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Accuracy, Convergence and Mesh Quality
Posted Tue May 22, 2012 @08:41AM
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News “We know embarrassingly little about how the mesh affects the CFD solution,” said Prof. Carl Ollivier-Gooch of the University of British Columbia.

That sounds like a poor way to describe the state of affairs in CFD research, but most in attendance at the Mesh Quality/Resolution, Practice, Current Research, and Future Directions Workshop held last summer in Dayton, OH would agree.

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Dr. Ollivier-Gooch's statement is counter to what we all know to be true in practice, that a good mesh helps the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver converge to the correct answer while minimizing the computer resources expended. Stated differently, most every decent solver will yield an accurate answer with a good mesh, but it takes the most robust of solvers to get an answer on a bad mesh.

The crux of the issue is what precisely is meant by “a good mesh.” Syracuse University's Prof. John Dannenhoffer points out that we are much better at identifying a bad mesh than we are at judging a good one. Distinguishing good from bad is clouded by the fact that badness is a black-white determination of whether the mesh will run or not. (Badness often only means whether there are any negative volume cells.) On the other hand, goodness is all shades of gray – there are good meshes and there are better meshes.

Go on to read the rest of Pointwise's excellent summary of the Mesh Quality Workshop.

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