A CFD Solver for Mesoscale Atmospheric Problems

Abstract: Despite the fact that general-purpose Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solvers do not incorporate phenomena like thermal stratification, they are often used to study mesoscale atmospheric problems. Results from these studies are often far from being realistic. The proposed research projects aims at extending a general CFD code as such that it can be applied successfully at the meso-scale.

Description: General purpose Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solvers are frequently used in small-scale urban pollution dispersion simulations without a large extent of vertical flow. Vertical flow, however, plays an important role in the formation of local breezes, such as urban heat island induced breezes that have great significance in the ventilation of large cities. The effects of atmospheric stratification, anelasticity and Coriolis force must be taken into account in such simulations. In 2009, Kristof et al. proposed a general method for adapting pressure based CFD solvers to atmospheric flow simulations in order to take advantage of their high flexibility in geometrical modelling and meshing. We want to apply this method to include the effects of Coriolis forcing, anelasticity and stratification into OpenFOAM.

Tasks: Literature survey; getting familiar with OpenFOAM; implementation of stratification, anelasticity and Coriolis force into OpenFOAM; validation of the implementation.

Type: Bachelor, Semester or Master thesis

Internal supervisor: Peter Moonen

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