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Explicit filtering to obtain grid-spacing-independent and discretization-order-independent large-eddy simulation of two-phase volumetrically dilute flow with evaporation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 February 2013

Senthilkumaran Radhakrishnan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
Josette Bellan*
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Email address for correspondence:


Predictions from conventional large-eddy simulation (LES) are known to be grid-spacing and spatial-discretization-order dependent. In a previous article (Radhakrishnan & Bellan, J. Fluid Mech., vol. 697, 2012a, pp. 399–435), we reformulated LES for compressible single-phase flow by explicitly filtering the nonlinear terms in the governing equations so as to render the solution grid-spacing and discretization-order independent. Having shown in Radhakrishnan & Bellan (2012a) that the reformulated LES, which we call EFLES, yields grid-spacing-independent and discretization-order-independent solutions for compressible single-phase flow, we explore here the potential of EFLES for evaporating two-phase flow where the small scales have an additional origin compared to single-phase flow. Thus, we created a database through direct numerical simulation (DNS) that when filtered serves as a template for comparisons with both conventional LES and EFLES. Both conventional LES and EFLES are conducted with two gas-phase SGS models; the drop-field SGS model is the same in all these simulations. For EFLES, we also compared simulations performed with the same SGS model for the gas phase but two different drop-field SGS models. Moreover, to elucidate the influence of explicit filtering versus gas-phase SGS modelling, EFLES with two drop-field SGS models but no gas-phase SGS models were conducted. The results from all these simulations were compared to those from DNS and from the filtered DNS (FDNS). Similar to the single-phase flow findings, the conventional LES method yields solutions which are both grid-spacing and spatial-discretization-order dependent. The EFLES solutions are found to be grid-spacing independent for sufficiently large filter-width to grid-spacing ratio, although for the highest discretization order this ratio is larger in the two-phase flow compared to the single-phase flow. For a sufficiently fine grid, the results are also discretization-order independent. The absence of a gas-phase SGS model leads to build-up of energy near the filter cut-off indicating that while explicit filtering removes energy above the filter width, it does not provide the correct dissipation at the scales smaller than this width. A wider viewpoint leads to the conclusion that although the minimum filter-width to grid-spacing ratio necessary to obtain the unique grid-independent solution might be different for various discretization-order schemes, the grid-independent solution thus obtained is also discretization-order independent.

©2013 Cambridge University Press

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