PDF modeling of turbulent flows on unstructured grids

dc.contributor.authorBakosi, József
dc.creatorBakosi, József
dc.description.abstractIn probability density function (PDF) methods of turbulent flows, the joint PDF of several flow variables is computed by numerically integrating a system of stochastic differential equations for Lagrangian particles. Because the technique solves a transport equation for the PDF of the velocity and scalars, a mathematically exact treatment of advection, viscous effects and arbitrarily complex chemical reactions is possible; these processes are treated without closure assumptions. A set of algorithms is proposed to provide an efficient solution of the PDF transport equation modeling the joint PDF of turbulent velocity, frequency and concentration of a passive scalar in geometrically complex configurations. An unstructured Eulerian grid is employed to extract Eulerian statistics, to solve for quantities represented at fixed locations of the domain and to track particles. All three aspects regarding the grid make use of the finite element method. Compared to hybrid methods, the current methodology is stand-alone, therefore it is consistent both numerically and at the level of turbulence closure without the use of consistency conditions. Since both the turbulent velocity and scalar concentration fields are represented in a stochastic way, the method allows for a direct and close interaction between these fields, which is beneficial in computing accurate scalar statistics. Boundary conditions implemented along solid bodies are of the free-slip and no-slip type without the need for ghost elements. Boundary layers at no-slip boundaries are either fully resolved down to the viscous sublayer, explicitly modeling the high anisotropy and inhomogeneity of the low-Reynolds-number wall region without damping or wall-functions or specified via logarithmic wall-functions. As in moment closures and large eddy simulation, these wall-treatments provide the usual trade-off between resolution and computational cost as required by the given application. Particular attention is focused on modeling the dispersion of passive scalars in inhomogeneous turbulent flows. Two different micromixing models are investigated that incorporate the effect of small scale mixing on the transported scalar: the widely used interaction by exchange with the mean and the interaction by exchange with the conditional mean model. An adaptive algorithm to compute the velocity-conditioned scalar mean is proposed that homogenizes the statistical error over the sample space with no assumption on the shape of the underlying velocity PDF. The development also concentrates on a generally applicable micromixing timescale for complex flow domains. Several newly developed algorithms are described in detail that facilitate a stable numerical solution in arbitrarily complex flow geometries, including a stabilized mean-pressure projection scheme, the estimation of conditional and unconditional Eulerian statistics and their derivatives from stochastic particle fields employing finite element shapefunctions, particle tracking through unstructured grids, an efficient particle redistribution procedure and techniques related to efficient random number generation. The algorithm is validated and tested by computing three different turbulent flows: the fully developed turbulent channel flow, a street canyon (or cavity) flow and the turbulent wake behind a circular cylinder at a sub-critical Reynolds number. The solver has been parallelized and optimized for shared memory and multi-core architectures using the OpenMP standard. Relevant aspects of performance and parallelism on cache-based shared memory machines are discussed and presented in detail. The methodology shows great promise in the simulation of high-Reynolds-number incompressible inert or reactive turbulent flows in realistic configurations.
dc.subjectTurbulent flow
dc.subjectProbability density function method
dc.subjectParticle method
dc.subjectFinite element method
dc.subjectMonte-Carlo method
dc.subjectUnstructured grids
dc.titlePDF modeling of turbulent flows on unstructured grids
thesis.degree.disciplineComputational Sciences and Informatics
thesis.degree.grantorGeorge Mason University
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy in Computational Sciences and Informatics


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