Numerical simulation of stirred tanks using a hybrid immersed-boundary method
Conventionally, multiple reference frame (MRF) method and sliding mesh (SM) method are used in the simulation of stirred tanks, however, both methods have limitations. In this study, a hybrid immersed-boundary (IB) technique is developed in a finite difference context for the numerical simulation of stirred tanks. IBs based on Lagrangian markers and solid volume fractions are used for moving and stationary boundaries, respectively, to achieve optimal efficiency and accuracy. To cope with the high computational cost in the simulation of stirred tanks, the technique is implemented on computers with hybrid architecture where central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) are used together.
The accuracy and efficiency of the present technique are first demonstrated in a relatively simple case, and then the technique is applied to the simulation of turbulent flow in a Rushton stirred tank with large eddy simulation (LES). Finally the proposed methodology is coupled with discrete element method (DEM) to accomplish particle-resolved simulation of solid suspensions in small stirred tanks. It demonstrates that the proposed methodology is a promising tool in simulating turbulent flow in stirred tanks with complex geometries.
Keywords: immersed-boundary method, CPU–GPU hybrid computing, stirred tank, large eddy simulation.