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October28,2009,14:23

vitor
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VitorBraga
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Howtochoosetherightcourantnumber?

#1

HowtochoosetherightCourantnumberincomplexessimulations(3D,withagreatnumberofcells)and
whatareitsimplications?
Thanks.

October29,2009,04:50

MadsR
SeniorMember

MadsReck
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Denmark
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#2

HiVitor.
TheCourant/CFLnumber(wikihere)depends,asyouprobablyknow,onvelocity,cellsizeandtimestep
andistypicallycalculatedforeachcell.TheCourantnumberwillaccordinglychangeabitwithvelocity
whenyouhaveastaticmeshandaconstanttimestep.Now,assumingherethatyourmeshisstatic
(nonmoving/morphing)andthatthevelocityfieldismoreorlessfullydeveloped,changingthetimestep
isagoodwayofcontrollingtheCourantnumber.
Aphysicalexplanation,foraCFDsimulation,oftheCourantnumbercouldbethatittellsyousomething
abouthowfluidismovingthroughyourcomputationalcells.IftheCourantnumberis<=1fluidparticles
movefromonecelltoanotherwithinonetimestep(atmost).Ifitis>1afluidparticlesmovesthrough
twoormorecellsateachtimestepandthiscanaffectconvergencenegatively.Robustsystemsand
finesolvers,asOpenFOAM,easilydealswithlargeCourantnumberswayintothehoundreds,butit'sa
goodplacetolookifyouhaveConvergenceproblemsanditalsocaneffectaccuracyofatransient
simulation.DiffusiondominatedproblemsshouldtypicallyberunwithlowCourantnumbers,ifIremember
correctly.
Hopeithelpsyouabit,Ididn'tmeantolectureyouifyoualreadyknewthis.
Shortansweris:lowertimesteptolowerCourantnumber,raisetimesteptoincreaseCourantnumber.
Cheers
Mads
igo,bioexplore,Paebinand23otherslikethis.
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October29,2009,12:46

akidess
SeniorMember

#3

Forcomplexsimulationswithchangingvelocitiesitcanhelptouseautomatictimestepadjustment.See
howit'simplementedintheinterFoamsolver(http://www.opencfd.co.uk/openfoam/doc/damBreak.html),
oralsothreadsintheforum(e.g.ProblemswithadjustabletimestepcontrolandmaxCoNumber).
songwukongandadambarfilikethis.

AntonKidess
JoinDate:May2009
Location:Delft,
Netherlands
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October30,2009,06:23

vitor
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VitorBraga
JoinDate:Oct2009
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#4
Quote:

OriginallyPostedbyakidess
Forcomplexsimulationswithchangingvelocitiesitcanhelptouseautomatictimestep
adjustment.Seehowit'simplementedintheinterFoamsolver
(http://www.opencfd.co.uk/openfoam/doc/damBreak.html),oralsothreadsintheforum(e.g.
ProblemswithadjustabletimestepcontrolandmaxCoNumber).
I'veseenit,butdoyouhaveanytipsforsettingtherightmaxCo?
Thanks
Vitor

October30,2009,15:10

akidess
SeniorMember

#5

UnfortunatelyIdon'tthinkthereisageneralrecipeforthat.Youwillhavetoplayaroundalittleandsee
whatworksforyou.AsMadsalreadylinedout,maxCowillusuallyhavetobesmallerthan1,andIthink
youwillrarelyhavetomakeitsmallerthan0.5.

AntonKidess
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Location:Delft,
Netherlands
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April24,2010,20:02

vitor.geraldes@ist.utl.pt
NewMember

VitorGeraldes
JoinDate:Dec2009
Posts:7
RepPower:7

#6

Ithinkthatthebestapproachistomakedifferentsimulationswithdecreasingvaluesofthe
timestepuntilthefinalsolutionbecomesindependentofthisvalue.Ihavealreadymade
somesimulationswherethemaximumCourantwasoftheorderofhundredsand,
nevertheless,thesolutionwasalreadyconverged.

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April27,2010,05:31

dohnie
Member

FlorianEttner
JoinDate:Mar2009
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Germany
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RepPower:8

#7

Actually,incompressibleflow(ifyouareinterestedinacousticwavesorshocks)thecourantnumber
shouldnotbebasedonvelocityU,butonU+a(soundspeed).
DoesanybodyknowifthisisimplementedinOpenFOAM?SeemstobetrickierthanIthoughtatfirst,
becauseUisavolVectorFieldandaisavolScalarField(thusitshouldalwaysbeaddedinthepositiveU
direction).

