Tools and Approaches
Direct Numerical Simulation
Direct Numerical Simulations are the highest fidelity tools available to simulate flows and require solving governing equations at all length and time scales. Although these simulations have high computational cost, they allow us to better understand fundamental flow physics.
Large Eddy Simulation
Rather than resolving all scales, Large Eddy Simulations rely on models for the small-scale physics thereby decreasing computational cost significantly. This allows for simulations at device scale to be performed to better understand flows at practical conditions.
Low-Dimensional Manifolds for Reacting Flows
Physics-based assumptions can lead to significant dimensionality reduction of the equations governing reacting flows. This allows for the extremely low-cost solution of one-dimensional flames, or the more general solution of higher-dimensional flames.
Broadly applicable and simple models can be developed by considering first principles and physical assumptions. Such techniques allow for models ranging from fundamental (e.g., subgrid models for Large Eddy Simulations) to practical (e.g. flashback prediction for gas turbines).
Topics of Interest
Turbulent Reacting Flows in Gas Turbines
The next generation of gas turbines will require higher efficiencies, lower emissions, and high levels of fuel flexibility. Our research focuses on reaching these goals by studying reacting flow phenomena such as flashback, blow-off, flame stabilization, and ignition within the combustor. High resolution simulations are leveraged to both increase understanding of fundamental physics and develop industry-relevant models.
Next-Generation Clean Fuels
Cleanly produced, carbon-free fuels like Hydrogen and Ammonia provide potential pathways for environmentally-friendly combustion within the next few decades. Unfortunately, these fuels present new challenges and cannot presently replace our current fuels. Our group seeks to understand the barriers for implementing these fuels in practical combustion devices and provide the knowledge necessary to overcome them.
Modeling of Turbulent Reacting Flows
Large Eddy Simulations of turbulent reacting flows require accurate, yet computationally affordable models of the smallest flame scales and their interactions with turbulence. New models are constantly being developed that enable simulations at conditions more closely resembling practical devices either through decreased computational cost or increased generality. Our group develops models focused on both these approaches.
Fundamental Studies of Multi-Physics Phenomena
Multi-physics phenomena (e.g., turbulence + reactions) are generally more difficult to study than either of their individual components due to complex interactions of different physics. However, suitable modeling of these phenomena requires a complete understanding of their fundamentals. Our research focuses on elucidating such phenomena through high-resolution simulations in order to inform the models we develop.
Computational Studies of Flow and Energy
The goal of the NTER group is to help avert climate change using our computational toolset. To that end, we are interested in studying energy and flow related problems such as wind energy and battery storage.