Modelling of Flow Past Long Cylindrical Structures: PhD thesis

Research output: Other contributionScientific


Turbulent flows are fundamental in engineering and the environment, but their chaotic and three-dimensional (3-D) nature makes them computationally expensive to simulate. In this work, a dimensionality reduction technique is investigated to exploit flows presenting an homogeneous direction, such as wake flows of extruded two-dimensional (2-D) geometries. First, we examine the effect of the homogeneous direction span on the wake turbulence dynamics of incompressible flow past a circular cylinder at $Re=10^4$. It is found that the presence of a solid wall induces 3-D structures even in highly constricted domains. The 3-D structures are rapidly two-dimensionalised by the large-scale K\'{a}rm\'{a}n vortices if the cylinder span is 50\% of the diameter or less, as a result of the span being shorter than the natural wake Mode B instability wavelength[... ] . With this physical understanding, a 2-D data-driven model that incorporates 3-D effects, as found in the 3-D wake flow, is presented. The 2-D model is derived from a novel flow decomposition based on a local spanwise average of the f low, yielding the spanwise-averaged Navier-Stokes (SANS) equations[... ] . A machine-learning (ML) model is employed to provide closure to the SANS equations. In the a-priori framework, the ML model yields accurate predictions of the SSR terms, in contrast to a standard eddy-viscosity model which completely fails to capture the closure term structures[... ] . In the a-posteriori analysis, while we find evidence of known stability issues with long-time ML predictions for dynamical systems, the closed SANS equations are still capable of predicting wake metrics and induced forces with errors from 1-10%. This results in approximately an order of magnitude improvement over standard 2-D simulations while reducing the computational cost of 3-D simulations by 99.5%.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020


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