Comparison between large-eddy simulation and Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes computations for the MUST field experiment. Part I: Study of the flow for an incident wind directed perpendicularly to the front array of containers

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Santiago, J. L.
Dejoan, A.
Martilli, A.
Martin, F.
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The large-eddy simulation (LES) and Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) methodologies are used to simulate the air flow inside the container's array geometry of the Mock Urban Setting Test (MUST) field experiment. Both tools are assessed and compared in a configuration for which the incident wind direction is perpendicular to the front array. The assessment is carried out against available wind-tunnel data. Effects of including small geometrical irregularities present in the experiments are analysed by considering LES and RANS calculations on two geometries: an idealized one with a perfect alignment and an identical shape of the containers, and a second one including the small irregularities considered in the experiment. These effects are assessed in terms of the local time-mean average and as well in terms of spatial average properties (relevant in atmospheric modelling) given for the velocity and turbulent fields. The structural flow properties obtained using LES and RANS are also compared. The inclusion of geometrical irregularities is found significant on the local time-mean flow properties, in particular the repeated flow patterns encountered in a perfect regular geometry is broken. LES and RANS provide close results for the local mean streamwise velocity profiles and shear-stress profiles, however the LES predictions are closer to the experimental values for the local vertical mean velocity. When considering the spatial average flow properties, the effects of geometrical irregularities are found insignificant and LES and RANS provide similar results.
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