Secondary Currents at Very Low and High Aspect Ratios of Open Channels
Keywords:Secondary currents, turbulence, CFD, IDDES model
The present numerical study is an attempt to better understand the effect of the aspect ratio (AR) on the velocity field characteristics of the fully-developed turbulent flow in a straight open channel by contrasting a very low and very high aspect ratio cases (AR = 1 and 12). The AR is defined as the ratio of the width of the channel in a plane normal to the flow direction, to the flow depth. The bulk velocity and water depth considered in this study are 0.75 m/s and 30 mm, respectively, which yield a Reynolds number of ReH = 22,500. The transient three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations were numerically solved using a finite-volume approach with improved-delayed detached-eddy simulation (IDDES) turbulence model. The results revealed that the normalized components of the normal stresses by the turbulent kinetic energy k are constant over most of the velocity field, although k varies in magnitude throughout the velocity field in both AR cases. In addition, the results also revealed a strong anisotropic flow which justifies the formation of secondary currents as a means for transporting the kinetic energy. The results also reveal that both vertical and transverse components of the normal stresses are correlated to the side-recirculation zone (SRZ) and bottom-recirculation zone (BRZ), respectively, which highlights the role of the mean recirculation zones (BRZ & SRZ) in the re-distribution of the turbulent kinetic energy k in the velocity field.
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