On the assessment of an unstructured finite-volume DES/LES solver for turbomachinery applications

Chiara Bernardini, Mauro Carnevale, Simone Salvadori, Francesco Martelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)


Improvements in mean flow and performances simulation in turbomachinery has brought research to focus more demanding topics like turbulence effects on turbines. Although overall performances are well predicted by Unsteady-RANS, other phenomena such as aerodynamic noise or transition need more accurate prediction of turbulent flow features. Thus different kinds of equation modeling other than URANS are needed to cope with this issue. The success of Detached-Eddy Simulation and Large-Eddy Simulation applications in reproducing physical behavior of flow turbulence is well documented in literature. Despite that, LES simulations are still computationally very expensive and their use for investigating industrial configurations requires a careful assessment of both numerical and closure modeling techniques. Moreover LES solvers are usually developed on a structured mesh topology for sake of simplicity of high-order schemes implementation. Application to complex geometries like those of turbomachinery is therefore difficult. The present work addresses this issue considering the feasibility of converting an operative in-house URANS solver, widely validated for applicative purposes, into higher resolution DES and LES, in order to face turbulence computation of turbomachinery technical cases. The solver presents a 3D unstructured finite-volume formulation, which is kept in LES approach in order to handle complex geometries and it is developed to perform unsteady simulations on turbine stages. Preliminary assessment of the solver has been performed to evaluate and improve the accuracy of the convective fluxes discretization on an inviscid bump test case. First a DES-based approach has been implemented, as it is less computationally challenging and numerically demanding than LES. A square cylinder test case has been assessed and compared with experiments. Then, a pure LES with a Smagorinsky sub-grid scale model has been evaluated on the test case of incompressible periodic channel flow in order to assess the capability of the solver to correctly sustain a time developing turbulent field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-173
Number of pages14
JournalWSEAS Transactions on Fluid Mechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • DES
  • Inflow boundary
  • Numerical accuracy
  • Turbulent channel flow
  • Unstructured LES

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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