Numerical predictions of low Reynolds number flows over two tandem circular cylinders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Flows over two tandem cylinders were analysed using the newly developed collocated unstructured computational fluid dynamics (CUCFD) code, which is capable of handling complex geometries. A Reynolds number of 100, based on cylinder diameter, was used to ensure that the flow remained laminar. The validity of the code was tested through comparisons with benchmark solutions for flow in a lid-friven cavity and flow around a single cylinder. For the tandem cylinder flow, also mesh convergence was demonstrated, to within a couple of percent for the RMS lift coefficient. The mean and fluctuating lift and drag coefficients were recorded for centre-to-centre cylinder spacings between 2 and 10 diameters. A critical cylinder spacing was found between 3.75 and 4 diameters. The fluctuating forces jumped appreciably at the critical spacing. It was found that there exists only one reattachment and one separation point on the downstream cylinder for spacings greater than the critical spacing. The mean and the fluctuating surface pressure distributions were compared as a function of the cylinder spacing. The mean and the fluctuating pressures were significantly different between the upstream and the downstream cylinders. These pressures also differed with the cylinder spacing.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Energy Engineering


  • unstructured grid, two tandem circular cylinder, unsteady flows
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-447
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch