Spectral-element discontinuous Galerkin lattice Boltzmann simulation of flow past two cylinders in tandem with an exponential time integrator

Kalu Chibueze Uga, Misun Min, Taehun Lee, Paul F. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, a spectral-element discontinuous Galerkin (SEDG) lattice Boltzmann discretization and an exponential time-marching scheme are used to study the flow field past two circular cylinders in tandem arrangement. The basic idea is to discretize the streaming step of the lattice Boltzmann equation by using the SEDG method to get a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) whose exact solutions are expressed by using a large matrix exponential. The approximate solution of the resulting ODEs are obtained from a projection method based on a Krylov subspace approximation. This approach allows us to approximate the matrix exponential of a very large and sparse matrix by using a matrix of much smaller dimension. The exponential time integration scheme is useful especially when computations are carried out at high Courant-Friedrichs- Lewy (CFL) numbers, where most explicit time-marching schemes are inaccurate. Simulations of flow were carried out for a circular cylinder at Re=20 and for two circular cylinders in tandem at Re=40 and a spacing of 2.5D, where D is the diameter of the cylinders. We compare our results with those from a fourth-order Runge-Kutta scheme that is restricted by the CFL number. In addition, important flow parameters such as the drag coefficients of the two cylinders and the wake length behind the rear cylinder were calculated by using the exponential time integration scheme. These results are compared with results from our simulation using the RK scheme and with existing benchmark results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Mathematics with Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Discontinuous Galerkin
  • Exponential integrator
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • Spectral element
  • Tandem cylinders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics


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