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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111101-111101-22. doi:10.1115/1.4043496.

Pump performance characteristics of pump turbines in transient processes are significantly different from those in steady processes. In the present paper, transient processes of a flow rate that increased and decreased in the pump mode of a model pump turbine were simulated through unsteady simulations using the shear stress transport (SST) k–ω turbulence model. The numerical results reveal that there is a larger hysteresis loop in the performance characteristics of the increasing and decreasing directions of the flow rate compared with those of steady results. Detailed discussions are carried out to determine the generation mechanism of obvious hysteresis characteristics using the methods of entropy production and continuous wavelet analysis. Analyses show that the states of the backflow at the draft tube outlet and the vortices in the impeller and guide/stay vanes are promoted or suppressed owing to the acceleration and deceleration of the fluid. This contributes to the difference in pump performance characteristics of the pump turbine.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111102-111102-9. doi:10.1115/1.4043499.

The paper presents a simplified prediction method to estimate cavitation-induced pressure fluctuations by marine propellers in a nonuniform wake field. It is realized by a very fast calculation of the cavitation volume variation. The sheet cavitation volume is represented by the cavitation area in a two-dimensional section, which is the vapor area inside the cavity contour. The variation of the cavitation area on a two-dimensional blade section has been simplified to a relation in quasi-steady condition with only a limited number of nondimensional parameters. This results in a fast method to predict the cavitation area of a blade section passing a wake peak, using a precalculated database. Application of this method to the prediction of cavitation-induced pressure fluctuations shows to be effective. This makes optimization of propeller sections for minimum cavitation-induced pressure fluctuations feasible.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111103-111103-11. doi:10.1115/1.4043495.

The pressure drop in 90 deg elbows under the operating conditions of geothermal power plants in Mexico is studied using the computational fluid dynamics model. The elbow resistance coefficient was calculated for a steam flow with high Reynolds numbers (1.66–5.81 × 106) and different curvature ratios (1, 1.5, and 2). The simulations were carried out with the commercial software ANSYScfx, which considered the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) compressible equations and the renormalization group (RNG) k–ε turbulence model. First, the methodology was validated by comparing the numerical results (velocity and pressure) with published data of airflow (25 °C, 0.1 MPa) with high Reynolds numbers. Then, scenarios with different diameters (0.3–1.0 m) and conditions of the working fluid (0.8–1.2 MPa) were simulated to obtain velocity, pressure, density, and temperature profiles along the pipeline. The temperature and density gradients combined with the compressible effects achieved in the 90 deg elbows modified the flow separation, pressure drop, and resistance coefficient. Based on the resistance coefficient, factors were generated for a new equation, which was integrated into Geosteam.Net to calculate the pressure drop in a pipeline at the Los Azufres geothermal power plant. The difference with the data measured by a pressure transducer was 7.59%, while the equations developed for water or air showed differences between 11.23% and 45.22%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111104-111104-13. doi:10.1115/1.4043337.

Oscillatory electrokinetic flow is numerically examined in a rectangular annulus microtube under the influence of various wave forms. When the inner and outer walls of the capillary are oppositely charged, an instantaneous two-direction flow field is produced and consequently the resultant flow rate is relatively reduced. A zero or negative flow rate may be achieved by appropriate design of the channel geometrical characteristics (e.g., hydraulic diameter) as well as the walls charges. In the case of sufficiently low kinematic viscosity and/or high excitation frequency, a relatively thin transient frictional layer is established close to the walls while the bulk fluid lags behind the liquid motion in the electric double layer by a phase shift. If different waveforms are combined together, fascinating outcomes can be obtained depending on the frequency of each individual wave. Applied electric fields with equal- and unequal-frequency combined waves may have the advantages of a double velocity field and a net mass flow rate, respectively. Interestingly, a direct flow pattern may be achieved by appropriately combining various waveforms with unequal frequencies. The mass flow rate decreases, with the constancy of the electrokinetic diameter, with approximately the square of hydraulic diameter. The Poiseuille number exhibits various characteristics depending on the excitation frequency as well as the type of wave especially in combination.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111105-111105-7. doi:10.1115/1.4043494.

