Typical turbomachinery aerothermal problems of practical interest are characterised by flow structures of wide-ranging scales, which interact with each other. Such multi-scale interactions can be observed between the flow structures produced by surface roughness and by the bulk flow patterns. Moreover, additive manufacturing may sooner or later open a new chapter in component designs by granting designers the ability to control the surface roughness patterns. As a result, surface finish, which so far has been treated largely as a stochastic trait, can be shifted to a set of design parameters that consist of repetitive, discrete micro-elements on a wall surface (‘manufacturable roughness’).
Considering this prospective capability requirement, the question would arise regarding how surface micro-structures can be incorporated in computational analyses during a design phase in the future. Semi-empirical methods for predicting aerothermal characteristics and the impact of manufacturable roughness could be used to minimise computational cost. However, the lack of element-to-element resolution may lead to erroneous predictions, as the interactions among the roughness micro-elements have been shown to be significant for adequate performance predictions .
In this paper a new multi-scale approach based on the novel Block Spectral method is adopted. This method aims to provide efficient resolution of the detailed local flow variation in space and time of the large scale micro-structures. This resolution is provided without resorting to modelling every single ones in detail, as a conventional large scale CFD simulation would demand, but still demonstrating similar time-accurate and time-averaged flow properties. The main emphasis of the present work is to develop a parallelised solver of the method to enable tackling large problems. The work also includes a first of the kind verification and demonstration of the method for wall surfaces with a large number of micro-structured elements.