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Validation of the Lattice Boltzmann Method Implementation in a Drip Emitter

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 59(1): 107-113. (doi: 10.13031/trans.59.11292) @2016
Authors:   Shengli Ma, Zhengying Wei, RuiJia Ma, Yubin Zhang
Keywords:   CFD, Drip emitter, Irrigation, Lattice Boltzmann method, PIV.

Abstract. For computational microfluidics, the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) may present some advantages, including physical representation of microscopic interactions, a uniform algorithm for multiphase flows, and ease in dealing with complex boundaries. In addition, LBM algorithms have been developed to solve microfluidics-related processes and phenomena, such as heat transfer, electric/magnetic fields, and diffusion. This article investigates the unsteady flow inside the complex 3D geometry of an irrigation drip emitter by employing LBM. Grid convergence analysis is performed to obtain adequate mesh resolution. The numerical results obtained by LBM are validated in comparison with PIV measurements and the results of a commercial finite volume solver. The results indicate that LBM can calculate a reliable simulation in comparison with the finite volume solver. The LBM results are also consistent with the experimental results. LBM offers an alternative to continuum-based CFD in simulating the fluid dynamics of drip emitters.

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