The generation of transverse and longitudinal vortices in low speed wind tunnels
The present study documents an experimental and numerical investigation into the feasibility of generating longitudinal and transverse vortices in low speed wind tunnels. The longitudinal vortex system is that of a co-rotating vortex pair which, if substituted for a classical single tip vortex, may produce a beneficial modification to Blade Vortex Interaction. The transverse vortex mimics the tip vortex of a typical helicopter rotor and may be used to assess its effect when interacting with other aerofoils or fuselage components. Experiments have been conducted to investigate the flow field associated with two co-rotating vortices which represent the idealised vortex system associated with a novel rotor blade tip platform - the Westland Helicopters Vane Tip. These vortices were generated by two rectangular NACA 0015 half wings positioned upstream of the working section of a low speed wind tunnel. Hot-wire measurements were conducted downstream of the generators using x-wire probes to document the strength, position and size of the vortices. A numerical model was utilised to provide an accurate means of determining vortex strength, position and size. Finally, the model was successfully extended to consider the rotation of the vortex system. The transverse vortex was generated by a rotating blade placed in the contraction of a low speed wind tunnel. A numerical model was utilised in the conceptual design of the experimental facility to model the flow through the settling chamber, contraction, working section and diffuser. This numerical model consisted of a three dimensional source panel method, used to calculate the constrained flow through the low speed tunnel, and a free wake model representing the wake generated by the vortex generator. Convection of the wake was determined by superposition of the undisturbed tunnel velocity and the induced velocity components from the wake itself. Results, obtained via a parametric analysis, illustrate the relationship between the geometry of the wake and basic physical design parameters. On this basis, two possible operational strategies for the upstream rotor are examined with reference to development of the experimental facility. It is concluded that, while a short duration finite rotor traverse may be the optimum vortex generation strategy, a continuous running rotor is a more cost effective and viable option.