A time-spectral hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin method for periodic flow problems
Author(s)Chaurasia, Hemant Kumar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
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Numerical simulations of time-periodic flows are an essential design tool for a wide range of engineered systems, including jet engines, wind turbines and flapping wings. Conventional solvers for time-periodic flows are limited in accuracy and efficiency by the low-order Finite Volume and time-marching methods they typically employ. These methods introduce significant numerical dissipation in the simulated flow, and can require hundreds of timesteps to describe a periodic flow with only a few harmonic modes. However, recent developments in high-order methods and Fourier-based time discretizations present an opportunity to greatly improve computational performance. This thesis presents a novel Time-Spectral Hybridizable Discontinuous Galerkin (HDG) method for periodic flow problems, together with applications to flow through cascades and rotor/stator assemblies in aeronautical turbomachinery. The present work combines a Fourier-based Time-Spectral discretization in time with an HDG discretization in space, realizing the dual benefits of spectral accuracy in time and high-order accuracy in space. Low numerical dissipation and favorable stability properties are inherited from the high-order HDG method, together with a reduced number of globally coupled degrees of freedom compared to other DG methods. HDG provides a natural framework for treating boundary conditions, which is exploited in the development of a new high-order sliding mesh interface coupling technique for multiple-row turbomachinery problems. A regularization of the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model is also employed to ensure numerical stability of unsteady flow solutions obtained with high-order methods. Turning to the temporal discretization, the Time-Spectral method enables direct solution of a periodic flow state, bypasses initial transient behavior, and can often deliver substantial savings in computational cost compared to implicit time-marching. An important driver of computational efficiency is the ability to select and resolve only the most important frequencies of a periodic problem, such as the blade-passing frequencies in turbomachinery flows. To this end, the present work introduces an adaptive frequency selection technique, using the Time-Spectral residual to form an inexpensive error indicator. Having selected a set of frequencies, the accuracy of the Time-Spectral solution is greatly improved by using optimally selected collocation points in time. For multi-domain problems such as turbomachinery flows, an anti-aliasing filter is also needed to avoid errors in the transfer of the solution across the sliding interface. All of these aspects contribute to the Adaptive Time-Spectral HDG method developed in this thesis. Performance characteristics of the method are demonstrated through applications to periodic ordinary differential equations, a convection problem, laminar flow over a pitching airfoil, and turbulent flow through a range of single- and multiple-row turbomachinery configurations. For a 2:1 rotor/stator flow problem, the Adaptive Time-Spectral HDG method correctly identifies the relevant frequencies in each blade row. This leads to an accurate periodic flow solution with greatly reduced computational cost, when compared to sequentially selected frequencies or a time-marching solution. For comparable accuracy in prediction of rotor loading, the Adaptive Time- Spectral HDG method incurs 3 times lower computational cost (CPU time) than time-marching, and for prediction of only the 1st harmonic amplitude, these savings rise to a factor of 200. Finally, in three-row compressor flow simulations, a high-order HDG method is shown to achieve significantly greater accuracy than a lower-order method with the same computational cost. For example, considering error in the amplitude of the 1st harmonic mode of total rotor loading, a p = 1 computation results in 20% error, in contrast to only 1% error in a p = 4 solution with comparable cost. This highlights the benefits that can be obtained from higher-order methods in the context of turbomachinery flow problems.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 110-120).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.