Large Scale GPU Based Simulations of Turbulent Bubbly Flow in a Square Duct

Purushotam Kumar, Surya Pratap Vanka
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
arXiv:2104.01636 [physics.flu-dyn], (4 Apr 2021)


   title={Large Scale GPU Based Simulations of Turbulent Bubbly Flow in a Square Duct},

   author={Purushotam Kumar and Surya Pratap Vanka},






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In this paper, we present the results of a numerical study of air-water turbulent bubbly flow in a periodic vertical square duct. The study is conducted using a novel numerical technique which leverages Volume of Fluid method for interface capturing and Sharp Surface Force method for accurate representation of the surface tension forces. A three-dimensional geometry construction method is employed during solution of interface equation which gives absolute conservation of mass and sharp interface between gas and liquid phases. The entire algorithm has been implemented on a data parallel mode on multiple graphics processing units (GPU) taking advantage of the large number of available cores. We have studied the dynamics of a swarm of spherical bubbles co-flowing with the upward turbulent flow and compared results with an unladen turbulent flow. The frictional Reynolds number of the unladen Re_tau is 360, which is sufficient to sustain a turbulent flow. We observe the turbulence-driven secondary flows in the mean flow, with complex instantaneous turbulent vortical structures. The interaction of these secondary flows with the upwards rising bubbles is very complex and leads to significant changes in the instantaneous and time-averaged flow field. We present the results of mean void fraction distribution, mean velocities, longitudinal and transverse turbulence intensities along the wall, corner bisector, and wall bisector. A peak in the void fraction distribution near the walls is observed representing the migration of bubbles to a preferred section of the duct. The effects of turbulence-driven secondary flows and instantaneous large eddies on preferential concentration of the bubbles are discussed. The dispersed bubbles are seen to break the long elongated turbulent structures commonly observed in the unladen turbulent flow.
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