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Turbulence model choice for automotive simulation?

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Old   December 7, 2015, 05:55
Default Turbulence model choice for automotive simulation?
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Hello everyone,

I'm doing a simulation (3-D, RANS, steady) of a ground vehicle in a windtunnel. The geometry is such that separation should definitely occur at the rear of the vehicle and I'm interested in good prediction of overall drag, the flow separation point, and the wake structure behind the vehicle.

What turbulence model would be best for this work? k-epsilon? or k-omega? SST k-omega?
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Old   December 10, 2015, 18:08
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If you are looking for separation, go with SST k-omega. K-epsilon does not do well with adverse pressure gradients (the root cause of separation). K-omega models do a much better job with separated flow. If you have time I would recommend doing both Shear Stress Transport (SST) and standard k-omega and compare the differences. Sometimes standard k-omega will over predict the separation. If you don't have time for this then just stick with SST.
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Old   December 10, 2015, 18:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBdonCFD View Post
If you are looking for separation, go with SST k-omega. K-epsilon does not do well with adverse pressure gradients (the root cause of separation). K-omega models do a much better job with separated flow. If you have time I would recommend doing both Shear Stress Transport (SST) and standard k-omega and compare the differences. Sometimes standard k-omega will over predict the separation. If you don't have time for this then just stick with SST.
Thank you MBdonCFD! Yes - the most important thing in my study is to describe the structure in the separated flow in the wake. I'll go with SST k-omega, then if time allows, k-omega, like you say.
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Old   December 18, 2015, 08:02
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Dear cfdblender,

I agree with the previous comment. The k-epsilon model is not the best in terms of aerodynamic considerations (only if you need an accurate turbulent time scale, k-epsilon comes in handy).
K-w is a good start and also the v2-f model family might be a thing to look at. As all of these turbulence models are based on assuming an isotropic viscosity, the results are questionable.
If you have time and some experience with it, you could validate the results of k-w and SST-k-w with a Reynolds Stress Model. This also belongs to RANS simulations but does not assume isotropic conditions of the turbulent viscosity (because it models the Reynolds stresses directly).
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Old   December 18, 2015, 08:46
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Originally Posted by Edeluc View Post
Dear cfdblender,

I agree with the previous comment. The k-epsilon model is not the best in terms of aerodynamic considerations (only if you need an accurate turbulent time scale, k-epsilon comes in handy).
K-w is a good start and also the v2-f model family might be a thing to look at. As all of these turbulence models are based on assuming an isotropic viscosity, the results are questionable.
If you have time and some experience with it, you could validate the results of k-w and SST-k-w with a Reynolds Stress Model. This also belongs to RANS simulations but does not assume isotropic conditions of the turbulent viscosity (because it models the Reynolds stresses directly).
Thank you Edeluc for your very comprehensive answer.
I'm working with SST K-omega.
As for RST, I've just looked it up in STAR CCM+ help and it looks like it would be computationally very heavy ! - so I'll try it later.
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Old   December 18, 2015, 09:03
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Yes, you are right. The RSM approach has some big drawbacks:

1) Instead of 2 PDEs in a two equation turbulence model you have to solve 7 PDEs (6 for the symmetric Reynolds stress tensor and one for the turbulent dissipation).
2) They are more unstable in terms of convergence.
3) The RSM is not often used these days and if more accurate solutions are needed, people usually switch to LES.

I would advise to use it only if you really want to check your two-equation turbulence model for validity. Using it for optimization is just not possible due to the computational effort.
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