On the false-diffusion problem in the numerical modelling of convection-diffusion processes
This thesis is concerned with the classification and evaluation of various numerical schemes that are available for computing solutions for fluid-flow problems, and secondly, with the development of an improved numerical discretisation scheme of the finite-volume type for solving steady-state differential equations for recirculating flows with and without sources. In an effort to evaluate the performance of the various numerical schemes available, some standard test cases were used. The relative merits of the schemes were assessed by means of one-dimensional laminar flows and two-dimensional laminar and turbulent flows, with and without sources. Furthermore, Taylor series expansion analysis was also utilised to examine the limitations that were present. The outcome of this first part of the work was a set of conclusions, concerning the accuracy of the numerous schemes tests, vis-a-vis their stability, ease of implementation, and computational costs. It is hoped that these conclusions can be used by `computational fluid-dynamics' practitioners in deciding on an optimum choice of scheme for their particular problem. From the understanding gained during the first part of the study, and in an effort to combine the attributes of a successful discretisation scheme, eg positive coefficients. conservation and the elimination of 'false-diffusion', a new flow-oriented finite-volume numerical scheme was devised and applied to several test cases in order to evaluate its performance. The novel approach in formulating the new CUPID* scheme (for Corner UPw^nDing) underlines the idea of focussing attention at the control-volume corners rather than at the control-volume cell-faces. In two-dimensions, this leads to an eight neighbour influence for the central grid point value, depending on the flow-directions at the corners of the control-volume. In the formulation of the new scheme, false-diffusion is considered from a pragmatic perspective, with emphasis on physics rather than on strict mathematical considerations such as the order of discretisation, etc. The accuracy of the UPSTREAM scheme (for JJPwind in STREAMIines) indicates that although it is formally only first-order accurate, it considerably reduces 'false-diffusion'. Scalar transport calculations (without sources) show that the UPSTREAM scheme predicts bounded solutions which are more accurate than the upwind-difference scheme and the unbounded skew-upstream-difference scheme. Furthermore, for laminar and turbulent flow calculations, improved results are obtained when compared with the performances of the other schemes. The advantage of the UPSTREAM-difference scheme is that all the influence coefficients are always positive and thus the coefficient matrices are suitable for iterative solution procedures. Finally, the stability and convergence characteristics are similar to those of the upwind-difference scheme, eg converged solutions are guaranteed. What cannot be guaranteed, however, is the conservatism of the scheme and it is recommended that future work should be directed towards improving that disadvantage.