Stepped Spillway (Stair Spillway) CFD Simulation, ANSYS Fluent Training

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In this analysis, two-dimensional simulation of a stepped spillway by ANSYS Fluent software is presented.

This product includes Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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Stepped Spillway Introduction

Stepped spillway is commonly used in reservoir dams in order to release flood safely.  The stairs of spillway increase energy dissipation greatly. Stair spillways are among the hydraulic structures which attracted great interest to the designers due to their high water capacity energy dissipation. The flow mechanism is complicated in such structures, and more research is being done about it. For this reason, more research and simulation are needed to understand the fluid flow pattern correctly.

Stair Spillway Project description

In this analysis, two-dimensional simulation of a stepped spillway by ANSYS Fluent software is presented. VOF model is activated for two phases of air and water and standard k-e model with the use of standard wall function is exploited for fluid flow analysis.

Stepped Spillway Geometry & Mesh

The modeled geometry is designed and meshed inside Gambit®. The mesh type used for this geometry is unstructured and the element number is 139067.

stepped spillway stair spillway

CFD Simulation Settings

The key assumptions considered in this project are:

  • Simulation is done using pressure-based solver.
  • The present simulation and its results are considered to be steady and do not change as a function time.
  • The effect of gravity has been taken into account and is equal to -9.8 m/s2 in Y direction.

The applied settings are summarized in the following table.

(stepped spillway) Models
Viscous model k-epsilon
k-epsilon model standard
near wall treatment standard wall function
Multi phase VOF
Phase 1 Air
Phase 2 Water
(stepped spillway) Boundary conditions
Inlets velocity inlet

Water inlet

velocity 1 m/s
Turbulent kinetic energy 1 m2/s2
Turbulent dissipation rate 1 m2/s3
Outlets Pressure outlet
wall motion stationary wall
(stepped spillway) Solution Methods
Pressure-velocity coupling Simple
Spatial discretization pressure PRESTO!
Volume fraction first order upwind
momentum first order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
turbulent dissipation rate first order upwind
(stepped spillway) Initialization
Initialization method   Standard
gauge pressure 0 Pa
velocity (x,y,z) (1,0,0) m/s
Turbulent kinetic energy 0 m2/s2
Turbulent dissipation rate 1 m2/s3
Water volume fraction 0


The contours of pressure, velocity, volume fraction, streamlines and velocity vectors are presented.

You can obtain Geometry & Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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