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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 1726519, 14 pages
Research Article

A Three-Dimensional, Immersed Boundary, Finite Volume Method for the Simulation of Incompressible Heat Transfer Flows around Complex Geometries

1Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore-ETH Centre, 1 Create Way, No. 06-01 CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602
2Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, Building HIT, Wolfgang-Pauli Str. 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
3Nuclear Energy and Safety Department, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), 5232 Villigen, Switzerland

Correspondence should be addressed to Hassan Badreddine; hc.zhte.hcra@nassah

Received 20 December 2016; Revised 3 April 2017; Accepted 30 April 2017; Published 19 June 2017

Academic Editor: Michael Harris

Copyright © 2017 Hassan Badreddine et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The current work focuses on the development and application of a new finite volume immersed boundary method (IBM) to simulate three-dimensional fluid flows and heat transfer around complex geometries. First, the discretization of the governing equations based on the second-order finite volume method on Cartesian, structured, staggered grid is outlined, followed by the description of modifications which have to be applied to the discretized system once a body is immersed into the grid. To validate the new approach, the heat conduction equation with a source term is solved inside a cavity with an immersed body. The approach is then tested for a natural convection flow in a square cavity with and without circular cylinder for different Rayleigh numbers. The results computed with the present approach compare very well with the benchmark solutions. As a next step in the validation procedure, the method is tested for Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of a turbulent flow around a surface-mounted matrix of cubes. The results computed with the present method compare very well with Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) measurements of the same case, showing that the method can be used for scale-resolving simulations of turbulence as well.