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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: Terrence W. Simon, Associate Fellow

Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes and Large Eddy Simulations of Turbuletn Flow and Heat Transfer in Propulsion and Power Systems

The Simon group performs research in Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and large eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent and transitional flows of interest in aerodynamics, power, and propulsion systems. With RANS, equations are closed by low-Reynolds number turbulence models, whereas in LES, only the subgrid scales are modeled. LES has recently been employed to study the influence of heat transfer, rotation, and buoyancy on the structure of turbulence in configurations of interest in engineering applications. Current work includes the simulation of flows in complex geometries using the immersed boundary treatment, and the simulation of particle-laden flows. The long-term objective of the research is twofold. The first is to evaluate the accuracy of LES, RANS, and subgrid turbulence models by comparing predicted results with experimentally measured ones. The second is to contribute to the physical understanding of flows and transition in aerodynamics and propulsion systems.

Another portion of this work is the simulation of flows in turbine passages in support of the measurements of thermal migration of coolant and unsteady flow associated with transition, wake passings, and separation. In the high-pressure turbine, the migration of coolant used to protect passage surfaces is important in evaluation of thermal stresses on the endwall of the passage. Measurements are underway and simulations of this flow will be carried out in parallel. In the low-pressure turbine, unsteady flow separation, transition, and wake-influenced events proceed in a periodic fashion. The researchers are measuring velocity profiles in this flow and will carry out parallel computation work in support. They use a plasma-induced flow actuation to influence transition on the low-pressure turbine suction surface when needed for reducing the separation zone and increase aerodynamics efficiency. They are computing flow dispersion in a porous medium that simulates a Stirling engine being developed for space power. The experimental data indicate that present models for dispersion of momentum and thermal energy are not complete. Computation is being used to assess the performance of present models and in the development of an experimental test program.

Group Members

Aaron Boomsma, Graduate Student
Debashish Burman, Graduate Student
Ryan Erickson, Graduate Student
Krithiga Ganesan, Graduate Student
Farhad A. Jaberi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Joon Lee, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Kunlun Liu, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Richard Pletcher, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Zhaohui Qin, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Yuhyen Seah, Undergraduate Student
Tom Shih, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Wen Wang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Youmin Yu, Research Associate