April28,2011,17:48

SMesser
Member

Sarah
JoinDate:Apr2011
Location:EasternUS
Posts:31
RepPower:5

adjustabletimestepdoesn'tlimitCourant?

#8

I'musingsonicDyMFoamwithasolidobjectmovingthroughaconfinedspace(afastgasvalve).I'm
gettinglotsoftroublewith"maxnumberofiterationsexceeded"inthecalculationofeand"timestep
continuityerrors".I'vetriedsettingmaxCo=0.2andmaxAlphaCo=0.2insystem/controlDict,yetthetext
outputshowsthemaxCourantnumberisstillsometimes1orlarger...sometimesthemeanis>1aswell.
Isthisnormal?mycontrolDictisasfollows:
C ode:

/**C++**\
|=========||
|\\/Field|OpenFOAM:TheOpenSourceCFDToolbox|
|\\/Operation|Version:1.7.1|
|\\/And|Web:www.OpenFOAM.com|
|\\/Manipulation||
\**/
FoamFile
{
version2.0;
formatascii;
classdictionary;
location"system";
objectcontrolDict;
}
//*************************************//
applicationsonicDyMFoam;
startFromstartTime;
startTime0;
stopAtendTime;
endTime0.001;
deltaT1e7;
writeControladjustableRunTime;
writeInterval1e6;//2e5
purgeWrite0;
writeFormatascii;
Thanks
writePrecision6;
LasteditedbySMesserMay4,2011at13:37.

writeCompressionuncompressed;
timeFormatgeneral;

April30,2011,08:58

maysmech
SeniorMember

timePrecision6;

#9

runTimeModifiableyes;
Ihavethisproblemtoo.
adjustTimeStepyes;
Ican'tusemaxcourantsettingforpisoFoamandsimpleFoam.
maxCo0.2;
maxAlphaCo0.2;
Anysuggestion?
Best,maxDeltaT1;

JoinDate:Jan2010
Posts:347
BlogEntries:2

//*************************************************************************//

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May2,2011,04:39

truong_nm
Member

NgocMinhTruong
JoinDate:Feb2010
Location:Toulouse,
France
Posts:42
RepPower:7

CFLinsteadysolvers

#10

Himaysmech,
There'snoCFLNumberinsuchsteadysolvers.InOF,steadysolvermeans"d/dt=0".Thus,thereisno
moretimestepandsonomoreCourantNumber.
Idoagreewithyou:howtocontrolstabilityinsuchcases?
Theansweris:relaxationfactors.
Minh

May2,2011,06:23

maysmech

#11

Youright,ImeantpisoFoamonly.Itisanunsteadysolver.

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May4,2011,13:35

SMesser
Member

Sarah
JoinDate:Apr2011
Location:EasternUS
Posts:31
RepPower:5

detailsofcrash

#12

AcoupleofupdatesItriedincreasingthespatialandtemporalresolutiontogety+toabout63,
followingtheBestPracticesforTurboMachinerypageontheCFDWiki,butthesimcrashed_faster_...
whichseemsodd.I'mdealingwithafastopeninggasvalve.(40psiArgonononeside,vacuumonthe
otherdevicespatialscalesareontheorderof1cm,andopeningtimeismeasuredinseveraltensof
microseconds.)IalsofoundawebtutorialwithinfoonrevisingOpenFoamcodestodoadaptive
timesteps,butitseemedfairlyoutofdateandledtomereinstallingOpenFoam.(I'mmissingsome
librarycompilationfailsunlessI'minthemidstoftheinstall.)
I'velearnedacoupleotherthings:
1)Strongpressuredifferences(ormaybejuststronggradients?)causecrashiness,butI'mnotsure
_why_orifthere'saworkaround.Ichangedthe"vacuum"to10psitoavoidtheproblem,butthemotion
ofthevalve'spoppetstillgeneratesanearvacuumforsometime.(Themechanicalpartsmoveslower
thanMach1,butthegasstillhastoflowsupersonicallytofillinthegapsthroughnarrowchannels.)
2)nonconvergenceseemstoshowupatcalculationofeithereorT.Thismakesmethinkmyproblem's
inthechoiceofthermodynamicmodel(currently
C ode:

thermoTypeePsiThermo<pureMixture<constTransport<specieThermo<hConstThermo<perfectGas>>>>>;

),butI'dlovefeedbackfromsomeonewithmoreexperience
3)Themessagefromthelasttimestepis
C ode:

