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Evaluation of LES and RANS CFD modelling of multiple steady states in natural ventilation

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2015, 12:19 by Faisal Durrani, Malcolm Cook, Jim McGuirk
This paper reports research carried out with the aim of evaluating and comparing the performance of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) modelling for predicting the multiple steady states observed in experiments on a buoyancy-driven naturally ventilated enclosure. The sub-grid scales of the flow have been modelled using a Van Driest damped Smagorinsky sub-grid scale model in the case of LES and an RNG k-ε turbulence model has been used for URANS. A novel mesh design strategy was introduced to design the LES mesh to identify an optimum 'well-resolved' mesh, assuming that the flow investigated is free-shear dominated. It was found that the URANS solution eventually settled down into a permanent steady state, displaying no evidence of continuing instabilities or periodic unsteadiness. Both URANS and LES solutions captured the existence of three steady states as observed in experimental studies. However, LES was more accurate in predicting the temperatures inside the enclosure compared to URANS. In the URANS solutions, it was observed that for smaller lower opening areas the average indoor temperature had noticeable discrepancies when compared with experimental results. Unlike URANS, LES correctly predicted different steady state temperatures for different opening areas and the time to reach steady state agreed closely with theoretical predictions.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Building and Environment




167 - 181


DURRANI, F., COOK, M.J. and MCGUIRK, J.J., 2015. Evaluation of LES and RANS CFD modelling of multiple steady states in natural ventilation. Building and Environment, 92, pp.167-181.


© Elsevier Ltd


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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