In this paper, the suitability of a mesoscopic approach involving a single phase Lattice Boltzmann (LB) model is examined. In contrast, to continuum based numerical models, where only space and time are discrete, the discrete variables of the LB model are space, time and particle velocity. With reference to the Boltzmann equation of classical kinetic theory, the distribution of fluid molecules is represented by particle distribution functions. The LB method simulates fluid flow by tracking particle distributions. It is notable that the formulation avoids the need to include the Poisson equation. An elastic-collision scheme with no-slip walls is prescribed. The central idea behind proposing the present formulation is many fold. One goal is to capture smaller scales naturally, postponing the need of applying empirical turbulence models. Another goal is to get further insight into nonlinearities in steep and breaking free surfaces to improve current continuum mechanics solutions. Although the long term goal is to predict bluff-body high Reynolds number flows and breaking water waves, the present study is limited to laminar flow simulations and continuous free surfaces. The case studies presented include bluff bodies embedded in Reynolds number flows in the order of 100–200. The free surface test cases represent bore propagation past a single and multiple structures. The 2-D uniform grid solutions are compared with findings reported in the literature. Vortex patterns are studied when single or several objects are located in the bluff-body wakes. From a mitigation point of view, the model presents an easy means of re-arranging bluff bodies to study optimum solutions for VIV suppression with/without a free surface.

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