A report presents a study addressing the question of which large-eddy simulation (LES) equations are appropriate for modeling the flow of evaporating drops of a multicomponent liquid in a gas (e.g., a spray of kerosene or diesel fuel in air). The LES equations are obtained from the direct numerical simulation (DNS) equations in which the solution is computed at all flow length scales, by applying a spatial low-pass filter. Thus, in LES the small scales are removed and replaced by terms that cannot be computed from the LES solution and instead must be modeled to retain the effect of the small scales into the equations. The mathematical form of these models is a subject of contemporary research.

For a single-component liquid, there is only one LES formulation, but this study revealed that for a multicomponent liquid, there are two non-equivalent LES formulations for the conservation equations describing the composition of the vapor. Criteria were proposed for selecting the multicomponent LES formulation that gives the best accuracy and increased computational efficiency. These criteria were applied in examination of filtered DNS databases to compute the terms in the LES equations. The DNS databases are from mixing layers of diesel and kerosene fuels. The comparisons resulted in the selection of one of the multicomponent LES formulations as the most promising with respect to all criteria.

This work was done by Josette Bellan and Laurent Selle of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NPO-45065