Comparative study of different formulations and solution methods for two phase flow in saturated porous media

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Six models (Simulators) are formulated and developed with all possible combinations of pressure and saturation of the phases as primary variables. A comparative study between six simulators with two numerical methods, conventional simultaneous and modified sequential methods are carried out. The results of the numerical models are compared with the laboratory experimental results to study the accuracy of the model especially in heterogeneous porous media. From the study it is observed that the simulator using pressure and saturation of the wetting fluid (PW, SW formulation) is the best among the models tested. Many simulators with nonwetting phase as one of the primary variables did not converge when used along with simultaneous method. Based on simulator 1 (PW, SW formulation), a comparison of different solution methods such as simultaneous method, modified sequential and adaptive solution modified sequential method are carried out on 4 test problems including heterogeneous and randomly heterogeneous problems. It is found that the modified sequential and adaptive solution modified sequential methods could save the memory by half and as also the CPU time required by these methods is very less when compared with that using simultaneous method. It is also found that the simulator with PNW and PW as the primary variable which had problem of convergence using the simultaneous method, converged using both the modified sequential method and also using adaptive solution modified sequential method. The present study indicates that pressure and saturation formulation along with adaptive solution modified sequential method is the best among the different simulators and methods tested.

Keywords: adaptive solution, comparative study, modified sequential method, numerical modelling, two phase NAPL-water system, types of formulations

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