Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011101-011101-17. doi:10.1115/1.4037500.

Dynamic stability of the high-head Francis turbines is one of the challenging problems. Unsteady rotor–stator interaction (RSI) develops dynamic stresses and leads to crack in the blades. In a high-head turbine, vaneless space is small and the amplitudes of RSI frequencies are very high. Credible estimation of the amplitudes is vital for the runner design. The current study is aimed to investigate the amplitudes of RSI frequencies considering a compressible flow. The hydro-acoustic phenomenon is dominating the turbines, and the compressibility effect should be accounted for accurate estimation of the pressure amplitudes. Unsteady pressure measurements were performed in the turbine during the best efficiency point (BEP) and part load (PL) operations. The pressure data were used to validate the numerical model. The compressible flow simulations showed 0.5–3% improvement in the time-averaged pressure and the amplitudes over incompressible flow. The maximum numerical errors in the vaneless space and runner were 6% and 10%, respectively. Numerical errors in the instantaneous pressure amplitudes at the vaneless space, runner, and draft tube were ±1.6%, ±0.9%, and ±1.8%, respectively. In the draft tube, the incompressible flow study showed the pressure amplitudes up to eight times smaller than those of the compressible. Unexpectedly, the strong effect of RSI was seen in the upper and lower labyrinth seals, which was absent for the incompressible flow.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011102-011102-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037504.

In this paper, the analysis of fast laminar transients in pressurized pipes is developed using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, combined with the Zielke model and laboratory data. The systematic verification of the performance of the CFD model executed in the first part of the paper allows defining the most efficient set of the discretization parameters capable of capturing the main features of the examined transient. In this framework, the crucial role of radial discretization is pointed out. In the second part of the paper, the refined and efficient CFD model is used to examine some aspects of interest for understanding the dynamics of transients. Specifically, the uniformity of the instantaneous pressure distributions along the pipe radius, which validates the results of the most popular quasi-two-dimensional (2D) models, has been revealed. Moreover, it has been shown that the strongest link between the wall shear stress and the axial component of the velocity occurs in the region close to the pipe wall as well as that the time-shift between the wall shear stress and the local instantaneous flow acceleration increases significantly as time elapses.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011103-011103-5. doi:10.1115/1.4037505.

Cavitation within regions of flow separation appears in drifting vortices. A two-part computational method is employed for prediction of cavitation inception number there. The first part is an analysis of the average flow in separation regions without consideration of an impact of vortices. The second part is an analysis of equilibrium of the bubble within the core of a vortex located in the turbulent flow of known average characteristics. Computed cavitation inception numbers for axisymmetric flows are in the good agreement with the known experimental data.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011104-011104-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037681.

Despite the big interest in both, micro-air vehicles (MAV) and flow-control strategies, only few studies have investigated the flow-control possibilities over low aspect ratio (LAR) wings flying at low Reynolds numbers (Re). The present study verified the LAR thick airfoils' conformity with the nonlinear lift approximation equation. Then, a moving-wall flow control method was designed and tested over an LAR thick airfoil (0.57 aspect ration (AR), NACA0015 shaped) performing at a chord-based Re of 4 × 104. The moving belt control postponed the stall onset by 25 deg and produced a 103% gain in lift without any saturation signs at a control speed ratio of Ub/U = 6. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements confirmed the effectiveness of the moving-wall control strategy on the upper surface flow reattachment. Moreover, other quantities such as the, vortices, and the swirling strength are investigated.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011105-011105-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037661.

This study investigates energy harvesting of a two-dimensional foil in the wake downstream of a cylinder. The foil is passively mobile in the transverse direction. An immersed boundary (IB) method with a fluid–structure interaction (FSI) model is validated and employed to carry out the numerical simulation. For improving numerical stability, this study incorporates a modified low-storage first-order Runge–Kutta scheme for time integration and demonstrates the performance of this temporal scheme on reducing spurious pressure oscillations of the IB method. The simulation shows the foil emerged in a vortical wake achieves better energy harvesting performance than that in a uniform flow. The types of the dynamic response of the energy harvester are identified, and the periodic response is desired for optimal energy harvesting performance. Last, the properties of vortical wakes are found to be of pivotal importance in obtaining this desired periodic response.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011106-011106-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037692.

