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School of Engineering, Science and Design- Exam Solution Sheet

PROGRAMME TITLE: MSc in Mechanical Engineering (Design) DIET: 1st

Session: 2006/2007

Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No:___1____________ Author: Dr. D.McGlinchey

(a) Answer should include - CFD is needed to investigate flows which are not amenable to
analytical treatment due to complexity of flow or the need for multi-physics. Typical
applications can be found in the following areas;

Aerospace & Defence

Chemical & Petrochemical
Power Generation

ALTERNATIVELY examples of specific applications will be accepted.

[5 marks]

(b) The basis of CFD is to represent the geometry with a grid of points or nodes which are
linked to form elements or finite volumes in a mesh. The spatial co-ordinate of each
point is defined.

The shape of the volumes are important as the flow is calculated across faces, therefore the
more cubic the volume the better. However to accommodate curved geometry non-
rectangular cells can be used with added computational cost.

The size of the cell or fineness of mesh should be chosen to match geometry or flow

The flow equations for mass and momentum (continuity and N-S) and energy equations are
non-linear partial differential equations and are represented numerically using a finite
difference approximation. Mention may also be given to Taylor series etc.

[5 marks]

Please include marking schedule

The explanation should include the idea of flow across a face and the progression from volume to
Mass flow through a volume

v y

u u x


The finite volume method can in some ways be thought of as a combination of the finite difference and
finite element methods.
If we consider a simple finite volume, or cell, where the centroid of the cell is point P is the reference
point at which we wish to find a numerical analogue of the partial differential equation.

Face w Face e

Centroid W Centroid P Centroid E

Directions in the domain about the reference point are denoted by the points of a compass and so the
neighbouring volumes are said to have their centroids at W(est) and E(ast). One boundary is midway
between the points W and P at the face w, the other boundary midway between P and E at the face e.
It can be shown that for some function

U uE uP U u P uW
x e xE xP x w xP xW

The finite volume approach solves the mass and momentum equations for each cell.

An important aspect to the solution of the equations is the application of boundary conditions
without which no solution can be obtained.

[5 marks]

The answer will include a description of the need for a staggered grid and the SIMPLE algorithm, for
We require solution algorithms for pressure-velocity coupling in steady flows.
This is not entirely straightforward as there are problems associated with the pressure source terms of
the momentum equations.
If the velocities and pressures are both defined at the nodes of an ordinary control volume the
pressure field may be inaccurately defined.
To overcome this we choose a staggered grid.
We evaluate pressure, density, temperature at ordinary nodal points but we calculate velocity
components on staggered grids centred on the cell faces.
The acronym SIMPLE stands for Semi-Implicit Pressure Linked Equations.
The algorithm was originally put forward by Patankar and Spalding.
This is essentially a guess and correct procedure for the calculation of pressure.
Uses the staggered grid arrangement.
The method is iterative and when other scalars are coupled to the momentum equations, the
calculation has to be performed sequentially.

Initial guess p*, u*,..
Solve momentum equns

Solve pressure correction

Reset p, u,
Correct pressure and velocity

Solve all other transport equns



[10 marks]

Question Total 25 marks

Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No: Author: Dr. D.McGlinchey

An analysis of a flow problem will follow several stages;

1. Initial thinking try to understand as much as possible about the problem to be solved.
2. Mesh generation decide on the distribution of points.
3. Flow specification boundaries and initial conditions.
4. Calculation of the numerical solution no. of iterations, relaxation, allowable error, etc.
5. Results analysis is the solution satisfactory, what flow data is actually required

These points should be further refined

Point 1
The user needs to give careful thought to the requirements and objectives of the simulation and
typically might consider the following points:
Is a CFD simulation method really appropriate?
A re the objectives of the simulation clearly defined?
W hat are the requirements on accuracy?
W hat local/global quantities are needed from the simulation?
W hat are the documentation/reporting requirements?
W hat are the important flow physics involved?
What is the area of primary interest (domain) for the flow calculation?
Is the geometry well defined?
What level of validation is necessary? Is this a routine application, where validation and calibration
has already been carried out on similar flow fields, and where only relatively small changes can be
expected from earlier similar simulations? Or is it a non-routine application, where little earlier
validation work has been done

Answer to include any five of above [5 marks]

