Large eddy simulation of the differentially heated cubic cavity flow by the spectral element method
Large eddy simulations of the turbulent natural convection flow in a differentially heated cavity have been carried out at a Rayleigh number of 10(9) using the spectral element method. To obtain the large eddy simulation equations, a low pass filter given by the numerical space discretisation is applied to the Boussinesq equations. The subgrid tensor in the filtered momentum equation is modelled by a subgrid viscosity computed by the dynamic Smagorinsky model. To model the subgrid heat flux vector in the filtered temperature equation, a subgrid diffusivity is used which is related to the subgrid viscosity by a dynamically computed subgrid Prandtl number. All filtering operations are done in an elementwise defined hierarchical polynomial basis. The test filter for the dynamic procedure is chosen so that the grid filter and the combination of the grid with the test filter are self-similar. An important parameter of the simulation namely the choice of the decomposition of the computational domain into spectral elements is fully discussed. Large eddy simulations for three different grid resolutions are validated and compared with a highly accurate direct numerical simulation. At the end, turbulence structures associated with the maximum of the turbulent kinetic energy production are identified by the lambda(2) criterion. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.