buoyantSimpleFoam - OpenFOAM Solver

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Description

buoyantSimpleFoam is a pressure-based solver designed for steady-state simulations of compressible flows. It handles laminar and turbulent, single-phase flows with temperature and density variations (it solves the energy equation). The solver is particularly suited for scenarios involving heat transfer, radiation, natural convection, and buoyancy-driven flows.

The solver uses the SIMPLE (Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure-Linked Equations) algorithm for pressure-momentum coupling, augmented by under-relaxation techniques to enhance convergence. It supports both Multiple Reference Frame (MRF) and porosity modeling and allows easy integration of passive scalar transport equations and source terms.

Commonly used in various industries, the solver finds applications in scenarios such as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system design, heat distribution in electronics, and the energy sector for the analysis of natural convection in solar collectors and nuclear reactors.

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Features

  • Steady-State
  • Compressible
  • Single-Phase
  • Buoyancy-driven Flow
  • Heat Transfer
  • Heat Source
  • Radiation
  • Laminar and Turbulent (RANS, LES, DES)
  • Equation of State Models
  • Pressure-Based Solver
  • Rotating Objects:
    • Multiple Reference Frames (MRF)
  • Passive Scalar
  • Porosity Modeling
  • Buoyancy
  • Source Term (explicit/implicit)
  • SIMPLE Algorithm
  • Solution Limiters:
    • Velocity Damping
    • Temperature Limit

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Application


  • Room Ventilation Due to Temperature Differences


  • Cooling of Electronics

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Heat Transfer Solvers Comparison

Heat Transfer Solvers In this group, we have included solvers that are designed to model: Heat Transfer, Radiation, Natural and Forced Convection, Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT).

Heat Transfer, Single Fluid

Heat Transfer, Single Fluid - Boussinesq

Heat Transfer, Single Solid

CHT, Multiple Fluids / Solids

  • CHT - Conjugate Heat Transfer
  • MRF - Multiple Reference Frame
  • Overset - also known as Chimera Grid (Method)

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Alternative Solvers

In this section, we propose alternative solvers from different categories, distinct from the current solver. While they may fulfill similar purposes, they diverge significantly in approach and certain features.

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Validation Cases

  • Analysis of the air natural convection in a differentially heated rectangular cavity, resulting in fully turbulent flow.

Solver: buoyantSimpleFoam   Results Fields

This solver provides the following results fields:

  • Primary Results Fields - quantities produced by the solver as default outputs
  • Derivative Results - quantities that can be computed based on primary results and supplementary models. They are not initially produced by the solver as default outputs.

Primary Results Fields


\(U\) [\(\frac{m}{s}\)]


\(T\) [\(K\)]


\(p\) [\(Pa\)]

Hydrostatic Perturbation Pressure

\(p - \rho gh\) [\(Pa\)]

Hydrostatic Perturbation Pressure This value represents the pressure without the hydrostatic component (minus gravitational potential). Read More: Hydrostatic Pressure Effects

Derivative Results


\(\rho\) [\(\frac{kg}{m^{3}}\)]


\(\omega\) [\(\frac{1}{s}\)]

Mach Number

\(Ma\) [\(-\)]

Peclet Number

\(Pe\) [\(-\)]

Stream Function

\(\psi\) [\(\frac{m^2}{s}\)]

Q Criterion

\(Q\) [\(-\)]

Wall Functions (for RANS/LES turbulence)

\(y^+\) [\(-\)]

Wall Shear Stress

\(WSS\) [\(Pa\)]

Wall Heat Flux

\(\phi_q\) [\(W/m^2\)]

Turbulent Fields (for RANS/LES turbulence)

\(k\) \(\epsilon\) \(\omega\) \(R\) \(L\) \(I\) \(\nu_t\) \(\alpha_t\)

Volumetric Stream

\(\phi\) [\(\frac{m^{3}}{s}\)]

Passive Scalar

\(scalar_i\) [\(-\)]

Forces and Torque acting on the Boundary

\(F\) [\(N\)] \(M\) [\(-\)]

Force Coefficients

\(C_l\) [\(-\)] \(C_d\) [\(-\)] \(C_m\) [\(-\)]

Average, Minimum or Maximum in Volume from any Result Field

\(Avg\) \(Min\) \(Max\)