Point 2
Once the flow problem has been adequately specified we move to the stage of Mesh Generation.
In the past this was one of the most time consuming and hence expensive stages in the whole analysis,
now however this task has been largely taken over by dedicated software.
Just as the governing equations are written in numerically discrete form, the mesh of points which is
produced within the volume of the fluid can be considered as the discretisation of the space in which
the flow takes place.
The way the combination of numerically discrete equations and the mesh of points is utilised is
method dependent.
If the finite difference method is used:
The values of the variables at the points are used to produce equations of the variables that enable a
solution to be found.
If the finite volume method is used:
The points must be arranged so that they can be grouped together into sets of volumes and the
equations are solved by equating various flux terms through the faces of the volumes.
If the finite element method is used:
The points are grouped to define elements within which the numerical analogue of the partial
differential equations can be set up.
In some cases a mesh can be modified in such a way as to produce a more realistic CFD solution.
Some adapt the original mesh to obtain a better fit on the geometry of the flow problem, this can
speed up computational solution of the flow.
Others solve using the original grid then modify the mesh in light of these initial results, this requires
considerable experience.
The two mesh modification strategies are:
Mesh enrichment additional points are placed in the domain at locations where they are needed.
Mesh adaptation the mesh points are moved so that the density of points is increased where

Answer to include any five of above [5 marks]

Point 3
Information required by the CFD software:
The fluid properties such as density and viscosity
Which flow related variables have to be calculated
Specify the boundaries of the geometry as sets of cell faces
Apply the appropriate boundary conditions to each set of faces
Define the initial conditions of the simulation
Consider carefully whether the flow can be expected to exhibit steady or unsteady flow behaviour.
Consider the size of the unsteady scales to be expected present in the flow field in comparison to the
geometrical dimensions, and if this is large then an unsteady simulation is necessary.
If a steady solution has been computed and there is a reason to be unsure that the flow is really steady,
then an unsteady simulation should be carried out with the existing steady flow field as the initial
condition. Examination of the time-development of the physical quantities in the locations of interest
will identify whether the flow is steady or not.

Answer to include any five of above [5 marks]

Point 4
If using a finite volume scheme then a poor mesh which has cells that differ greatly from a cubiod may
cause problems
Inadequate prescription of the boundary conditions, such as not specifying the pressure anywhere in
the domain.
Initial conditions that are unrealistic and too far from the converged solution
The turbulence model used can significantly alter results
Check the adequacy of the solution procedure with respect to the physical properties of the flow.
As a first step in this process, the parameters controlling convergence (e.g. relaxation parameters or
Courant number) of the solution algorithm should be used as suggested by the CFD-code vendor or
If it is necessary to change parameters to aid convergence, it is not advisable to change too many
parameters in one step, as it then becomes difficult to analyse which of the changes have influenced
the convergence.

Answer to include any five of above [5 marks]

Point 5
If the Solution results are unrealistic, check for:
Adequate mesh density in regions of high rates of change of the flow variables
Adequate physical modelling of the flow, especially due to the use of turbulence models which are too
simplistic (for some complex flow situations this applies to all turbulence models).
Poor specification of the boundary conditions which have over or under-constrained the flow. For
example, if the pressure has been fixed as a constant across an outlet, this restricts the flow if it swirls
out through the outlet as the pressure would then vary across the outlet to provide the necessary
centripetal force.
A potential source of user errors is in implementing the solution strategy with a particular code. Such
errors might be minimised by the availability of a formal check list or by letting another CFD analyst
checking through the code input data. The types of questions which should be considered are:
Have the boundary conditions not only been properly defined, but also properly applied?
Has the appropriate system of units been used?
Dont be seduced into believing that the solution is correct just because it has converged and
produced high-quality colour plots (or even seductive video presentations) of the CFD simulations.
Make sure that an elementary interpretation of the flow-field explains the fluid behaviour and that the
trends of the flow analysis can be reconciled with a simple view of the flow.
Check conserved variables, including an overall force/momentum balance.
Check that velocities, forces, pressures, etc. have believable values.

Answer to include any five of above [5 marks]

Question Total 25 marks


School of Engineering, Science and Design- Exam Solution Sheet

PROGRAMME TITLE: MSc in Mechanical Engineering (Design) DIET: 1st

Session: 2006/07

Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No: Author: Dr. M.Macdonald

i) Under-expanded, expansion waves at exit
If exit pressure > back pressure under
p expansion conditions, i.e. expansion
waves form at the exit.


Oblique shock
ii) Over-expanded, oblique shock waves
If exit pressure < back pressure over
expansion conditions - if the difference is
pb small, oblique shock waves occur.

Ma < 1
Ma > 1 Normal shock
p iii) Over-expanded, normal shock waves
pb If exit pressure < back pressure over
expansion conditions - if the difference is
large, normal shock waves occur.

Please include marking schedule


Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No:_Q3(b)______________ Author: Dr. M.Macdonald

i) Isentropic flow conditions

pt 2 1

po 1 Eqn(1)
c1 m
A2 2 Ma3=?

