On the accuracy of CFD simulations of cross-ventilation flows for a generic isolated building: Comparison of RANS, LES and experiments
Abstract Accurate and reliable computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are essential for the assessment of cross-ventilation of buildings. To determine which CFD models are most suitable, validation studies are required. A detailed review of the literature indicates that most CFD validation studies only employed the 3D steady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach and/or focused on a limited set of flow parameters. Therefore, the objective of this paper is the validation of both 3D steady RANS simulations and large eddy simulation (LES) of cross-ventilation in a generic isolated enclosure with wind-tunnel measurements. The evaluation is based on five parameters: mean velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, ventilation flow rate, incoming jet angle and incoming jet spreading width. The RANS simulations are conducted with the standard k-ε (SKE), RNG k-ε, realizable k-ε (RLZ), SST k-ω and RSM turbulence models, whereas the LES is performed with the dynamic Smagorinsky subgrid-scale model. SST/RNG/RSM reproduce the experimentally observed direction of the incoming jet, but all RANS models fail in reproducing the turbulent kinetic energy, which is too low especially above and below the jet, because steady RANS does not capture the vertical flapping of the jet. This transient feature is reproduced by LES, resulting in a better reproduction of all three measured parameters (velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, volume flow rate). It is concluded that choice of the model (RANS vs. LES) actually depends on which parameter is the target parameter, noting that the use of LES entails an increase in computational demand with a factor of ≈80–100. Highlights Assessment of five steady RANS turbulence models and LES for cross-ventilation flow. SST/RNG/RSM reproduce the experimentally observed direction of the incoming jet. All RANS models underpredict turbulent kinetic energy inside the enclosure. LES reproduces the mean velocity and turbulent kinetic energy with higher accuracy. Better performance of LES due to the reproduction of transient flow features. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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