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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Application of conditional filtering to simulation of turbulence, chemistry, and their interactions Hendra, Graham Ronald Rupert


Combustion technology has been applied in human society for millennia and, since the industrial revolution, has become an integral part of most energy supply chains. Simulation is an important tool in modern combustor design; this thesis aims to improve the quality of combustion simulation tools, and thereby facilitate the design of improved combustors. More specifically, it aims to examine how generalizing and/or relaxing the definition of conditional filtering – a common technique in turbulence-chemistry interaction modelling – can produce novel turbulence and combustion models. The work begins with an extension of the Conditional Source-term Estimation (CSE) model for turbulence-chemistry interaction modelling. A novel variation of the algorithm, termed CSE with Geometric Conditioning Variables (CSE-GCV) is proposed as a method of circumventing the theoretical and practical issues associated with traditional CSE ensemble division. In CSE-GCV, the concept of the conditional filter is generalized by introducing geometric (position-based) variables as conditioning variables. CSE-GCV is tested and found to be workable; a theoretical analysis demonstrates that CSE-GCV also generally has the advantage of reduced computational complexity compared to traditional CSE. In a separate study, the stabilization procedure employed in traditional dynamic sub-filter modelling for Large Eddy Simulation (LES) is re-interpreted as a form of conditional filtering based on position. This re-interpretation is used as the starting point for a "conditional dynamic" sub-filter model in which the stabilization procedure is based on filtering conditionally on scalar fields. Both the traditional and conditional models are applied to a turbulent flame; results suggest that the two models perform similarly, although performance of both is sub-optimal in the case considered. The final, two-part, study is based around the suggestion that, with sufficient conditioning, conditionally-filtered fields should be independent of position. It is found that assuming this uniformity produces a novel turbulence-chemistry interaction model, termed the Uniform Conditional State (UCS) model, in which the conditional scalar dissipation model is the key un-closed parameter. The UCS model is applied to a series of turbulent non-premixed flames, and is found to predict their properties to good accuracy, with details showing some sensitivity to the conditional scalar dissipation model.

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