Comparison of Some RANS Solvers

Lukas Spies

Research output: NRELPresentation


We will take a look at solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations that are encountered in the context of wind farm performance simulations and optimizations. We will compare some of the more popular ways to solve these equations with a focus on using iterative solvers for the linear solve. We will compare their performance and reliability to a direct solve as we scale the problem both by adding more and parallel resources and by increasing the size of the domain, both in two and three dimensions. There are many strategies that can be applied to solving the RANS equations, some are very efficient, while others are very insensitive to, for example, the Reynolds number. The first contender we will consider is the Pressure-Convection-Diffusion (PCD) preconditioner. Early results suggest that PCD is indeed a very efficient solver, in particular in two dimensions, as long as the Reynold's number remains small. Next we will try to reorder our degrees of freedom such that we can use GMRES with ILU for our linear solve. Another popular choice we will consider for solving the RANS equations is SIMPLE (and its derivatives). For all of our implementations we make use of either FEniCS or Firedrake, basing our work on both existing implementations of some of these solvers while also writing new extensions for others.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the Rocky Mountain Fluid Mechanics (RMFM) Research Symposium, 9 August 2022, Boulder, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2C00-83504


  • CFD
  • preconditioner
  • RANS
  • simulation
  • solver


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