Overset Meshes for Incompressible Flows: On Preserving Accuracy of Underlying Discretizations

Ashesh Sharma, Shreyas Ananthan, Jayanarayanan Sitaraman, Stephen Thomas, Michael Sprague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus Citations


This study on overset meshes for incompressible-flow simulations is motivated by accurate prediction of wind farm aerodynamics involving large motions and deformations of components with complex geometry. Using first-order hyperbolic and elliptic equation proxies for the incompressible Navier-Stokes (NS) equations, we investigate the influence of information exchange between overset meshes on numerical performance where the underlying discretization is second-order accurate. The first aspect of information exchange surrounds interpolation of solution where we examine Lagrange and point-cloud-based interpolation for creating constraint equations between overset meshes. To maintain overall second-order accuracy, higher-order interpolation is required for elliptic problems, but linear interpolation is sufficient for hyperbolic problems in first-order form. Higher-order point-cloud-based interpolation provides a pathway to maintaining accuracy in unstructured meshes, but at higher complexity. The second aspect of information exchange focuses on comparing the approaches of overset single system (OSS) and overset Additive Schwarz (OAS) for coupling the linear systems of the overlapping meshes. While the former involves a single linear system, in the latter the discrete linear systems are solved separately, and solving the global system is accomplished through outer iterations and sequential information exchange in a Jacobi fashion. For the test cases studied, accuracy for hyperbolic problems is maintained by performing two outer iterations, whereas many outer iterations are required for elliptic systems. The order-of-accuracy studies explored here are critical for verifying the overset-mesh coupling algorithms used in engineering simulations. Accuracy of these simulations themselves is, however, quantified using engineering quantities of interest such as drag, power, etc. Consequently, we conclude with numerical experiments using NS equations for incompressible flows where we show that linear interpolation and few outer iterations are sufficient for achieving asymptotic convergence of engineering quantities of interest.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 109987
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-78270


  • Additive Schwarz
  • Chimera grid
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Overset
  • Unstructured meshes
  • Wind energy


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