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Large Eddy Simulation of Tracer Gas Dispersion in a Cavity

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-16, 17:02 authored by William McMullan

This paper assesses the prediction of inert tracer gas dispersion within a cavity of height (H) 1.0 m, and unity aspect ratio, using large Eddy simulation (LES). The flow Reynolds number was 67 000, based on the freestream velocity and cavity height. The flow upstream of the cavity was laminar, producing a cavity shear layer which underwent a transition to turbulence over the cavity. Three distinct meshes are used, with grid spacings of $H / 100$ (coarse), $H / 200$ (intermediate), and $H / 400$ (fine) respectively. The Smagorinsky, WALE, and Germano-Lilly subgrid-scale models are used on each grid to quantify the effects of subgrid-scale modelling on the simulated flow. Coarsening the grid led to small changes in the predicted velocity field, and to substantial over-prediction of the tracer gas concentration statistics. Quantitative metric analysis of the tracer gas statistics showed that the coarse grid simulations yielded results outside of acceptable tolerances, while the intermediate and fine grids produced acceptable output. Interrogation of the fluid dynamics present in each simulation showed that the evolution of the cavity shear layer is heavily influenced by the grid and subgrid scale model. On the coarse and intermediate grids the development of the shear layer is delayed, inhibiting the entrainment and mixing of the tracer gas into the shear layer, reducing the removal of the tracer gas from the cavity. On the fine grid, the shear layer developed more rapidly, resulting in enhanced removal of the tracer gas from the cavity. Concentration probability density functions showed that the fine grid simulations accurately predicted the range, and the most probable value, of the tracer gas concentration towards both walls of the cavity. The results presented in this paper show that the WALE and Germano-Lilly models may be advantageous over the standard Smagorinsky model for simulations of pollutant dispersion in the urban environment.


Royal Academy of Engineering / Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, Grant No. LTRF1920\16\38


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School of Engineering


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Fluid Dynamics Research




IOP Publishing for Japan Society of Fluid Mechanics



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