CFD simulations in support of wind tunnel testing
CFD and wind tunnel simulations are complementary due to their inherent limitations. Wind tunnel tests apply to any hypothesis, but are limited by the tunnel wall interference/blockage, the model details, and even the distortion of the model. CFD are not limited in any of these ways, but limited in speed and memory and the lack of determinate set of equations. Theoretically, CFD can provide an assessment of any problem in fluid dynamics (Direct Numerical Simulation), but the requirements of speed and memory are far from being met presently, or even in the foreseeable future. Of necessity, present CFD applications, however, employ a turbulence model, which limits its application due to the problems in accuracy and reliability. Given the power of CFD however, the work contained herein makes use of the advantages of CFD and also the wind tunnel, to form a powerful facility for aerodynamic test, i.e., CFD was used to complement and enhance the wind tunnel test, so producing an integrated test facility. A very important aspect in this work is that CFD was used to investigate the blockage correction for wind tunnel tests. By using CFD, the blockage correction could be made directly, in terms of representing the test model and tunnel walls in high fidelity. Meanwhile, the effect of support system on the test model was also investigated by CFD. The numerical results showed significant effect of the strut on the test model in the Argyll Wind Tunnel (Glasgow University), and an interesting result showed that different positions of support system had different effects. This research aimed to utilise CFD to support wind tunnel testing, and its ultimate purpose is to form a powerful facility for aerodynamic test by combining CFD and wind tunnel. The contributions are summarised as follows: The calibrations of wind tunnel by CFD simulations; A proposed improvement for moving belt system by CFD tools; Blockage correction of wind tunnel by CFD method; and The confirmation of CFD results by wind tunnel model test.