Large-eddy simulation of evaporating spray in a coaxial combustor

Sourabh V. Apte, Krishnan Mahesh, Parviz Moin

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63 Scopus citations


Large-eddy simulation of an evaporating isopropyl alcohol spray in a coaxial combustor is performed. The Favre-averaged, variable density, low-Mach number Navier-Stokes equations are solved on unstructured grids with dynamic subgrid scale model to compute the turbulent gas-phase. The original incompressible flow algorithm for LES on unstructured grids by [Mahesh et al., J. Comp. Phys. 197 (2004) 215-240] is extended to include density variations and droplet evaporation. An efficient particle-tracking scheme on unstructured meshes is developed to compute the dispersed phase. Experimentally measured droplet size distribution and size-velocity correlation near the nozzle exit are used as the inlet conditions for the spray. The predictive capability of the LES approach on unstructured grids together with Lagrangian droplet dynamics models to capture the droplet dispersion characteristics, size distributions, and the spray evolution is examined in detail. The mean and turbulent quantities for the gas and particle phases are compared to experimental data to show good agreement. It is shown that for low evaporation rates considered in the present study, a well resolved large-eddy simulation together with simple subgrid models for droplet evaporation and motion provides good agreement of the mean and turbulent quantities for the gas and droplet phases compared to the experimental data. This work represents an important first step to assess the predictive capability of the unstructured grid LES approach applied to spray vaporization. The novelty of the results presented is that they establish a baseline fidelity in the ability to simulate complex flows on unstructured grids at conditions representative of gas-turbine combustors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2247-2256
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume32 II
StatePublished - 2009
Event32nd International Symposium on Combustion - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Aug 3 2008Aug 8 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this work was provided by the United States Department of Energy under the Advanced Scientific Computing (ASC) program. We are indebted to Dr. Gianluca Iaccarino and Dr. Joseph Oefelein for their help at various stages of this study.


  • Eulerian-Lagrangian
  • LES
  • Particle-laden flows
  • Sprays
  • Unstructured grids


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