Modelling aerated flows with smoothed particle hydrodynamics

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Modelling aerated flows is a complex application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) since the interfaces between air and water change rapidly. In this work, the simulation of aerated flows with the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method is investigated with a focus towards the application in engineering practice. To prove the accuracy of the method, the processes of air entrainment and rising air bubbles are studied. Through monitoring the evolution of the bubble contours it is shown that the novel approach of adding artificial repulsion forces at the interface does not alter the dynamics but stabilizes the flow. Building on these fundamental processes we extend the discussion to practical applications with a special focus on forced aeration. Since the employment of a detailed SPH model to practical problems remains out of bounds due to the high computational demand, we propose a combined experimental and numerical study where experimental bubble characteristics are imposed on the numerical simulation. Based on the data of the conducted bubble column experiment, the computational demand is significantly decreased such that the oxygen consumption due to biokinetic processes can be modelled. The future perspective is to apply SPH to urban water systems, e.g., for simulating detailed processes in wastewater treatment and sewer hydraulics.

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