[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]

Aerodynamic analysis of structures using high-resolution vortex particle methods

Guido Morgenthal


Wind effects on structures can be a major design criterion. This work investigates methods for
numerically analysing the fluid flow around geometrically complex bodies and possible interaction
effects with structural oscillations.

The grid-free Vortex Particle Method is utilised to discretise the Navier-Stokes equations and to
evolve the fluid flow in time. The two-dimensional, viscous, laminar implementation of this method
used here is described in detail. A novel hybrid Particle-Particle--Particle-Mesh algorithm is
developed which achieves a highly efficient particle velocity computation. This allows for a large
number of computational elements and thus high-resolution simulations at modest computational cost.
Furthermore, a new particle remeshing strategy is presented.

The convergence and applicability of the method to engineering fluid dynamics problems is
illustrated using a number of classical problems. Applications of the code to general problems in
the field of Wind Engineering are also described. A very high level of spatial and temporal
resolution is achieved. All discussions contain comparisons with experimental or other numerical
studies. Visualisation techniques are used to obtain comparative data.

This work indicates that such numerical techniques could become useful tools in each phase of the
Wind Engineering design of structures. They allow for an easy pre- and postprocessing and yield
valuable insight into aerodynamic effects at mild computational cost.


[Cambridge University | CUED | Structures Group | Geotechnical Group ]

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