Title page for ETD etd-05022012-012117

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wang, Zhu
Author's Email Address wangzhu@vt.edu
URN etd-05022012-012117
Title Reduced-Order Modeling of Complex Engineering and Geophysical Flows: Analysis and Computations
Degree PhD
Department Mathematics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Iliescu, Traian Committee Chair
Borggaard, Jeffrey T. Committee Member
Burns, John A. Committee Member
Lin, Tao Committee Member
Zietsman, Lizette Committee Member
  • variational multiscale
  • dynamic subgrid-scale model
  • two-level algorithm
  • approximate deconvolution
  • finite elements
  • numerical analysis
  • Proper orthogonal decomposition
  • reduced-order modeling
  • large eddy simulation
  • eddy viscosity
  • turbulence
Date of Defense 2012-04-17
Availability unrestricted
Reduced-order models are frequently used in the simulation of complex flows to overcome the high computational cost of direct numerical simulations, especially for three-dimensional nonlinear problems.

Proper orthogonal decomposition, as one of the most commonly used tools to generate reduced-order models, has been utilized in many engineering and scientific applications.

Its original promise of computationally efficient, yet accurate approximation of coherent structures in high Reynolds number turbulent flows, however, still remains to be fulfilled. To balance the low computational cost required by reduced-order modeling and the complexity of the targeted flows, appropriate closure modeling strategies need to be employed.

In this dissertation, we put forth two new closure models for the proper orthogonal decomposition reduced-order modeling of structurally dominated turbulent flows: the dynamic subgrid-scale model and the variational multiscale model.

These models, which are considered state-of-the-art in large eddy simulation, are carefully derived and numerically investigated.

Since modern closure models for turbulent flows generally have non-polynomial nonlinearities, their efficient numerical discretization within a proper orthogonal decomposition framework is challenging. This dissertation proposes a two-level method for an efficient and accurate numerical discretization of general nonlinear proper orthogonal decomposition closure models. This method computes the nonlinear terms of the reduced-order model on a coarse mesh. Compared with a brute force computational approach in which the nonlinear terms are evaluated on the fine mesh at each time step, the two-level method attains the same level of accuracy while dramatically reducing the computational cost. We numerically illustrate these improvements in the two-level method by using it in three settings: the one-dimensional Burgers equation with a small diffusion parameter, a two-dimensional flow past a cylinder at Reynolds number Re = 200, and a three-dimensional flow past a cylinder at Reynolds number Re = 1000.

With the help of the two-level algorithm, the new nonlinear proper orthogonal decomposition closure models (i.e., the dynamic subgrid-scale model and the variational multiscale model), together with the mixing length and the Smagorinsky closure models, are tested in the numerical simulation of a three-dimensional turbulent flow past a cylinder at Re = 1000. Five criteria are used to judge the performance of the proper orthogonal decomposition reduced-order models: the kinetic energy spectrum, the mean velocity, the Reynolds stresses, the root mean square values of the velocity fluctuations, and the time evolution of the proper orthogonal decomposition basis coefficients. All the numerical results are benchmarked against a direct numerical simulation. Based on these numerical results, we conclude that the dynamic subgrid-scale and the variational multiscale models are the most accurate.

We present a rigorous numerical analysis for the discretization of the new models. As a first step, we derive an error estimate for the time discretization of the Smagorinsky proper orthogonal decomposition reduced-order model for the Burgers equation with a small diffusion parameter.

The theoretical analysis is numerically verified by two tests on problems displaying shock-like phenomena.

We then present a thorough numerical analysis for the finite element discretization of the variational multiscale proper orthogonal decomposition reduced-order model for convection-dominated convection-diffusion-reaction equations. Numerical tests show the increased numerical accuracy over the standard reduced-order model and illustrate the theoretical convergence rates.

We also discuss the use of the new reduced-order models in realistic applications such as airflow simulation in energy efficient building design and control problems as well as numerical simulation of large-scale ocean motions in climate modeling. Several research directions that we plan to pursue in the future are outlined.

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