A coarse-grid projection method for accelerating incompressible flow computations
Review articleOpen access

AbstractWe present a coarse-grid projection (CGP) method for accelerating incompressible flow computations, which is applicable to methods involving Poisson equations as incompressibility constraints. The CGP methodology is a modular approach that facilitates data transfer with simple interpolations and uses black-box solvers for the Poisson and advection–diffusion equations in the flow solver. After solving the Poisson equation on a coarsened grid, an interpolation scheme is used to obtain the fine data for subsequent time stepping on the full grid. A particular version of the method is applied here to the vorticity-stream function, primitive variable, and vorticity-velocity formulations of incompressible Navier–Stokes equations. We compute several benchmark flow problems on two-dimensional Cartesian and non-Cartesian grids, as well as a three-dimensional flow problem. The method is found to accelerate these computations while retaining a level of accuracy close to that of the fine resolution field, which is significantly better than the accuracy obtained for a similar computation performed solely using a coarse grid. A linear acceleration rate is obtained for all the cases we consider due to the linear-cost elliptic Poisson solver used, with reduction factors in computational time between 2 and 42. The computational savings are larger when a suboptimal Poisson solver is used. We also find that the computational savings increase with increasing distortion ratio on non-Cartesian grids, making the CGP method a useful tool for accelerating generalized curvilinear incompressible flow solvers.

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