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Truncation error analysis of unstructured finite volume discretization schemes Jalali, Alireza


Numerical experiments have proved that numerical errors are at least as large as other sources of error in numerical simulation of fluid flows. Approximating the continuous partial differential equations that govern the behavior of a fluid with discrete relations results in truncation error which is the initial source of numerical errors. Reducing numerical error requires the ability to quantify and reduce the truncation error. Although the truncation error can be easily found for structured mesh discretizations, there is no generic methodology for the truncation error analysis of unstructured finite volume discretizations. In this research, we present novel techniques for the analysis and quantification of the truncation error produced by finite volume discretization on unstructured meshes. These techniques are applied to compare the truncation error produced by different discretization schemes commonly used in cell-centered finite volume solvers. This comparison is carried out for fundamental scalar equations that model the fluid dynamic equations. These equations model both the diffusive and convective fluxes which appear in the finite volume formulation of the fluid flow equations. Two classes of tests are considered for accuracy assessment. Analytical tests on topologically perfect meshes are done to find the general form of the truncation error. Moreover, these tests allow us to eliminate from consideration those schemes that do not perform well even for slightly perturbed meshes. Given the results of the analytic tests, we define a truncation error metric based on the coefficients associated with the spatial derivatives in the series expansion of the truncation error. More complex numerical tests are conducted on the remaining schemes to extend the accuracy assessment to general unstructured meshes consisting of both isotropic and anisotropic triangles. These results will guide us in the choice of appropriate discretization schemes for diffusive and convective fluxes arising from discretization of real governing equations.

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