In this experimental study, the impact of suction chamber angle (SCA) on the entrainment ratio of a steam ejector refrigeration system (ERS) of 700 W was investigated. The basic dimensions of the ejector were derived from the compressible fluid flow equations using matlab. The system was tested with six different SCAs with various operating conditions, and its performance was analyzed. It is inferred that the entrainment of passive fluid from the evaporator is the strong function of the SCA. For all the active steam pressures, the entrainment of the passive fluid increases up to 12 deg of SCA, and above that the performance decreases significantly. Optimum angle of suction chamber increases the entrainment ratio for at least 49.96%. It is also found that the SCA has a minor influence on the back pressure.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011107-011107-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037841.

We have studied the influence of a tangential blowing jet in dynamic stall of a NACA0012 airfoil at Reynolds number of 1 × 106, for active flow control (AFC) purposes. The airfoil was oscillating between angles of attack (AOA) of 5 and 25 deg about its quarter-chord with a sinusoidal motion. We have utilized computational fluid dynamics to investigate the impact of jet location and jet velocity ratio on the aerodynamic coefficients. We have placed the jet location upstream of the counter-clockwise (CCW) vortex which was formed during the upstroke motion near the leading-edge; we have also considered several other locations nearby to perform sensitivity analysis. Our results showed that placing the jet slot within a very small range upstream of the CCW vortex had tremendous effects on both lift and drag, such that maximum drag was reduced by 80%. There was another unique observation: placing the jet at separation point led to an inverse behavior of drag hysteresis curve in upstroke and downstroke motions. Drag in downstroke motion was significantly lower than upstroke motion, whereas in uncontrolled case the converse was true. Lift was significantly enhanced during both upstroke and downstroke motions. By investigating the pressure coefficients, it was found that flow control had altered the distribution of pressure over the airfoil upper surface. It caused a reduction in pressure difference between upper and lower surfaces in the rear part, while substantially increased pressure difference in the front part of the airfoil.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011108-011108-12. doi:10.1115/1.4037489.

This study investigates the aerodynamic performance of a low-pressure turbine, namely the T106C, by large eddy simulation (LES) and coarse grid direct numerical simulation (CDNS) at a Reynolds number of 100,000. Existing experimental data were used to validate the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool. The effects of subgrid scale (SGS) models, mesh densities, computational domains and boundary conditions on the CFD predictions are studied. On the blade suction surface, a separation zone starts at a location of about 55% along the suction surface. The prediction of flow separation on the turbine blade is always found to be difficult and is one of the focuses of this work. The ability of Smagorinsky and wall-adapting local eddy viscosity (WALE) model in predicting the flow separation is compared. WALE model produces better predictions than the Smagorinsky model. CDNS produces very similar predictions to WALE model. With a finer mesh, the difference due to SGS models becomes smaller. The size of the computational domain is also important. At blade midspan, three-dimensional (3D) features of the separated flow have an effect on the downstream flows, especially for the area near the reattachment. By further considering the effects of endwall secondary flows, a better prediction of the flow separation near the blade midspan can be achieved. The effect of the endwall secondary flow on the blade suction surface separation at the midspan is explained with the analytical method based on the Biot–Savart Law.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011201-011201-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037677.

The present study deals with the generalization of a macroscopic turbulence model in porous media using a capillary model. The additional source terms associated with the production and dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy due to the presence of solid matrix are calculated using the capillary model. The present model does not require any prior pore scale simulation of turbulent flow in a specific porous geometry in order to close the macroscopic turbulence equations. Validation of the results in packed beds, periodic arrangement of square cylinders, synthetic foams, and longitudinal flows such as pipes, channels, and rod bundles against available data in the literature reveals the ability of the present model in predicting turbulent flow characteristics in different types of porous media. Transition to the fully turbulent regime in porous media and different approaches to treat this phenomenon are also discussed in the present study. Finally, the general model is modified so that it can be applied to lower Reynolds numbers below the range of fully turbulent regime in porous media.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011202-011202-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037522.