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Howtochoosetherightcourantnumber?CFDOnlineDiscussionForums
Time=5.68e06

CourantNumbermean:0.000260452max:0.850669
DICPCG:SolvingforcellMotionUx,Initialresidual=1.7015e07,Finalresidual=9.6024e09,NoIterations
diagonal:Solvingforrho,Initialresidual=0,Finalresidual=0,NoIterations0
DILUPBiCG:SolvingforUx,Initialresidual=0.641902,Finalresidual=4.55875e06,NoIterations3
DILUPBiCG:SolvingforUy,Initialresidual=0.0790439,Finalresidual=2.72074e07,NoIterations4
DILUPBiCG:Solvingfore,Initialresidual=0.967212,Finalresidual=6.18915e06,NoIterations2
>FOAMFATALERROR:
Maximumnumberofiterationsexceeded

FromfunctionspecieThermo<thermo>::T(scalarf,scalarT0,scalar(specieThermo<thermo>::*F)(constscalar
infile/home/opencfd/OpenFOAM/OpenFOAM1.7.x/src/thermophysicalModels/specie/lnInclude/specieThermoI.Ha
FOAMaborting

#0Foam::error::printStack(Foam::Ostream&)in"/opt/openfoam171/lib/linuxGccDPOpt/libOpenFOAM.so"
#1Foam::error::abort()in"/opt/openfoam171/lib/linuxGccDPOpt/libOpenFOAM.so"
#2Foam::ePsiThermo<Foam::pureMixture<Foam::constTransport<Foam::specieThermo<Foam::hConstThermo<Foam::perfe
#3Foam::ePsiThermo<Foam::pureMixture<Foam::constTransport<Foam::specieThermo<Foam::hConstThermo<Foam::perfe
#4
in"/opt/openfoam171/applications/bin/linuxGccDPOpt/sonicDyMFoam"
#5__libc_start_mainin"/lib/libc.so.6"
#6
in"/opt/openfoam171/applications/bin/linuxGccDPOpt/sonicDyMFoam"

I'mnotsurehow/ifIshouldtrytoincreasethemaxnumberofiterations.Woulditbebettertoincrease
toleranceand/orrelTolinfvSchemes?Tisn'tdirectlylistedthere,butmostlisteditemsareattolerance
of10^5or10^8,withrelTol=0.UsingrelTolseemssketchysincethisisatransientsim,notsteady
state.Again,it'dbeniftytogetfeedbackfromanexpert.
ThanksforansweringthenewBquestions.Thisisn'tmyfirstsimulation,butI'mmuchmoreusedto
wiringuphardwarethantotryingtosimulateitsoperation.

May22,2012,21:54

dancfd
SeniorMember

Daniel
JoinDate:Jul2009
Location:Montreal,
C anada
Posts:151
RepPower:7

#13

HelloSarah,
IdonotthinkthatadjustTimeStepworksforsonicDyMFoammyexperiencehasshownthatregardless
ofwhatIsetmaxCoto,thetimestepwillreverttowhatIsetinthedeltaTfieldincontrolDict.Granted,I
amusingsonicFoamvicesonicDyMFoam,howevertheyprobablyhavethatlimitationincommon.
IsuggestthatyoumayhavetotryreducingyourdeltaTuntilyoucomputeaCothatiswhereyouwant
ittobe.Ifind~0.5tobethemaximumthatwillconverge.Pleaseposttheresults/letmeknowifyou
wereabletoresolveyourissue,sinceIamstillstrugglingwiththistoo.
Regards,
Dan

January9,2013,15:55

#14

zaynah04

dearMads,

SeniorMember

zaynahK.
JoinDate:Jun2012
Location:Mauritius
Posts:138
RepPower:4

ihaveverylowcourantnumb1e5,andmysolutiondoesnotacheiveconvergence..canyoupleasetell
mewhatmaybetheproblem?
iamusingincompresibleflowinlaminarregimewithverylowvelocity..
thanks
zaynah

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January10,2013,04:10

MadsR
SeniorMember

MadsReck
JoinDate:Aug2009
Location:C openhagen,
Denmark
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#15

DearZaynah,
troubleshootingconvergenceproblemscanbeeasyorvery,veryhard,especiallythroughaforum
Youdon'trevealenoughinformationforanyonetohelpyououtIthink.IthinkthataCourantnumberof
1e5issurprisinglylow(actuallyIwouldbluntlycallit:waytoolow)butitcoulddependonsome
strange simulationthatyouaretryingtoperform.
Tellusmore,butmyintuitionsaysthatitisnotyourCourantnumberwhichistheproblem.Itseemsthat
youhavetriedtolowerthetimestepmuchtoachieveconvergence?Isitsomeexplosionsimulationor
what?
bestregards
Mads
zaynah04likesthis.
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January10,2013,07:23

