Energetics of buoyancy-generated turbulent flows with active scalar: pure buoyant plume




Chen, Chang Hsin
Bhaganagar, Kiran

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Cambridge University Press


A framework for the budget of Reynolds stress, temperature and density variations, turbulent mass flux and turbulent heat flux is presented for buoyancy-generated turbulent flows with a focus on turbulent plumes. The dynamical interactions between the turbulence generated from the velocity and thermodynamic fluctuations in thermal and heated gas plumes is studied. A large-eddy simulation tool has been used to simulate heavier and lighter than air plumes released from a circular heated source for high Reynolds number (Re). The budget equations are developed using a Favre-averaging approach. Both heated air plumes and heated gas plumes, namely, heated SO2 and heated CH4 plumes, are included in the study. The study focuses on addressing key questions – does the turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) spectrum follow the classical inertial −5/3 spectrum or is there a −3 buoyancy regime with a different scaling law? Fundamental pathways for generation of turbulence through velocity fluctuations, and temperature and density fluctuations are discussed. Analysis of the TKE and scalar variance budget equations has demonstrated that multiple mechanisms dominate the transport of Reynolds stresses, and in particular that correlations between the density and the velocity dominates the turbulence production mechanisms. Entrainment is connected to the turbulent transport and pressure-dilation processes.



plumes/thermals, turbulence simulation, turbulent convection


Chen, C., & Bhaganagar, K. (2023). Energetics of buoyancy-generated turbulent flows with active scalar: Pure buoyant plume. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 954, A23. doi:10.1017/jfm.2022.1011


Mechanical Engineering