Title page for ETD etd-01282011-170413

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Patil, Sunil
Author's Email Address psunil@vt.edu
URN etd-01282011-170413
Title Large Eddy Simulations of high Reynolds number Complex Flows with Synthetic Inlet Turbulence
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tafti, Danesh K. Committee Chair
Ekkad, Srinath V. Committee Member
Paul, Mark R. Committee Member
Simpson, Roger L. Committee Member
Vandsburger, Uri Committee Member
  • Large Eddy Simulation
  • Wall layer modeling
  • Synthetic eddy method
Date of Defense 2011-01-24
Availability unrestricted
The research was motivated by the desire to use Large Eddy Simulations (LES) to calculate liner heat transfer in industrial scale gas turbine combustors, which operate at high Reynolds numbers and high Swirl numbers. LES has several challenges which need to be surmounted for general application to complex high Reynolds number turbulent flows. The primary challenge in wall bounded flows is the need for very fine grids in the vicinity of walls, which makes LES impractical at high Reynolds numbers. An additional challenge is the accurate representation of inlet turbulent conditions for developing flows such that the computational domain size is limited to the immediate region of interest. The generalization of solutions to surmount these issues in complex geometries and grids is yet another challenge.

To meet these challenges, a novel formulation, implementation, and validation of a two layer velocity and temperature zonal wall model along with the implementation of the synthetic eddy method in a generalized coordinate system LES framework is presented in this thesis. The wall model greatly alleviates the grid requirements, whereas the synthetic eddy method provides accurate turbulent inlet boundary conditions. The methods are validated in turbulent channel flow up to a Reynolds number of 2x106, a backward facing step at Re=40,000, before application to a model swirl combustor at Re=20,000 with a Swirl number of 0.43 and flow and heat transfer in an industrial scale can combustor at Re=80,000 and Swirl number of 0.7. The integrated zonal near wall approach for velocity and temperature is then successfully used to investigate flow and heat transfer in a statistically three-dimensional flow of a ribbed duct passage used for the internal cooling of turbine blades. The zonal wall model is further modified to take in to account the effects of surface roughness and successfully used to investigate flow in a rod roughened channel at high Reynolds numbers up to 60,000.

In all cases it is shown that the zonal wall model used with the synthetic eddy method for inlet turbulence generation can result in large savings in computational cost without any significant loss in accuracy when compared to wall resolved LES and experiments. In a turbulent channel flow at Re=45,000, computational complexity was reduced by a factor of 285 using wall modeled LES, whereas in a statistically three-dimensional flow and heat transfer in a ribbed duct, at Re=20,000, the computational complexity was reduced by a factor between 60 and 140. In a swirl dominated can combustor at Re=20,000, the reduction was more modest at a factor of 9.

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