For scientist, the Coanda effect has been an object of interest for a long time. All the time, some new applications of it are found although it has been more than a hundred years since Henri Coanda got a patent that was critical for that issue. Apart from aviation, it is more and more often used in ventilation systems to control the manner of air division and the design nozzles and ventilators. It is surprising, however, that a good command of that phenomenon and a need to apply it in different solutions did not entail a significant increase of the interest in the Coanda effect hysteresis, although it was mentioned for the first time by Newman in 1961. This article presents results of experimental measurements for a two-dimensional incompressible plane jet by an inclined plate. The hysteresis has been observed as a different jet behavior (a free jet or a jet attached to a flat plate) depending on the direction in which the plate deflection angle changes. The observed hysteresis area, defined by critical values for the αca attachment and αcd detachment angles, spanned from 8 deg to 14 deg. Its dependency on the Reynolds number has also been examined for Re ranging from 3500 to 26,500. Considering the Coanda effect hysteresis, a pressure distribution on the plate and the xR reattachment distance has been examined. The distribution of forces on a plate has been identified, which has facilitated a graphical mirroring of the Coanda effect hysteresis loop.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011203-011203-12. doi:10.1115/1.4037506.

Owing to the limiting effect of energy, vortex rings cannot grow indefinitely and thus pinch off. In this paper, experiments on the vortex rings generated using a piston-cylinder apparatus are conducted so as to investigate the pinch-off mechanisms and identify the limiting effect of energy. Both theoretical and experimental results show that the generated vortex rings share a unified energy feature, regardless of whether they are pinched-off or not. Moreover, the unified energy feature is quantitatively described by a dimensionless energy number γ, defined as γ=(E/I2Γωmax) and exhibiting a critical value γring = 0.14 ± 0.01 for the generated vortex rings. This unified energy feature reflects the limiting effect of energy and specifies the target of vortex ring formation. Furthermore, based on the tendency of γ during vortex ring formation, criteria for determining the two timescales, i.e., pinch-off time and separation time, which correspond to the onset and end of pinch-off process, respectively, are suggested.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011204-011204-12. doi:10.1115/1.4037675.

In the present study, the optimal two-dimensional (2D) tripping technique for inducing a naturally fully developed turbulent boundary layer in wind tunnels has been investigated. Various tripping techniques were tested, including wires of different diameters and changes in roughness. Experimental measurements were taken on a flat plate in a wind tunnel at a number of locations along the flat plate and at a variety of flow speeds using hot-wire anemometry to measure the boundary layer resulting from each tripping method. The results have demonstrated that to produce a natural turbulent boundary layer using a 2D protuberance, the height of the trip must be less than the undisturbed boundary layer thickness. Using such a trip was shown to reduce the development length of the turbulent boundary layer by approximately 50%. This was shown to hold true for all Reynolds numbers investigated (Rex=1.2×1051.5×106). The present study provides an insight into the effect of the investigated trip techniques on the induced transition of a laminar boundary layer into turbulence.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011205-011205-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037676.

An experimental study was conducted to investigate the breakup of a liquid sheet produced by oblique impingement of a liquid jet on a plane solid surface. Experiments are carried out over a wide range of jet Weber number (80–6300) and various jet impingement angles (30 deg, 45 deg, and 60 deg) are employed to study the sheet dynamics. The breakup of a liquid sheet takes place in three modes, closed rim, open rim, and perforated sheet, depending upon the Weber number. The transitions across the modes are also influenced by the impingement angle with the transition Weber number reducing with increase in impingement angle. A modified regime map is proposed to illustrate the role of impingement angle in breakup transitions. A theoretical model based on force balance at the sheet edge is developed to predict the sheet parameters by taking the shear interaction between the sheet and the solid surface into account. The sheet shape predicted by the model fairly matches with the experimentally measured sheet shape. The breakup length and width of the sheet are measured and comparisons with the model predictions show good agreement in closed rim mode of breakup.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Techniques and Procedures

J. Fluids Eng. 2017;140(1):011401-011401-10. doi:10.1115/1.4037690.

In the boundary element method (BEM), the Galerkin weighting technique allows to obtain numerical solutions of a boundary integral equation (BIE), giving the Galerkin boundary element method (GBEM). In three-dimensional (3D) spatial domains, the nested double surface integration of GBEM leads to a significantly larger computational time for assembling the linear system than with the standard collocation method. In practice, the computational time is roughly an order of magnitude larger, thus limiting the use of GBEM in 3D engineering problems. The standard approach for reducing the computational time of the linear system assembling is to skip integrations whenever possible. In this work, a modified assembling algorithm for the element matrices in GBEM is proposed for solving integral kernels that depend on the exterior unit normal. This algorithm is based on kernels symmetries at the element level and not on the flow nor in the mesh. It is applied to a BIE that models external creeping flows around 3D closed bodies using second-order kernels, and it is implemented using OpenMP. For these BIEs, the modified algorithm is on average 32% faster than the original one.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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