Stochastic modeling of atomizing spray in a complex swirl injector using large eddy simulation

Sourabh V. Apte, Krishnan Mahesh, Michael Gorokhovski, Parviz Moin

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38 Scopus citations


Large-eddy simulation of an atomizing spray issuing from a gas-turbine injector is performed. The filtered Navier-Stokes equations with dynamic subgrid scale model are solved on unstructured grids to compute the swirling turbulent flow through complex passages of the injector. The collocated grid, incompressible flow algorithm on arbitrary shaped unstructured grids developed by Mahesh et al. (J. Comp. Phys. 197 (2004) 215-240) is used in this work. A Lagrangian point-particle formulation with a stochastic model for droplet breakup is used for the liquid phase. Following Kolmogorov's concept of viewing solid particle-breakup as a discrete random process, the droplet breakup is considered in the framework of uncorrelated breakup events, independent of the initial droplet size. The size and number density of the newly produced droplets is governed by the Fokker-Planck equation for the evolution of the pdf of droplet radii. The parameters of the model are obtained dynamically by relating them to the local Weber number and resolved scale turbulence properties. A hybrid particle-parcel is used to represent the large number of spray droplets. The predictive capability of the LES together with Lagrangian droplet dynamics models to capture the droplet dispersion characteristics, size distributions, and the spray evolution is examined in detail by comparing it with the spray patternation study for the gas-turbine injector. The present approach is computationally efficient and captures the global features of the fragmentary process of liquid atomization in complex configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2257-2266
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. The computer resources at San Diego Supercomputing Center are greatly appreciated. We are indebted to Dr. Gianluca Iaccarino and the combustor group at Pratt and Whitney.


  • Complex geometries
  • Droplet breakup
  • LES
  • Sprays
  • Stochastic models


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