Flows in Complex Systems

Computational Analysis of Marine-Propeller Performance Using Transition-Sensitive Turbulence Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiao Wang

Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS),  Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762xwang@cavs.msstate.edu

Keith Walters

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762; Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS),Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762walters@cavs.msstate.edu

J. Fluids Eng 134(7), 071107 (Jul 20, 2012) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005729 History: Received December 22, 2010; Revised December 02, 2011; Published July 20, 2012; Online July 20, 2012

Almost all computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of flow around marine propellers use turbulence models that are only well suited for fully turbulent flows, which in some cases may lead to accuracy degradation in the prediction of propeller performance characteristics. The discrepancy between computed thrust and torque and corresponding experimental data increases with increasing propeller load. This is due in part to the fact that a large laminar flow region is found to exist and turbulence transition takes place on propeller blades of model scale and/or under high-load conditions. In these cases, it may be necessary to consider boundary-layer transition to obtain accurate results from CFD simulations. The objective of this work is to perform simulations of a marine propeller using a transition-sensitive turbulence model to better resolve the propeller flow characteristics. Fully turbulent flow simulations are also performed for comparison purposes at various propeller load conditions. Computational results are analyzed and compared with water-tunnel and open-water experimental data. It is found that the applied transition-sensitive turbulence model is better able to resolve blade-surface stresses, flow separations, and tip-vortex originations, and, consequently, improve the prediction accuracy in propeller performance, especially under high-load conditions. Furthermore, solutions obtained using the transition-sensitive turbulence model show tip-vortex flows of higher strength, whereas results by the standard k-ω SST turbulence model indicate excessive dissipation of the vortex core.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Prediction of skin friction coefficient for flat plate boundary layer using transition-sensitive k-ω model: (a) Tu∞  = 0.8%, (b) Tu∞  = 3.3%, and (c) Tu∞  = 6.5%

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Figure 2

Surface mesh and cutting plane through volume mesh: (a) coarse, 4.09M cells, (b) medium, 11.46M cells, and (c) fine, 22.43M cells

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Figure 3

Circumferential-averaged axial (top) and radial (bottom) velocity for grid resolution study

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Figure 4

Convergence history of total thrust: (a) SST simulations, and (b) TSM simulations

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Figure 5

Comparison of measured and computed propeller characteristics

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Figure 6

Relative velocity components (axial velocity Vx , radial velocity Vr , and tangential velocity Vt ) downstream of the propeller at x/R =  0.2386 for J = 1.1

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Figure 7

Comparison between water-tunnel test (right) and TSM solution (left) of the tip-vortex region, axial velocity at x/R =  0.2386 for J = 1.1 (black curves denote radial locations from 0.4 R to 1.0 R)

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Figure 8

Circumferentially averaged velocity components on x/R = 0.2386 plane for J = 1.1: (a) axial velocity Vx , (b) radial velocity Vr , and (c) tangential velocity Vt

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Figure 9

Relative velocity components (axial velocity Vx , radial velocity Vr , and tangential velocity Vt ) at propeller cross section at x/R =  0.05 for J =  0.5: TSM (top) and SST (bottom)

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Figure 10

Tip-vortex strength at high-load condition, J = 0.5, propeller surfaces are colored by pressure coefficient and show surface streamlines: (a) tip region axial velocity contours by TSM, (b) tip region axial velocity contours by SST, (c) axial velocity in the tip vortex, and (d) pressure coefficient in the tip vortex

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Figure 11

Pressure distribution and limiting streamlines on pressure side for J = 0.5: (a) TSM, and (b) SST

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Figure 12

Velocity vectors and turbulent kinetic energy on a circular cutting plane across the converged blade limiting streamlines on pressure side for transition case at J = 0.5

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Figure 13

Skin fraction distribution on propeller surfaces for J = 0.5: (a) suction side by TSM, (b) suction side by SST, (c) pressure side by TSM, and (d) pressure side by SST

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Figure 14

Turbulent kinetic energy at various spans (r/R = [0.4–0.9]) on suction surface in transition case (blade surface is colored by skin fraction coefficient Cf )




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