Large-eddy simulations of dense-gas dispersion within a high-Reynolds number turbulent boundary layer

Wingstedt, Emma My Maria
Vartdal, Magnus
Reif, Bjørn Anders Pettersson
Wingstedt, Emma My Maria; Vartdal, Magnus; Reif, Bjørn Anders Pettersson. Large-eddy simulations of dense-gas dispersion within a high-Reynolds number turbulent boundary layer. Physics of fluids 2017 ;Volum 29.(9) s. -
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Large-eddy simulations of flows over a backward-facing step with release of four different gases with increasing densities have been performed. The results have been analysed with particular emphasis on the part of the flow field sufficiently far downstream where the local effect of the source dynamics is no longer dominating the flow field. The dense gas plumes maintain high concentrations close to the ground and become approximately twice as shallow in comparison with a neutrally buoyant plume. The vertical mixing is significantly reduced close to the ground, and both momentum and scalar flux reversal are found in the two densest cases, indicating negative shear and buoyancy production of turbulence kinetic energy. Examination of the gradient Richardson number indicates that all dense gases are significantly affected by buoyancy. Interestingly, a narrow layer within the plumes is identified where the impact of stratification is expected to be reduced. It is found that relaminarization is most likely occurring and that fluctuations found might originate from interfacial wave modes rather than from turbulence. The large-scale structures are seen to resemble those found in the plane channel flow close to the wall and further away from it. In the middle layer, significant differences are found due to buoyancy effects. The large-scale structures become more pancake-shaped with large-scale vorticity almost exclusively about the spanwise direction in the dense gas cases.
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