Advantages/disadvantages of penalty formulation for incompressible fluid flow

In summary, the penalty formulation is a method used in fluid flow modeling that eliminates pressure from the momentum equation and allows for a direct calculation of velocity. This is achieved by replacing the continuity equation with a term involving a large coefficient, which can be determined through numerical experimentation. This method may be more suitable for single-phase flow or incompressible fluids, and its advantages include the ability to use explicit schemes and eliminate ellipticity from the equations. However, it may also have some disadvantages compared to other methods, such as the calculation of pressure first.
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Advantages/disadvantages of "penalty formulation" for incompressible fluid flow

Hi everyone:

I'm interested in getting into some fluid flow modeling (e.g., advection-diffusion). I'm a newbie, so sorry in advance for any silly questions.

Today I came across the "penalty formulation" and I'd really appreciate any basic help or directions to online references in understanding (1) how it works and (2) what the advantages/disadvantages are compared to the method I'm familiar with--using conservation of fluid mass to derive an expression for the fluid pressure p and then getting the velocity profile from that.

From what I've read, using the penalty method allows elimination of pressure from the momentum equation so that the mass and momentum equations can be combined. The result is an equation (convection-diffusion) where velocity can be calculated directly.

This seems rather strange though. The first step in using the penalty method is to replace the continuity equation by:
1/e + grad u

I don't understand what e is/where it comes from. A book I have just calls it a "coefficient with large values." Is it some kind of approximation for P? Is the method I currently use--calculating P first and then getting a velocity profile from that--better?

Could it be that the penalty formulation stuff might be better suited to single-phase flow? Or flows with no gas (compressible)?

I guess what I'm getting at is, what ARE the advantages of the penalty method? I see that someone I respect has used it and I'm wondering why he would have chosen it over the pressure calculation method. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
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  • #2

remove the ellipticity of the equations, thus allowing the use of explicit schemes.
the e is a large number, it takes finite values which can be determined through numerical experimentation.

1. What is penalty formulation for incompressible fluid flow?

Penalty formulation is a numerical method used in computational fluid dynamics to enforce the incompressibility constraint in the Navier-Stokes equations. It involves adding a penalty term to the equations to penalize any violation of incompressibility and ensure that the fluid remains incompressible.

2. What are the advantages of penalty formulation?

One of the main advantages of penalty formulation is its simplicity. It is relatively easy to implement and does not require complex algorithms or data structures. Additionally, it is an efficient method for enforcing incompressibility in simulations of fluid flow.

3. What are the disadvantages of penalty formulation?

One of the main disadvantages of penalty formulation is that it can introduce numerical instabilities in certain cases. This can lead to inaccurate results and may require additional measures to stabilize the simulation. Additionally, the choice of penalty parameter can significantly impact the accuracy and convergence of the solution.

4. How does penalty formulation compare to other methods for incompressible fluid flow?

Compared to other methods such as projection methods or penalty-projection methods, penalty formulation is generally simpler to implement and computationally more efficient. However, it may not be as accurate or stable in certain cases, and the choice of penalty parameter can be critical for obtaining reliable results.

5. Are there any limitations to penalty formulation?

Yes, there are some limitations to penalty formulation. It is mainly suitable for incompressible flows and may not be applicable to compressible flows. It also requires a relatively fine grid resolution to accurately capture the fluid dynamics, which can increase computation time and resources. Additionally, the effectiveness of penalty formulation may vary depending on the geometry and boundary conditions of the simulation.

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