Novel residual-based large eddy simulation turbulence models for incompressible magnetohydrodynamics

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Sondak, David
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Electronic thesis
Aerospace engineering
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The goal of this work was to develop, introduce, and test a promising computational paradigm for the development of turbulence models for incompressible magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). MHD governs the behavior of an electrically conducting fluid in the presence of an external electromagnetic (EM) field. The incompressible MHD model is used in many engineering and scientific disciplines from the development of nuclear fusion as a sustainable energy source to the study of space weather and solar physics. Many interesting MHD systems exhibit the phenomenon of turbulence which remains an elusive problem from all scientific perspectives. This work focuses on the computational perspective and proposes techniques that enable the study of systems involving MHD turbulence.
Direct numerical simulation (DNS) is not a feasible approach for studying MHD turbulence. In this work, turbulence models for incompressible MHD were developed from the variational multiscale (VMS) formulation wherein the solution fields were decomposed into resolved and unresolved components. The unresolved components were modeled with a term that is proportional to the residual of the resolved scales. Two additional MHD models were developed based off of the VMS formulation: a residual-based eddy viscosity (RBEV) model and a mixed model that partners the VMS formulation with the RBEV model. These models are endowed with several special numerical and physics features. Included in the numerical features is the internal numerical consistency of each of the models. Physically, the new models are able to capture desirable MHD physics such as the inverse cascade of magnetic energy and the subgrid dynamo effect.
The models were tested with a Fourier-spectral numerical method and the finite element method (FEM). The primary test problem was the Taylor-Green vortex. Results comparing the performance of the new models to DNS were obtained. The performance of the new models was compared to classic and cutting-edge dynamic Smagorinsky eddy viscosity (DSEV) models. The new models typically outperform the classical models.
August 2013
School of Engineering
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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