Large eddy simulation of the near to intermediate wake of a heated sphere at Re=10, 000

Matthew B. de Stadler, Narsimha R. Rapaka, Sutanu Sarkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Large eddy simulation is used to numerically simulate flow past a heated sphere at Re = 10, 000. A second order accurate in space and time, semi-implicit finite difference code is used with the immersed boundary to represent the sphere in a Cartesian domain. Visualizations of the vorticity field and temperature field are provided together with profiles of the temperature and velocity fields at various locations in the wake. The laminar separated shear layer was found to efficiently transport heat from the hot sphere surface to the cold fluid in the wake. The thin separated shear layers are susceptible to Kelvin-Helmholtz instability and the pronounced rollers that subsequently form promote entrainment of both cold freestream fluid and warmer fluid near the back of the sphere. Breakdown of the shear layer into turbulence and subsequent interaction with the recirculation zone results in rapid mixing of the temperature field in the lee of the sphere. The wake dimensions of the velocity field and the temperature field were found to be comparable in the developed flow behind the re-circulating region. Profiles of the mean and fluctuating temperature and velocity in the near wake are provided together with profiles of the Reynolds stresses and thermal fluxes. Similarity was observed for the mean temperature, rms temperature, rms velocity, and the Reynolds stress component 〈u'xu'r〉, and the thermal fluxes 〈T'u'x〉 and 〈T'u'r〉.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-10
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.B.S. and S.S are pleased to acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Grant No. N0014-11-10469 , program monitor Ron Joslin. M.B.S. also received support on this project from an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Scholarship. Computational resources were provided by the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program. All simulations were run on Haise, an IBM iDataPlex at the Navy Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center. A preliminary version of this article was published in the proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Turbulence and Shear Flow Phenomena (TSFP8).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc.


  • Immersed boundary method
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Scalar mixing
  • Sphere
  • Wake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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