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ME 5337/7337

Notes-2005-002

Introduction to Computational Fluid


Dynamics
CFD Introduction

CFD 1

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

What is Computational Fluid Dynamics?

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the science of predicting


fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transfer, chemical reactions, and related
phenomena by solving the mathematical equations which govern these
processes using a numerical process (that is, on a computer).
The result of CFD analyses is relevant engineering data used in:

conceptual studies of new designs


detailed product development
troubleshooting
redesign

CFD analysis complements testing and experimentation.

Reduces the total effort required in the laboratory.

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 2

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Applications

Applications of CFD are numerous!

flow and heat transfer in industrial processes (boilers, heat exchangers,


combustion equipment, pumps, blowers, piping, etc.)
aerodynamics of ground vehicles, aircraft, missiles
film coating, thermoforming in material processing applications
flow and heat transfer in propulsion and power generation systems
ventilation, heating, and cooling flows in buildings
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) for integrated circuit manufacturing
heat transfer for electronics packaging applications
and many, many more...

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 3

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

CFD - How It Works

Analysis begins with a mathematical model


of a physical problem.

Bottle

Conservation of matter, momentum, and


energy must be satisfied throughout the
region of interest.
Fluid properties are modeled empirically.

Filling
Nozzle

Simplifying assumptions are made in order


to make the problem tractable (e.g., steadystate, incompressible, inviscid, twodimensional).
Provide appropriate initial and/or boundary
conditions for the problem.
Domain for bottle filling
problem.

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 4

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

CFD - How It Works (2)

CFD applies numerical methods (called


discretization) to develop approximations of the
governing equations of fluid mechanics and the fluid
region to be studied.

The set of approximating equations are solved


numerically (on a computer) for the flow field
variables at each node or cell.

Governing differential equations algebraic


The collection of cells is called the grid or mesh.

System of equations are solved simultaneously to


provide solution.

The solution is post-processed to extract quantities of


interest (e.g. lift, drag, heat transfer, separation
points, pressure loss, etc.).

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 5

Mesh for bottle filling


problem.
Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

An Example: Water flow over a tube bank

Goal

compute average pressure drop, heat


transfer per tube row

Assumptions

flow is two-dimensional, laminar,


incompressible
flow approaching tube bank is steady
with a known velocity
body forces due to gravity are negligible
flow is translationally periodic (i.e.
geometry repeats itself)

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 6

Physical System can be modeled


with repeating geometry.

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

How Does a CFD Code Work?

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

CFD codes are structured around the numerical algorithms that can tackle
fluid flow problems

Three main elements:

1.
2.
3.

Pre Processor
Solver
Post Processor

CFD 7

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

1) Pre-Processor
Consists of the input of
a flow problem to CFD
User Activities:

define geometry & generate grid (50%


time)
selection of phenomena to be modeled
definition of fluid properties
specification of boundary and initial
conditions

CFD 8

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

2) Solver
Three primary numerical solution techniques

finite difference, finite element, finite control volume

The numerical method performs the following:

Approximates the unknown variables by simple functions


Discretization by substitution of the approximations into the
governing flow equations and subsequent mathematical
manipulations
Solution of the algebraic equations

CFD 9

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Solver - Finite Difference Method

Finite difference methods describe the unknowns of the flow


problems by means of point samples at the node points of a grid
co-ordinate lines
Truncated Taylor series expan-sions are used to
generate finite difference approximations of the
derivatives of in terms of point samples of at
each grid point and its immediate neighbors

CFD 10

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

3) Post Processor

Provides a user friendly (??) way to look at the results of a simulation

Domain geometry and grid display


Vector Plots
Contour Plots
Particle Tracking

CFD 11

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Problem Solving With CFD

Results of CFD are at best as good as the physics embedded in it as at worst as


good a its operator
THESE PROBLEMS ARE COMPLEX
Prior to running a simulation there is a stage of identification and formulation
of the flow problem in terms of the physical and chemical phenomena that
need to be considered.
A successful simulation has

converged solution
grid independence

CFD 12

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

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Notes-2005-002

Advantages of CFD

Low Cost

Speed

Using physical experiments and tests to get essential engineering data for
design can be expensive.
Computational simulations are relatively inexpensive, and costs are likely to
decrease as computers become more powerful.
CFD simulations can be executed in a short period of time.
Quick turnaround means engineering data can be introduced early in the
design process

Ability to Simulate Real Conditions

Many flow and heat transfer processes can not be (easily) tested - e.g.
hypersonic flow at Mach 20
CFD provides the ability to theoretically simulate any physical condition

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 13

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Advantages of CFD (2)

Ability to Simulate Ideal Conditions

CFD allows great control over the physical process, and provides the ability to
isolate specific phenomena for study.
Example: a heat transfer process can be idealized with adiabatic, constant heat
flux, or constant temperature boundaries.

Comprehensive Information

Experiments only permit data to be


extracted at a limited number of
locations in the system (e.g. pressure
and temperature probes, heat flux
gauges, LDV, etc.)
CFD allows the analyst to examine a
large number of locations in the region
of interest, and yields a
comprehensive set of flow parameters
for examination.
Courtesy: Fluent, Inc.

CFD 14

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Limitations of CFD

Physical Models

CFD solutions rely upon physical models of real world processes (e.g.
turbulence, compressibility, chemistry, multiphase flow, etc.).
The solutions that are obtained through CFD can only be as accurate as
the physical models on which they are based.

Numerical Errors

Solving equations on a computer invariably introduces numerical errors

Round-off error - errors due to finite word size available on the computer
Truncation error - error due to approximations in the numerical models

Round-off errors will always exist (though they should be small in most
cases)

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 15

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Limitations of CFD (2)

Boundary Conditions

As with physical models, the accuracy of the CFD solution is only as


good as the initial/boundary conditions provided to the numerical model.
Example: Flow in a duct with sudden expansion

If flow is supplied to domain by a pipe, you should use a fully-developed


profile for velocity rather than assume uniform conditions.
Computational
Domain

Computational
Domain

Fully Developed Inlet


Profile

Uniform Inlet
Profile

poor
Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

better

CFD 16

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16

ME 5337/7337
Notes-2005-002

Summary

Computational Fluid Dynamics is a powerful way of modeling fluid


flow, heat transfer, and related processes for a wide range of important
scientific and engineering problems.
The cost of doing CFD has decreased dramatically in recent years, and
will continue to do so as computers become more and more powerful.

Courtesy: Fluent, Inc

CFD 17

Ram Ramanan
05/27/16