Evaluation of PowerFLOW for Aerodynamic Applications

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A careful comparison of the performance of a commercially available Lattice-Boltzmann Equation solver (PowerFLOW) was made with a conventional, block-structured computational fluid-dynamics code (CFL3D) for the flow over a two-dimensional NACA-0012 airfoil. The results suggest that the version of PowerFLOW used in the investigation produced solutions with large errors in the computed flow field; these errors are attributed to inadequate resolution of the boundary layer for reasons related to grid resolution and primitive turbulence modeling. The requirement of square grid cells in the PowerFLOW calculations limited the number of points that could be used to span the boundary layer on the wing and still keep the computation size small enough to fit on the available computers. Although not discussed in detail, disappointing results were also obtained with PowerFLOW for a cavity flow and for the flow around a generic helicopter configuration.

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