The iterative error can be an important part of the total numerical error of any Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation when the iterative convergence stagnates or when loose convergence criteria are used. In the quest for better iterative convergence of CFD simulations, we consider the design of iterative methods for the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, discretized by finite-volume methods with cell-centered, co-located variables.

The central point is the approximation of the Schur complement (pressure matrix) in the block factorization of the discrete system of mass and momentum equations. We show particular approximations of these blocks that yield either segregated solvers or block preconditioners for fully coupled solvers. The performance of these solvers are then demonstrated by computing the flow over a flat plate and around a tanker on both structured and unstructured grids.

We find that iterative convergence to machine precision is attainable despite the high Reynolds numbers and mesh aspect ratio’s. Improved approximations of the Schur complement do result in improved convergence rates, but do not seem to pay-off in terms of total cost compared to the basic SIMPLE-type approximation.

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For more information contact Christiaan Klaij.