass Flow Inlet

Pressure Far Field

Available when density is calculated from the ideal gas law.


Used to model free-stream compressible flow at infinity, with free-stream
Mach number and static conditions specified.

Exhaust Fan/Outlet Vent

Used in compressible flows to prescribe mass flow rate at inlet.


Not required for incompressible flows.

Model external exhaust fan/outlet vent with specified pressure jump/loss


coefficient and ambient (discharge) pressure and temperature.

Inlet Vent/Intake Fan

Model inlet vent/external intake fan with specified loss coefficient/ pressure
jump, flow direction, and ambient (inlet) pressure and temperature.

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Wall, Repeating, and Pole Boundaries

Purpose of Boundary Conditions


Setting Boundary Conditions

Flow Inlets and Exits


Wall, Repeating, and Pole Boundaries

Wall
Symmetry
Periodic
Axis

Internal Cell Zones


Internal Face Boundaries

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Wall Boundaries

Used to bound fluid and solid regions.


In viscous flows, no-slip condition
enforced at walls

Wall shear stress and heat transfer


based on local flow field.
Assumed to be rigid and impermeable

Tangential velocity component


specified in terms of translational or
rotational motion of wall boundary.

Normal velocity component = 0

For accurate predictions of wall shear


stress, be sure to resolve boundary
layers in viscous flows.

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Symmetry Boundaries

Used to reduce computational effort in problem.


Flow field and geometry must be symmetric:

No inputs required.

Zero normal velocity at symmetry plane


Zero normal gradients of all variables at symmetry plane

Must take care to correctly define symmetry boundary locations.

Also used to model slip walls in viscous flow

symmetry
planes
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Periodic Boundaries

Used when physical geometry of


interest and expected pattern of
flow/thermal solution have
periodically repeating nature.

4 tangential
inlets

cyclic
boundaries

Reduces computational effort in


problem.

Two types available in FLUENT 5.

Rotationally periodic

Type 1: Does not allow pressure


drop across periodic planes.
Type 2: Periodic boundaries with
pressure drop.

Periodic at I=NI

I
J

Periodic at I=1
Translationally periodic

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Periodic Boundaries with Pressure Drop Type 2

MUST be translationally periodic


Designed to model fully-developed conditions

Fully-developed flow in pipes and ducts


Tube banks

computational
domain

Periodic heat transfer also possible


Specify either:

Mean pressure gradient


per period

Net mass flow rate

flow
direction
Streamlines in
a 2D tube heat
exchanger

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Axis Boundaries

Used:

At centerline (y=0) of an
axisymmetric grid
Where multiple grid lines meet
at a point in a 3D O-type grid

Specify:

No inputs required
AXIS
boundary

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Internal Cell Zones

Purpose of Boundary Conditions


Setting Boundary Conditions

Flow Inlets and Exits


Wall, Repeating, and Pole Boundaries
Internal Cell Zones

Fluid
Porous

Type of fluid zone

Solid

Internal Face Boundaries

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Fluid Conditions

Fluid zone = group of cells for


equations are
Only required input is type of
material

solved.
fluid

So appropriate material
used

properties

Optional inputs allow setting


source terms:

which all active

Heat
Mass
Momentum

of

Turbulence
Can define motion
fluid zone
for
Species
If rotationally periodic boundaries adjacent to fluid zone, use rotation axis.
Define fluid zone as laminar flow region if modeling transitional flow.

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Porous Media Conditions

Porous zone modeled as special type of fluid zone.

Enable Porous Zone option in Fluid panel.


Pressure loss in flow determined via user inputs.

Used to model flow through porous media and other distributed


resistances:

Packed beds
Filter papers
Perforated plates
Flow distributors
Tube banks

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Solid Conditions

Solid zone = group of cells for which only heat


conduction problem solved.

Material being treated as solid may actually be


fluid, but it is assumed that no convection takes
place.
Only required input is material type

No flow equations solved

So appropriate material properties used.

Optional inputs allow you to set volumetric heat


generation rate (heat source).
Can define motion for solid zone
Need to specify rotation axis if rotationally
periodic boundaries adjacent to solid zone.

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Internal Face Boundaries

Defined on cell faces

Do not have finite thickness


Provide means of introducing step change in flow properties.

Used to implement physical models representing:

Fans
Radiators
Porous jump

Thin porous membranes

Interior wall

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Summary

Zones are used to assign boundary conditions.


Wide range of boundary conditions permit flow to enter and exit
solution domain.
Wall boundary conditions used to bound fluid and solid regions.
Repeating boundaries used to reduce computational effort.
Internal cell zones used to specify fluid, solid, and porous regions.
Internal face boundaries provide way to introduce step change in flow
properties.

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