Mainpulating input files with CPL

CPL provides a pythonic interface to read, create, modify, and write out input files necessary for running simulations using OpenFOAM or CML executables within a case directory. Users can interact with input files as python objects and use python data structures and functions to manipulate them. The modified objects can then be written out to files and CPL will pretty-print the files in the apporpriate locations in the case directory. Most OpenFOAM/CML objects have a one-to-one correspondence with python data structures within CPL. For example, OpenFOAM dictionaries are accessed as Python dictionaries, specifically an instance of CaelusDict which provides both attribute and dictionary-style access to entries. FOAM List<Scalar> data types are accessible as NumPy arrays, whereas generic lists containing mixed datatype entries (e.g., the blocks entry in blockMeshDict) are represented as lists.

This tutorial provides a walkthrough of using module to read, manipulate, and write out input files in a case directory. The code snippets shown in this tutorial will use the ACCM_airFoil2D tutorial in the $PROJECT_DIR/tutorials/incompressible/simpleSolver/ras/ACCM_airFoil2D directory. To execute the example code snippets shown in this tutorial, it is recommended that execute them from this case directory and have the following modules loaded in your script or interactive shell

import numpy as np
import as cio

The most general interface to an input file is through the DictFile class. It provides three ways of creating an input file object that can be manipulated using CPL in python scripts. Using the constructor creates a default file object that can be populated by the user. In most situations, however, the user would load a template file using read_if_present() or load() functions. The former as the name indicates will load the file if present in the case directory, whereas the latter will generate an error if the file doesn’t exist. The first example will use system/controlDict file to show how the user can load, examine, and manipulate the contents of a simple input file.

# Load the controlDict file from the case directory
cdict = cio.DictFile.load("system/controlDict")

# Show the keywords present in the controlDict file

# Change the variable 'startFrom' to 'latestTime'
cdict['startFrom'] = 'latestTime'

# Change 'writeFormat' to 'binary
cdict['writeFormat'] = 'binary'

# Show the current state of the controlDict contents

# Save the updated controlDict file to the case directory

The next example uses the DictFile to modify the 0/U. For the purposes of this demonstration, we will change the inflow conditions from \(\alpha = 0^\circ\) angle of attack to a flow at \(\alpha = 6^\circ\) angle of attack.

# Load the U field file
ufile = cio.DictFile.load("0/U")

# Access the internalField variable
internal = ufile['internalField']

If you print out ufile[‘internalField’] you will notice that it is an instance of Field that contains two attributes: ftype representing the field type (uniform or nonuniform), and value that contains the value of the field. In this the present example, we will access the uniform velocity field value and update it with the u and v velocities corresponding to \(\alpha = 6^\circ\).

# Access the wind speed
wspd = internal.value[0]

# Compute u and v components
aoa_rad = np.radians(6.0)
uvel = wspd * np.cos(aoa_rad)
vvel = wspd * np.sin(aoa_rad)

# Update the velocity field
internal.value[0] = uvel
internal.value[1] = vvel

# Update the inlet value also (note attribute-style access)
inlet = ufile['boundaryField'].inlet
inlet.value = internal.value

# Check the current state of the 0/U file

# Write the updated 0/U file

Specialized CPL classes for CML input files

While DictFile provides a generic interface to all input files, CPL also defines specialized classes that provide additional functionality for those specific input files. The available classes that provide customized functionality are listed below

ControlDict system/controlDict interface
FvSchemes system/fvSchemes interface
FvSolution system/fvSolution interface
DecomposeParDict system/decomposeParDict interface
TransportProperties constant/transportProperties interface
TurbulenceProperties constant/turbulenceProperties interface
RASProperties constant/RASProperties interface
LESProperties constant/LESProperties interface
BlockMeshDict constant/polyMesh/blockMeshDict interface

The specialized classes provide the ability to create default entries as well as provide a limited amount of syntax checking to ensure that the keywords contain acceptable values. It also allows attribute style access (in addition to dictionary style access) for the keywords present in the input file. The read_if_present() method is really useful with the specialized classes, as the user does not have to provide the file name, as shown below

# Load files from system directory
cdict = cio.ControlDict.read_if_present()
fvsol = cio.FvSolution.read_if_present()
fvsch = cio.FvSchemes.read_if_present()

For example, when using the DictFile interface with system/controlDict file, the user could assign any arbitrary value to startFrom. However, when using the ControlDict, CPL will raise an error if the user provides invalid value

# Attempt to pass invalid value will raise a ValueError as shown below
cdict.startFrom = "bananas"
# ValueError: ControlDict: Invalid option for 'startFrom'. Valid options are:
#    ('firstTime', 'startTime', 'latestTime')

# The keywords in file can be accessed either as attributes or keys
print ( cdict.stopAt, cdict['stopAt'])

Accessing keywords with special characters

While most keywords can be accessed as attributes, certain OpenFOAM/CML keywords contain invalid characters and therefore must be accessed as dictionary keys only. The fvSolution and fvSchemes provide good examples of such keywords.

# Accessing the divSchemes for specific equation must use dictionary style
# access
divU = fvsch.divSchemes["div(phi,U)"]

# Accessing the "(k|omega|nuTilda)" solver in fvSolution
turbSolver = fvsol.solvers['"(k|omega|nuTilda)"']

Note the nested quotation marks for the "(k|omega|nuTilda)" keyword. OpenFOAM/CML requires the double quotes because keyword starts with a non-alphabetical character. Wrapping the entire thing in single quotes protects the double quotes within Python.

Input files for turbulence models

# Load the TurbulenceProperties file
tprops = cio.TurbulenceProperties.read_if_present()

# Examine the type of turbulence model being used

# Get an instance of the model input file (returns None if laminar)
rans = tprops.get_turb_file()

# Show the model and coeffs

# Options common to both RASProperties and LESProperties
rans.turbulence   # Flag indicating if turbulence is active
rans.printCoeffs  # Flag indicating whether coeffs are printed

# Switch to k-omega SST model
rans.model = "kOmegaSST"
# Note that coeffs has switched to 'kOmegaSSTCoeffs' present in input file

# Turn curvature correction on (this updates kOmegaSSTCoeffs now)
rans.coeffs.curvatureCorrection = "on"

# Note, we can still access SpalartAllmarasCoeffs manually
# However, need to use dictionary style access
sacoeffs = rans['SpalartAllmarasCoeffs']

# Can still change S-A coeffs if necessary
sacoeffs.curvatureCorrection = 'off'

# Save updated RASProperties file

In the next example, we will change the turbulence model from RANS to LES and let CPL generate a default LESProperties file for us.

# Load the TurbulenceProperties file
tprops = cio.TurbulenceProperties.read_if_present()

# Switch to LES model
tprops.simulationType = "LESModel"

# Get the default LESProperties file generated by CPL
les = tprops.get_turb_file()

# Show default values created by CPL

# Set up the appropriate coefficients for Smagorinsky
coeffs = les.coeffs
coeffs.ce = 1.05 = 0.07

# Write out the updated files