OpenFOAM Implementation of Microbubble Models for Ocean Applications
Harris, David Benjamin
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An investigation was carried out on the current state of the art in bubble modelling for computational fluid dynamics, and comparisons made between the different methods for both polydisperse and monodisperse multiphase flows. A multigroup method for polydisperse bubbly flows with the bubbles binned in terms of mass was selected from the various alternatives, which included other multigroup models and moment methods. The latter of these involve the integration of moments of the bubble number density function and transport of these quantities. The equations from this multigroup solver were then changed to more accurately and efficiently model cases involving extremely small bubbles over significant amounts of time, as the original model which was subsequently adapted had, as its primary purpose, simulation of larger bubbles over shorter periods of time. This was done by decoupling the gas and liquid momentum equations and adding an empirical rise velocity term for the bubbles. This new model was then partially implemented into OpenFOAM. The functioning of this new solver was confirmed by comparisons between the results and basic analytical solutions to the problems, as well as by means of comparison with another similar multiphase CFD solver (pbeTransportFoam). Following this confirmation of its functionality, the bubble model was implemented into another solver specifically designed for modelling wakes. Finally, the newly created solver was used to run some cases of interest involving a submerged wake.
General Audience Abstract
Bubbles in the ocean are significant for a number of reasons, ranging from mixing of the upper layer of the ocean to scavenging of biological matter, by which means they can also impact the state of the ocean's surface where they are present. They serve as an important mechanism by which air is dissolved in the ocean, and their breaking at the surface can cause particles or droplets to be ejected into the atmosphere. They can be created by a variety of sources, ranging from the movement of ship propellers and hulls to natural processes, both abiotic and from microorganisms or other living things. They can have exceedingly variable sizes, meaning bubbles behave very differently from one another in the same area. For these reasons, their study is both interesting and sometimes challenging. In this research, methods were developed to simulate the movement over a significant amount of time of a wide size variety of very small bubbles within the ocean. First, study was undertaken of preexisting methods of bubble simulation and the different cases they were intended to represent. One of these existing methods was selected for use and then changed to more accurately represent smaller bubbles, as well as including simplifications to allow the simulations to run faster. Lastly, these methods were implemented into OpenFOAM, an open-source set of solvers for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These new methods for simulation were finally applied to some cases involving submerged bubbles in the ocean and the movement of bubbles in these cases studied.
- Masters Theses