Current Projects

  • Sediment-Bed-Turbulence Coupling in Oscillatory Flows: Fully Resolved Numerical Experiments and Modeling (Funding: NSF, #1133363): Sediment transport, in rivers and coastal regions, affects large-scale geomorphic processes of dune formation, beach erosion and landform evolution that can displace human settlements, as well as destroy vegetation and agricultural infrastructure with strong socio-economic impact. In this new project we will look at quantifying effect of sediment-bed-turbulence interactions on the onset of erosion, entrainment, suspension, and deposition mechanisms of sediment. Specifically, high-fidelity numerical simulations resolving all scales of fluid flow and sediment motion will be employed to study oscillatory boundary layer dynamics and resultant sediment transport. The novelty of this research is in the development and use of a fully resolved simulation (FRS) approach based on first principles, without requiring models for drag and lift forces, for the study of sediment incipient motion. This research will also yield a Numerical Water/Wind Tunnel (NWT), a virtual educational tool for fluid-particle systems.

  • A novel hybrid Eulerian/Lagrangian dual scale LES model for predicting atomization in realistic aircraft combustor fuel injectors (Funding: NASA): This is a collaborative project between Dr. Marcus Herrmann (ASU), Dr. Apte (OSU) and Cascade Technology. The goal of this project is to develop, verify, and validate a hybrid Eulerian/Lagrangian dual-scale LES model to predict atomization in realistic aircraft engine combustors. If successful, the model will significantly advance the predictive capabilities of aircraft engine simulations by avoiding the currently existing need to tune spray models with relevant experimental data that is dicult to obtain at best. The aircraft engine injector targeted in this proposal is a realistic high shear fuel injector containing 6 liquid fuel jets injecting into a swirling crossflow and an outer secondary swirling flow.

  • Numerical Investigation of Potential Erosion Mechanisms in SCO2 Power Generation Cycles (Funding: ORISE, NETL-Albany): Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO2) has been used for power generation in thermal solar, fossil energy and nuclear power plants. It is an ideal working fluid for closed-loop power generation as it is nontoxic,non-flammable, non-corrosive and low-cost fluid. There is also evidence that even for a fairly pure sCO2 flowing through small pipe bends or junctions
    causes erosion of the material. For pure supercritical CO2 flowing through pipe or duct bends, it is hypothesized that erosion may occur due to (i) large fluctuations in local temperature and pressure due to turbulence, secondary flow patterns, and property variations causing substantial shear stresses on the pipe walls, and (ii) surface or geometric irregularities impacting wall shear stresses and pressure variations. To test these hypotheses, numerical simulation of a single-phase, turbulent
    flow with heat transfer in pipe or duct bends at representative conditions and flow Reynolds numbers is proposed. Collaboration between Dr. Apte and Dr. Omer Dogan of NETL, Albany.

  • Pulse Detonation Engine for Advanced Oxy-Combustion of Coal-Based Fuels: (DoE-NETL: DE-FOA-0001247): This is a new project, led by Dr. David Blunck together with Dr. Apte and Dr. Niemeyer. The overall goal of the proposed research will be to develop and evaluate a pulse detonation combustion system for direct power extraction. The system will work on either gaseous (e.g., natural gas) or solid (e.g., coal) fuels. The long term vision is that such a pulse detonation combustor can be coupled with a MHD system and be used as a topping cycle.
  • Characterization of Turbulent Flow in Porous Media: Integrating Experiments, DNS, and Theory (Funding: NSF, #1336983): In this recently funded project, the primary objective of the proposed research is to examine fast (high Reynolds number) flows in porous media. A unified approach is proposed, which integrates three research elements (1) upscaling theory (the method of volume-averaging ) with closure, (2) direct numerical simulation (DNS) of flow in porous media, and (3) PIV experimental studies of flows in porous media. The study will cover a broad range of Reynolds numbers [Re ~O(100-4000)]. The overall goal of this work is to provide a cohesive theory (with extensive experimental validation) to describe rather high velocity flows in a packed bed in a way that is consistent with the widely-used empirical expression known as the Darcy-Ergun-Forchheimer equation.

  • Advances in Understanding Pore-Scale Dispersion (Funding: NSF, #1521441): This research will combine theory, numerical computation, and experimental data to examine the process of dispersion in monodisperse and polydisperse porous media at an unprecedented level of detail. It has only recently become possible to conduct numerical simulations of flow within the geometry of a complex, three-dimensional porous medium of sufficient size and resolution to generate the kind of data needed to connect the microscale physical processes within a porous medium with the observable macroscopic behavior of the material as a whole. The goal is to bring new understanding about the dispersion process by: 1) experimentally measuring (via X-ray tomography) beds of random porous media at unprecedented resolution; 2) conducting direct numerical simulations of the flow and dispersion process in these porous media (up through the steady inertial flow range) using state-of-the art numerical methods; and 3) developing modified descriptive theory (via the method of volume averaging) to predict the macroscopic behavior of the dispersion process from representative structure of porous materials.
  • High Flux Microchannel Solar Receiver Development (Funding: DoE's Apollo Concentrating Solar Power Program): This collaborative project is led by Dr. M. Kevin Drost brings together researchers from OSU, UC Davis, PNNL, and NETL. The proposed research aims to develop the microchannel solar receiver (MSR) from technology readiness level (TRL) 3 to TRL 5, culminating in an on-sun test of a commercial scale receiver module with a surface area of approximately 1 square meter.
 
 
 
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