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Title: Development of a near-wall domain decomposition method for turbulent flows
Author: Jones, Adam
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2016
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In computational fluid dynamics (CFD), there are two widely-used methods for computing the near-wall regions of turbulent flows: high Reynolds number (HRN) models and low Reynolds number (LRN) models. HRN models do not resolve the near-wall region, but instead use wall functions to compute the required parameters over the near-wall region. In contrast, LRN models resolve the flow right down to the wall. Simulations with HRN models can take an order of magnitude less time than with LRN models, however the accuracy of the solution is reduced and certain requirements on the mesh must be met if the wall function is to be valid. It is often difficult or impossible to satisfy these requirements in industrial computations. In this thesis the near-wall domain decomposition (NDD) method of Utyuzhnikov (2006) is developed and implemented into the industrial code, Code_Saturne, for the first time. With the NDD approach, the near-wall regions of a fluid flow are removed from the main computational mesh. Instead, the mesh extends down to an interface boundary, which is located a short distance from the wall, denoted y*. A simplified boundary layer equation is used to calculate boundary conditions at the interface. When implemented with a turbulence model which can resolve down to the wall, there is no lower limit on the value of y*. There is a Reynolds number-dependent upper limit on y*, as there is with HRN models. Thus for large y*, the model functions as a HRN model and as y*→ 0 the LRN solution is recovered. NDD is implemented for the k−ε and Spalart-Allmaras turbulence models and is tested on five test cases: a channel flow at two different Reynolds numbers, an annular flow, an impinging jet flow and the flow in an asymmetric diffuser. The method is tested as a HRN and LRN model and it is found that the method behaves competitively with the scalable wall function (SWF) on simpler flows, and performs better on the asymmetric diffuser flow, where the NDD solution correctly captures the recirculation region whereas the SWF does not. The method is then tested on a ribbed channel flow. Particular focus is given to investigating how much of the rib can be excluded from the main computational mesh. It is found that it is possible to remove 90% of the rib from the mesh with less than 2% error in the friction factor compared to the LRN solution. The thesis then focuses on the industrial case of the flow in an annulus where the inner wall, referred to as the pin, has a rib on its surface that protrudes into the annulus. Comparison is made between CFD calculations, experimental data and empirical correlations. It is found that the experimental friction factors are significantly larger than those found with CFD, and that the trend in the friction factor with Reynolds number found in the experiments is different. Simulations are performed to quantify the effect that a non-smooth surface finish on the pin and rib surface has on the flow. This models the situation that occurs in an advanced gas-cooled nuclear reactor, when a carbon deposit forms on the fuel pins. The relationship between the friction factor and surface finish is plotted. It is demonstrated that surface roughness left over by the manufacturing process in the experiments is not the source of the discrepancy between the experimental and CFD results.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC ; EDF Energy R&D UK Centre Limited
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: AGR ; Domain decomposition ; Code Saturne ; Wall functions ; RANS