A3 = 18 x 10-3 m2, p1 = 1 MN/m2, t1 = 77 oC = 350 K, p3 = 100 kN/m2, c1 = 0

1 1.4 1
p 100 x10 3 1.4
T3 T1 3 350 6
181.2 K
p1 1x10
Rearranging Eqn(1) and referring to the figure:
1 2
c p (T3 T1 ) (c3 c12 )
Now, Q W = 2
1.005(181.2 350) (c32 0)
0 (isentropic flow) = 2 x10 3

c32 2000 x1.005(350 181.2)

c3 582.5m / s

1 1
Sonic velocity, a (RT ) 2 (1.4 x 287 x181.2) 2 269.8m / s
3 3

c3 582.5 Ans.
Ma3 2.16
a3 269.5

ii) pV RT
p3 100 x103
3 1.923kg / m 3
For exit conditions and for unit volume, RT3 287 x181.2

m 3 A3c3 1.923x(18 x10 3 ) x582.5 20Ans.

.16kg / s


2 1 2 2
iii) T2 T1 T1 T1 350 291.66 K
p1 1 1 1.4 1

1 1

Now, c2 a2 RT2 (1.4 x 287 x 291.66) 342.33m / s

2 2

Please include marking schedule

Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No:_Q3(bcontd)______________ Author: Dr. M.Macdonald

iii contd) 1.4

2 1
2 1.4 1
p 2 p1 1x10 6 528.3kN / m 2
1 1 .4 1

p2 528.3
Now, 2 6.311kg / m 3
RT2 287 x 291.66

2 A2 c2
Now, m

m 20.16
A2 9.3 x10 3 m 2 9300mm 2 Ans.
2 c2 6.311x342.33


Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No:___Q4____________ Author: Dr. M.Macdonald


= heat generated
per unit volume

d 2T q
Tw Tw dx 2 k


Plane Wall Geometry with Internal Heat Generation q 2
The general solution to the 2nd order differential equation Eqn(12) is: T x c1 x c 2

Considering a symmetrical problem, the boundary conditions (i.e. either side of the wall) are:

T = Tw at x = L

This gives c1 = 0, and the temperature at the midplane (i.e. at x = 0) T 0 = c2. Temperature distribution
q 2 T T0 x
T T0 x or Eqn(1)
2k Tw T0 L

Eqn(1) shows a parabolic temperature distribution. An expression for T 0 may be obtained through an
energy balance, i.e. steady-state conditions, total heat generated must equal heat lost at faces,

2 kA q A2 L where A is the cross-sectional area of the plate.
dx x L

The temperature gradient at the wall is obtained by differentiating Eqn(13):

dT 2x 2
(T w T0 ) (T w T0 )
dx x L 2 L
L x L

k (Tw T0 ) q L

q L2
i.e. T0 Tw
2k [10]

Please include marking schedule

Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No:_Q4(contd)______________ Author: Dr. M.Macdonald

xal 2L xal
2L = 10 mm = 0.01 m

Coolant xal = 2 mm = 0.002 m

Tc, Usc
= 40000 W/kg
T2 T1 Tc = 120oC

u = 18900 kg/m3
Cladding ku = 24.4 W/mK
Fuel kal = 206 W/mK
ku, u, Usc = 28000 W/m2K
i) Temperature at aluminium-coolant interface, T1

T1 = temperature at aluminium-coolant interface

T2 = temperature at aluminium-uranium interface
T0 = temperature at centre of uranium fuel element (ie. at x = 0)

Total heat generated in the fuel element, q = q

x t x u where t = 2L

q = 40000 x 0.01 x 18900 = 7.56 x 106 W/m2

Heat conducted to surface = heat convected from surface

i.e. Q = UscA(T1 Tc) or q = Usc(T1 Tc) (for unit area)

q 7.56 x10 6
(T1 Tc )
U sc

= 270 oC

Initial temperature of coolant = 120 oC

T1 = 270 + 120 = 390 oC

Please include marking schedule

Module: Applied Thermofluids & CFD (ESDM502)

Question No:_Q4(contd)______________ Author: Dr. M.Macdonald

ii) Temperature at aluminium-uranium interface, T2:

Heat transferred through aluminium cladding by conduction:

k al A(T2 T1 ) 206 x1x (T2 T1 )

Q 7.56 x10 6
xal 0.002

(T2 - T1) = 73.4 oC

T2 = 390 + 73.4 = 463.4 oC


iii) Temperature at centre of uranium fuel element (ie. at x = 0), T0:

Consider one-dimensional heat conduction through the uranium fuel element:

d 2T q
dx 2 k

7.56 x10 6
where q = 7.56 x 108 W/m3

dT q q x
x c1 and T . c1 x c2
dx ku ku 2

At x = 0, dT/dx = 0 and at x = L = 5 mm, T = (463.4 + 273) = 736.4 K

Hence, c1 = 0

7.56 x10 8 (0.005) 2

736.4 0 c2 387.295 c2
2 x 24.4

Hence, c2 = 1123.695

The temperature at the centre of the fuel element is the maximum temperature i.e. Tmax = T0 at x =

7.56 x108 (0)

T0 . (0)(0) 1123 .695 = 1123.695 K = 850.695 oC
24.4 2

Please include marking schedule