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Title: A study of the turbulent wake of an airfoil in an air stream with a 90° curvature using hot-wire anemometry and large eddy simulation
Author: Farsimadan, Ehsaan
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2008
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The broad aim of the work presented in this thesis is to investigate the wake of an airfoil under the combined effects of streamwise curvature and pressure gradient. This was accomplished by an experimental investigation using hot-wire anemometry and large eddy simulation (LES). The wake was generated by placing a NACA 0012 airfoil in a uniform stream of air, which is then subjected to an abrupt 90o curvature created by a duct bend. The experimental work was conducted in a subsonic open-return type wind tunnel. The test section measured 457 mm × 457 mm in cross-section and consisted of a 90o bend with radius-to-height ratio of 1.17. The symmetrical airfoil was of chord length (c) 150 mm, and its trailing edge was located one chord length upstream of the bend entry. The effects of airfoil angle of attack and mainstream velocity on the mean velocity and turbulence quantities of the near-wake were examined. In addition, the mean velocity and turbulence intensity profiles of the boundary layer on the upper surface of the airfoil were measured. In the numerical investigation, the three-dimensional, incompressible turbulent flow in the duct was computed using the finite volume method. The effect of modelling parameters, namely, grid resolution and sub-grid scale (SGS) model were studied. Three different sub-grid scale models were employed, namely, the classical Smagorinsky, its dynamic variant (DSMG) and the dynamic kinetic energy transport. The effect of grid resolution was assessed by conducting simulations with the DSMG model on three different grids. The first two grids incorporated the full spanwise extent of the duct (3c), and the third grid comprised a reduced spanwise segment (0.5c) with periodic conditions set in the spanwise direction. A bounded central differencing scheme was employed for the discretization of the convection terms. The temporal discretization was by a second-order implicit method that incorporated a forward difference approximation. The performance of LES in depicting the experimental flow was assessed and compared with the results predicted by the Reynolds Stress Model. The experimental profiles at zero angle of attack revealed the differing effects of curvature on the mean and turbulence quantities in the inner-side and outer-side of the wake. The spanwise distributions of mean velocity and turbulence intensity, in the near-wake, indicated variations with identifiable peaks and troughs which corresponded to the presence of streamwise vortices in the wake. The spanwise variations were larger on the inner side of the wake and significantly reduced on the outer side. The results showed that close to the trailing edge, the dominant effect on the wake was from the airfoil boundary layer, whereas one chord length downstream of the trailing edge, it was the effect of curvature and pressure gradient from the duct which was dominant. The results from the numerical study showed the advantages of LES over Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes methods in predicting separation on the convex wall of the bend on relatively coarse grids, but also shortcomings in the prediction of the wake parameters. The dynamic variants of the SGS models were more accurate in predicting the flow in the wake. On a considerably finer grid with near-wall airfoil grid spacings of Δx+ < 80, Δy+ < 0.5, and 20 < Δz+ < 50, LES resulted in much improved comparisons with the experimental data. The improved prediction of the wake parameters was attributed to the improved simulation of the boundary layers on the upper surface of the airfoil. However, the effect of the reduced spanwise extent resulted in a lack of prediction of separation on the convex wall of the duct.
Supervisor: Mokhtarzadeh-Dehghan, M. R. ; Jiang, X. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: wind tunnel ; boundary layers