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A Parallel Offline CFD and Closed-Form Approximation Strategy for Computationally Efficient Analysis of Complex Fluid Flows

[+] Author Affiliations
Devin Allphin, Joshua Hamel

California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

Paper No. IMECE2014-38691, pp. V007T09A086; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 7: Fluids Engineering Systems and Technologies
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4954-5
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solution approximations for complex fluid flow problems have become a common and powerful engineering analysis technique. These tools, though qualitatively useful, remain limited in practice by their underlying inverse relationship between simulation accuracy and overall computational expense. While a great volume of research has focused on remedying these issues inherent to CFD, one traditionally overlooked area of resource reduction for engineering analysis concerns the basic definition and determination of functional relationships for the studied fluid flow variables. This artificial relationship-building technique, called meta-modeling or surrogate/offline approximation, uses design of experiments (DOE) theory to efficiently approximate non-physical coupling between the variables of interest in a fluid flow analysis problem. By mathematically approximating these variables, DOE methods can effectively reduce the required quantity of CFD simulations, freeing computational resources for other analytical focuses. An idealized interpretation of a fluid flow problem can also be employed to create suitably accurate approximations of fluid flow variables for the purposes of engineering analysis. When used in parallel with a meta-modeling approximation, a closed-form approximation can provide useful feedback concerning proper construction, suitability, or even necessity of an offline approximation tool. It also provides a short-circuit pathway for further reducing the overall computational demands of a fluid flow analysis, again freeing resources for otherwise unsuitable resource expenditures. To validate these inferences, a design optimization problem was presented requiring the inexpensive estimation of aerodynamic forces applied to a valve operating on a simulated piston-cylinder heat engine. The determination of these forces was to be found using parallel surrogate and exact approximation methods, thus evidencing the comparative benefits of this technique. For the offline approximation, latin hypercube sampling (LHS) was used for design space filling across four independent design variable degrees of freedom (DOF). Flow solutions at the mapped test sites were converged using STAR-CCM+ with aerodynamic forces from the CFD models then functionally approximated using Kriging interpolation. For the closed-form approximation, the problem was interpreted as an ideal 2-D converging-diverging (C-D) nozzle, where aerodynamic forces were directly mapped by application of the Euler equation solutions for isentropic compression/expansion. A cost-weighting procedure was finally established for creating model-selective discretionary logic, with a synthesized parallel simulation resource summary provided.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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