Traib
NewMember

Traib
JoinDate:Sep2012
Posts:27
RepPower:4

#16

HiMads,
Userzaynah'shasfoundthesolutionwhichwasIthinkrelatedtotheproblemsetupaswewere
discussinginanotherthread.Ifyoudon'tmind,Ihaveaquestionregardingwhatyousaidabove.
Youmentionedrelativelylowercourantnumber/timestepsizerequiredforexplosionproblems?OrdoI
understanditdifferently?Iamworkingonexplosionsandmysimulationssometimesresultinverylow
courantnumbers(lowerupto0.01andtimestepsupto1e15s)whenadjustTimeStepisenabledwith
maxCotypicallyaround0.2.TheproblemthatIoftenfaceisthecourantnumbercalculatedusingthe
typicalvelocity,timestepandcellsize,whichisoforder1e8s,doesnotalwaysapplyinfactsometimes
thetimestepsizerequiredis10orhighertimesthancalculatedforstablecalculations.
Iamnotsuremyexplanationisclearenoughbutanyinformationwouldbehelpfulregardingthe
treatmentsrequiredinsuchproblems.

January10,2013,07:30

zaynah04
SeniorMember

zaynahK.
JoinDate:Jun2012
Location:Mauritius
Posts:138
RepPower:4

#17

HiMads,
iwillcomebacktoyoulaterwiththis..Iamcurrentlystucksomewhereelse..
Ihavesuccessfullyiteratedaround6caseandachievedconvergence...
Suddenlyforallthe6casesigetthissameerror!!
cananyonetellmewhatiswrong?
Quote:

>FOAMFATALIOERROR:
cannotfindfile
file:/home/zaynah/Desktop/system/controlDictatline0.
FromfunctionregIOobject::readStream()
infiledb/regIOobject/regIOobjectRead.Catline73.
FOAMexiting

January10,2013,11:10

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#18

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MadsR
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Howtochoosetherightcourantnumber?CFDOnlineDiscussionForums
Traib,
IamnotsureIunderstandyourquestion.Idon'tthinkexplosions,persay,needslowCourantnumbers,
asitofcoursealsodependsonyourmesh,buttheysureneedslowtimesteps(relativetomore"normal"
simulations).
Iwouldexpect,beingcompletelyignorantofexplosionsimulations,however,thatyouwouldrunata
verylowminCourantnumberasIwouldexpectthatyourcellsarequitelargeincertain(most)areas
becauseofthedevelopmentofanexplosionplume(orwhatyoucallit)intothesurroundings...Iamjust
guessingherethough.
Mads
zaynah04likesthis.
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January10,2013,11:37

Traib
NewMember

Traib
JoinDate:Sep2012
Posts:27
RepPower:4

#19

ThanksforyourreplyMads.Yes,thecellsareofquitevariedsizes,largeratregionsfarfromcore
combustionregion.IjustrealizedIwasusingmaxtimestepasthelimitingparameterwithlowcourant
numbercalculatedusingsmallestmeshsize,insteadofusinganappropriatecourantnumbertocontrol
thetimestep,whichresultedinsignificantlydecreasedtimestepsizesindenselymeshedareaswhere
temperaturealsoincreasesignificantly.Thisstrangelyenoughseemstobethecauseoftheerrorand
withalimitoncourantnumbertimestepsizesareadjustedtoaboutthecalculatedvalues.IsupposeI
justhadtotrythisdifferentapproachforstableresults.

January10,2013,12:35

zaynah04
SeniorMember

zaynahK.
JoinDate:Jun2012
Location:Mauritius
Posts:138
RepPower:4

#20

DearMads,
letscomebacktothelowcourantnumber..)
Myvelocityis0.0001m/scourantis2.4e6.
iamsimulatingsomesimplecaseforcomparisonwithothersoftwares..Ihavetodecidewhichsoftware
isbestsuitedformyproject.
Ihavenotmodifythetimestep.
Quote:

Itseemsthatyouhavetriedtolowerthetimestepmuchtoachieveconvergence?
iwillbewaitingforyouranalysis..
Regards
zaynah.
ps:forgoodconvergencewhatmustbedisplayinterminal?imeanformetoknowthatthesolutionhas
converged??
Lasteditedbyzaynah04January11,2013at01:53.

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