A semi-implicit slip algorithm for mesh deformation in complex geometries, implemented in OpenFOAM
Many engineering applications of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) comprise extensive movement of objects that necessitate complex dynamic mesh treatments. In particular, the mesh motion process frequently requires a proper slipping of mesh points on highly curved surfaces. The currently available implementation of explicit slip boundary conditions in OpenFOAM fails to allow large deformations of the mesh without severely degrading the mesh quality and inverting some of the cells. Thus, a robust semi-implicit slip algorithm, based on the Laplacian smoothing methodology, is developed in the present work to tackle this issue. The algorithm is in fact performed in two steps, one explicit and one implicit. The OpenFOAM implementation of the algorithm includes different mesh motion solvers and boundary conditions, based on the displacement or velocity of points. The method is first verified using simple, yet relevant, test cases, and it is shown that the developed algorithm significantly outperforms some of the well-known proprietary CFD codes. Then, it is applied to a complex practical CFD case study. An engineering application that requires the features of the developed mesh motion algorithm is the transient operation of Kaplan turbines. These double-regulated machines simultaneously adjust the guide vane and runner blade angles while changing the operating condition. CFD simulations of such transient operations are highly complex, as they involve mesh deformation of the guide vane passage and simultaneous mesh deformation and rigid-body rotation of the runner blade passage. The mesh deformation requires points to slip on the curved hub and shroud surfaces while preserving the cell quality in tiny blade clearances. Therefore, the feasibility of the developed algorithm is evaluated for a load rejection sequence of a Kaplan turbine model.