Numerical study of multi-scale flow-sediment-structure interactions using a multiphase approach


Title: Numerical study of multi-scale flow-sediment-structure interactions using a multiphase approach
Authors: Nagel, T.
Publication Date:
July 17, 2018
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Pages: 207
Publisher: HAL

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Website: External Link
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Nagel, T. (2018). Numerical study of multi-scale flow-sediment-structure interactions using a multiphase approach. Doctoral Dissertation, Université Grenoble Alpes.

The work undertaken in this PhD thesis was to develop and use numerical models to investigate the multi-scale interactions between an offshore wind turbine and the local ocean and sediment dynamics. First, the interactions between the coupled ocean-sediment system and the atmospheric wake generated by an offshore wind turbine are investigated using an idealized two-dimensional model developed during this Phd thesis and written in fortran. The model integrates the shallow water equations for the ocean together with the Exner equation for the sediment bed. In a second part, the 3D scour phenomenon around a vertical cylinder in a steady current is studied using a two-phase flow eulerian-eulerian solver, sedFoam, written within the framework of the numerical toolbox OpenFOAM. The two-phase flow approach accounts for small-scale processes by avoiding the traditional assumptions made for sediment transport modeling, such as a local corre- lation between the sediment flux and the fluid bed shear stress.Regarding the atmospheric wake generated by a turbine, the results shows that its impact on the ocean’s surface can generate vortices. The resulting turbulent ocean dynamics is controlled by the wake parameter S = CdD/H, where D is the wake diameter at the impact location on the ocean surface, Cd is the quadratic friction coefficient between the ocean and the sediment and H is the oceanic layer depth. A turbulence parameterization based on S is proposed, allowing for upscaling simulations in larger scales Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) models. It is shown that the ocean dynamics has an effect on the available wind power. The results also show that the instantaneous sediment dynamics is strongly coupled with the ocean one but that the overall seabed elevation variations remain small (a few millimeters/month). The morphodynamic impact of the wake is thus negligible.Concerning the two-phase flow simulation of scour, sedFoam is first validated on 1D and 2D configurations. Then, 3D simulations around a vertical cylindrical pile are presented. At first, a validation of the Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) turbulence model developed in this work is performed on a configuration without sediment. The results show that the vortices structures responsible for scouring, the Horse Shoe Vortex (HSV) and the vortex-shedding in the lee of the cylinder are correctly reproduced. Then, 3D two-phase flow simulations of the scour around a cylindrical pile have been carried out in a live-bed configuration. This work is the first attempt to model 3D scour phenomenon using the two-phase flow approach. Such simulations represent a real challenge in terms of high performance computing. The good agreement between the numerical predictions and the literature experimental results provide the proof of concept that the two-phase flow approach can be used to study complex 3D and unsteady flow configurations. The relationship between the local bed shear stress, the sediment flux and the local sediment bed slope is further investigated. The deviation of the results from a uniform flow configuration is further analyzed to identify the relevant sediment transport mechanisms associated with the HSV, the slope in the scour mark and the vortex-shedding downstream of the cylinder. Finally, the numerical results show a grid sensitivity of the morphological predictions in the lee of the cylinder that are most probably related to small-scale resolved vortical structures. This highlights the need for two-phase flow Large Eddy Simulations on this configuration in the future.

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