A recent addition to the computational fluid dynamics program FLOW-3D® is a capability for modeling discrete mass particles moving through a continuum. This model implicitly couples
the particles and continuum so that they may exchange momentum in a conservative way.
This report addresses how that model has been extended to account for mass particles having an electric charge and moving in an electric field. The extension is self-consistent in the sense that
the particle charges contribute to the electric field. For this reason the field is time dependent and must be recomputed for each time step of a numerical simulation.
In addition to the charged particles, solid objects (obstacles) located within the computational region may be assigned arbitrary, but constant in time, potentials. Each obstacle may have a
fixed potential value consistent with the obstacle being a conductor. A zero potential value is the default value if not otherwise specified. It should be noted that an electric potential can be
computed even when there are no charged particles, although this field will have no effect on flow processes unless the user adds some kind of additional interaction to the model.
Mesh boundaries that are rigid walls may be assigned non-zero potential values. All other boundaries are treated as symmetry boundaries with respect to the potential. Furthermore, no
insulated obstacles are allowed in this model. It is also assumed that if there are free fluid surfaces or fluid-fluid interfaces then the dielectric constants (i.e., ratios of material permittivities
to that of vacuum) of the different materials must be the same, otherwise additional development will be needed to solve for the electric potential. In general, this is not correct because the
dielectric constant does vary with material type; for example, water has a dielectric constant about 81 times that for air.