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remi_fr July 6, 2009 05:36

Drag and Lift coefficient (NACA 0012)
I'm making an analysis of a NACA 0012 airfoil in 2D in a flow of water. I compare my results (drag and lift coefficients) with experiments.
My problem is that my results are different by approximately 40% of the true values.
The mesh is good, I'm using the K-epsilon turbulence model, the Reynolds number is 2.88 10^6

Do you have any idea from where my error can result?
thank you

Maddin July 6, 2009 08:36

Change you solver settings to get a lower different between exp and sim.
How big is you problem?! Maybe you should start to make a DES because the modell influence is very low.
Cell size and material values you also should change (and look if correct values!).

f-w July 6, 2009 16:37

What angle of attack are you simulating?

vishyaroon July 6, 2009 23:16

How does your near wall resolution look like? As Maddin mentioned you can use DES if there is massive separation involved. However if there is little or moderate separation RANS should be good enough, but make sure you check the near wall grid spacing.

SKK July 7, 2009 04:50

Also in your case i would think relative length of laminar/transition/turbulent flow over the airfoil would be of importance similar to in low pressure turbine blades. Generally Wilcox type k-w (particulalrly Menter's SST) equations are much better in predicting skin friction in adverse pressure gradient situations.

remi_fr July 8, 2009 09:58

I'm using a mesh with 68210 cells, 117349 faces, 49515 verts. It is first untructured then structured near the wall.
I ran simulations with an angle of attack of 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8.
I tried to use a spalart allmaras turbulence model but the results are worth than with K-epsilon turbulence model.
"Two Layer All y+ Wall treatment" is automatically selectionned. Is it the good one?

vishyaroon July 8, 2009 11:01

The S-A RANS model (not DES model) should be good enough for the case you are simulating.

I'm not sure of the near wall mesh requirements of the S-A model with the wall treatment, but it will help if you make sure your y+ is consistent with what the model prescribes.

nvtrieu August 27, 2009 09:30

Hi Remi_fr,

I'm a new in Star-CCM+. My problem seems like yours. Here are my model:
c=4m; external domain 140x140m
2D; Stationary; H2O; Segregated flow; Constand density; Steady; Turbulent; RANS; K-w; SST; Y wall treatment.
Mesher: surface remesher; Polyhedral mesher; Prism Layer Mesher.
Base size: 10m; Volumetric control: custom size: 1%
Boundaries: airfoil; inlet; outlet and 2 walls.
Initial conditions: velocity: vx=1; vy=0
Attack angle: alpha =0, 2, ...16 (stall)
Lift coef: reference density=997kg/m3; ref. vel.=1m/s; ref. area=4m2; direction [0,1,0]
Drag coef: reference density=997kg/m3; ref. vel.=1m/s; ref. area=1m2; direction [1,0,0]

I used above settings and tried to use another ones but I didn't got the right results. Ex: Cl is not equal zero at zero attack angle; some times Cl is so small and negative sign.

I would like to receive any help for my problem!
Thanks alot!


seang August 28, 2009 08:32

came across this problem. your mesh isn't fine enough. try increasing your mesh resolution, make sure you capture the geometry adequately. if you don't have a good description of the camber-line, you won't get good results.

nvtrieu September 3, 2009 00:17

Hi Seang,
Thanks for you reply! "the mesh is not fine enough" - I think so. Now I try to you another software to create a better grid like Gridgen. Because in "Star-CCM+" I don't now how to improve my grid. Do you have any idea about my physics model? Is it oke?

seang September 3, 2009 02:16


Originally Posted by nvtrieu (Post 228369)
Hi Seang,
Thanks for you reply! "the mesh is not fine enough" - I think so. Now I try to you another software to create a better grid like Gridgen. Because in "Star-CCM+" I don't now how to improve my grid. Do you have any idea about my physics model? Is it oke?

There is some characteristics you can check, even with a laminar or inviscid solver. Try running at a few angle of attacks and construct the lift-curve slope.

1) The curve/line should pass through 0, that is, no lift at 0 angle of attack.
2) The gradient of the lift-curve slope (linear portion) should be 2 pi.

The stall point is harder to pin-point, this is where turbulence modelling comes into play in predicting the separation point etc.

It is not that difficult to control mesh density in star-ccm+. There are parameters to change in the Reference Values section of your Mesh Continua. Easiest thing to do is to leave most of these reference values alone and work on the base size alone (decrease base size for a generally more dense mesh). You can also go to the individual parts under the Regions tree to define mesh size parameters pertaining to a particular part (e.g. airfoil surface). For wall bounded flows, you might want to watch your prism layer properties too.

nvtrieu September 3, 2009 02:44

Hi Seang,

I've already run the simulation at the difference angle of attack (0-2-4-6... deg). At zero angle the lift coefficient is slight negative value. So I think the foil is not symmetry. Usually, I left the reference values in mesh cotinua. I just changed the base size of mesh. In my case, I set the value is 10m. Is it too large? After that I use a volume control with the meshe size equal 1% which relates to base size 10m. Finally, I got the nmber of cells is around 40000. It is impossible to increase more cells, because I use CPU Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 Ghz & 3Gb RAM.
I don't know why the mesh at LE and TE seem not fine. Do you have any experient on this problem to improve it better?
Thanks you again!

seang September 3, 2009 03:56

What slope do you get? close to 2 pi?

base size, depends on the size of your largest domain. i wouldn't use this to control the mesh size near the airfoil surface. for this, i would go down to the region->part's mesh values. continuum's default surface curvature setting of 36 points in a circle should normally be enough, but you should reduce the surface size's absolute minimum and target size to a sensible level.

kdrbrk April 6, 2010 11:07

I am new to Star ccm+ and still trying to learn things.
I know how to define boundary conditions in 3D, but I couldn't find how to do it in 2D. can someone please help?

I will also investigate airfoils in ground effect.

abdul099 July 6, 2010 11:26


maybe a little bit too late, but there's no other answer, so I will try to help...

In Star-ccm+, you can only generate a 2D-mesh if you convert a 3D-mesh to a 2D-mesh. So adjust the 3D mesh settings before converting to 2D. It is done in the same way as in 3D. You go to regions, expand the 2D-region, go to boundaries, expand the boundary...
Physics settings on boundaries could be set in 2D, also in the same way as in 3D.

If you try to simulate airfoils in ground effect, you should take care of the mesh between ground and airfoil, due to high pressure gradients in this area.

Best regards

nomad October 6, 2010 20:37

You also need to make sure that the 2D plane you're interested in lies in the z=0 plane.

Sakkie October 19, 2010 14:51

I think you both have mesh problem and maybe physics problems as well. You should make a refined mesh on the trailing edge of the airfoil as the dissipation has a very big influence on drag. This refined mesh does not have to be very big but needs to be about the same length as your chord and obviously the width of the airfoil. Use a volumetric control to do this and make the refined mesh about 5mm. Depending on the size of your volume I think your cell count is far too low and you are going get it up to 2 000 000 if the chord is about 1m. And further you must use prism mesh of at least 20 layers in 15mm. Your surface size on the airfoil should be about 0.5mm - 5mm and a base size of 1m, your points on the curvature should be around 100. I cannot help you with the physics models as I do not have allot of knowledge regarding water as flower.
  • Prism Mesh
  • Airfoil Surface Size
  • Refined mesh in the wake

MBdonCFD March 2, 2015 17:23

I realize this is probably about 6 years too late, but I would like to point out that there is considerable disagreement between published data sets for the NACA0012 in both lift and drag. That in itself would make the 0012 a difficult validation case, let alone the issues that arrise with airfoil analysis in general.

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