Evaluation of fast fluid dynamics with different turbulence models for predicting outdoor airflow and pollutant dispersion

Ting Dai, Sumei Liu, Junjie Liu, Nan Jiang, Wei Liu, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Fast fluid dynamics (FFD) could provide informative and efficient airflow and concentration simulation. The commonly used turbulence model in FFD was Re-Normalization Group (RNG) k-ε turbulence model which solved two transport equations to obtain eddy viscosity. To reduce this part of time and further improve computing speed, this investigation implemented no turbulence model, Smagorinsky model and dynamic Smagorinsky model which calculated eddy viscosity without solving equation in FFD in an open-source program, OpenFOAM. By simulating several outdoor cases of varying complexity and comparing with experiment and CFD, this study assessed the accuracy and computing efficiency of FFD with four turbulence models. Compared with CFD, FFD greatly improved the computing speed without reducing accuracy. The simulation of FFD without turbulence model was fast but inaccurate. FFD with Smagorinsky model increased the computing speed while ensuring the same accuracy as RNG k-ε turbulence model. FFD with dynamic Smagorinsky model provided accurate results with high efficiency. Computation errors arose mainly from inaccurate prediction of turbulence dispersion. The computing cost was associated with the number of transport equations and calculation method of model coefficient. This investigation recommended the use of FFD with dynamic Smagorinsky model for outdoor airflow and pollutant dispersion studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103583
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • computational efficiency
  • fast fluid dynamics
  • outdoor airflow
  • pollutant dispersion
  • turbulence model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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