Zhou, X., Luo, K.H. and Williams, J.J.R.
Study of density effects in turbulent buoyant jets using large-eddy simulation
Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, 15, (2), . (doi:10.1007/s001620100045).
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Large-Eddy simulations (LES) of spatially evolving turbulent buoyant round jets have been carried out with two different density ratios. The numerical method used is based on a low-Mach-number version of the Navier-Stokes equations for weakly compressible flow using a second-order centre-difference scheme for spatial discretization in Cartesian coordinates and an Adams-Bashforth scheme for temporal discretization. The simulations reproduce the typical temporal and spatial development of turbulent buoyant jets. The near-field dynamic phenomenon of puffing associated with the formation of large vortex structures near the plume base with a varicose mode of instability and the far-field random motions of small-scale eddies are well captured. The pulsation frequencies of the buoyant plumes compare reasonably well with the experimental results of Cetegen (1997) under different density ratios, and the underlying mechanism of the pulsation instability is analysed by examining the vorticity transport equation where it is found that the baroclinic torque, buoyancy force and volumetric expansion are the dominant terms. The roll-up of the vortices is broken down by a secondary instability mechanism which leads to strong turbulent mixing and a subsequent jet spreading. The transition from laminar to turbulence occurs at around four diameters when random disturbances with a 5% level of forcing are imposed to a top-hat velocity profile at the inflow plane and the transition from jet-like to plume-like behaviour occurs further downstream. The energy-spectrum for the temperature fluctuations show both m5/3 and m3 power laws, characteristic of buoyancy-dominated flows. Comparisons are conducted between LES results and experimental measurements, and good agreement has been achieved for the mean and turbulence quantities. The decay of the centreline mean velocity is proportional to xm1/3 in the plume-like region consistent with the experimental observation, but is different from the xm1 law for a non-buoyant jet, where x is the streamwise location. The distributions of the mean velocity, temperature and their fluctuations in the near-field strongly depend upon the ratio of the ambient density to plume density „a/„0. The increase of „a/„0 under buoyancy forcing causes an increase in the self-similar turbulent intensities and turbulent fluxes and an increase in the spatial growth rate. Budgets of the mean momentum, energy, temperature variance and turbulent kinetic energy are analysed and it is found that the production of turbulence kinetic energy by buoyancy relative to the production by shear is increased with the increase of „a/„0.
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