Based on a novel control scheme, where a steady modification of the streamwise velocity profile leads to complete relaminarization of initially fully turbulent pipe flow, we investigate the applicability and usefulness of custom-shaped honeycombs for such control. The custom-shaped honeycombs are used as stationary flow management devices which generate specific modifications of the streamwise velocity profile. Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry and pressure drop measurements are used to investigate and capture the development of the relaminarizing flow downstream these devices. We compare the performance of straight (constant length across the radius of the pipe) honeycombs with custom-shaped ones (variable length across the radius) and try to determine the optimal shape for maximal relaminarization at minimal pressure loss. The optimally modified streamwise velocity profile is found to be M-shaped, and the maximum attainable Reynolds number for total relaminarization is found to be of the order of 10,000. Consequently, the respective reduction in skin friction downstream of the device is almost by a factor of 5. The break-even point, where the additional pressure drop caused by the device is balanced by the savings due to relaminarization and a net gain is obtained, corresponds to a downstream stretch of distances as low as approximately 100 pipe diameters of laminar flow.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111106-111106-13. doi:10.1115/1.4043272.

The effects of a rotor–stator interface model on the hydraulic and suction performance of a single-stage centrifugal pump have been evaluated. A three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) analysis was performed using the shear-stress transport turbulence model. The cavitating flow was simulated using a homogeneous two-phase mixture model and a simplified Rayleigh–Plesset cavitation model. Three performance parameters were selected to compare different cases: the hydraulic efficiency, head coefficient, and critical cavitation number for a head-drop of 3%. Frozen-rotor and stage models were evaluated for the rotor–stator interface. The evaluation was done using three different computational domains: one with a single passage of the impeller with a vaneless diffuser, one with a single passage of the impeller with the whole shape of volute casing, and another with the whole passage of the impeller with the whole shape of volute casing. Two different volute shapes were also tested. The results show that it is desirable to use the whole domain of the impeller and volute with the frozen-rotor model for accurate prediction of the suction performance. The stage model is not recommended for the prediction of the suction performance of the centrifugal pump with the volute in severe off-design conditions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111107-111107-11. doi:10.1115/1.4043497.

In this paper, compressible and incompressible flows through planar and axisymmetric sudden expansion channels are investigated numerically. Both laminar and turbulent flows are taken into consideration. Proper preconditioning in conjunction with a second-order accurate advection upstream splitting method (AUSM+-up) is employed. General equations for the loss coefficient and pressure ratio as a function of expansion ratio, Reynolds number, and the inlet Mach number are obtained. It is found that the reattachment length increases by increasing the Reynolds number. Changing the flow regime to turbulent results in a decreased reattachment length. Reattachment length increases slightly with a further increase in Reynolds number. At a given inlet Mach number, the maximum value of the ratio of the reattachment length to step height occurs at the expansion ratio of about two. Moreover, the pressure loss coefficient is a monotonic increasing function of expansion ratio and increases drastically by increasing Mach number. Increasing inlet Mach number from 0.1 to 0.2 results in an increase in pressure loss coefficient by less than 5%. However, increasing inlet Mach number from 0.4 to 0.6 results in an increase in loss coefficient by 70–100%, depending on the expansion ratio. It is revealed that increasing Reynolds number beyond a critical value results in the loss of symmetry for planar expansions. Critical Reynolds numbers change adversely to expansion ratio. The flow regains symmetry when the flow becomes turbulent. Similar bifurcating phenomena are observed beyond a certain Reynolds number in the turbulent regime.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111108-111108-11. doi:10.1115/1.4043593.

The ground effect on the aerodynamics and tip vortex flow of a rectangular wing is investigated experimentally at Re = 2.71 × 105. The results show that there is a large lift increase with reducing ground distance. By contrast, only a small drag increase is observed in ground effect except in close ground proximity for which a great drag increase appears. The tip vortex also moves further outboard and upward with reducing ground distance. Near the ground, there is the presence of a corotating ground vortex (produced by the rolling up of the boundary layer developed on the ground surface), leading to an increased vortex strength. In extreme ground proximity, a counterrotating secondary vortex (SV) (induced by the crossflow of the tip vortex), relative to the tip vortex, appears which causes a reduced vortex strength and a lowered lift-induced drag, as well as a vortex rebound. The impact of ground effect on the vortex flow properties is also discussed. The lift-induced drag, computed based on the crossflow measurements via the Maskell wake integral method, in ground effect is also compared against the inviscid-flow predictions and wind tunnel total drag force measurements.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111201-111201-7. doi:10.1115/1.4043500.

The issues of leakage with respect to the clearance between the pump plunger outer diameter and the pump barrel inner diameter and other operation conditions have been revisited in this paper. Both Poiseuille flow rate due to the pressure difference and Couette flow rate due to the plunger motion have been considered. The purpose of this study is to better understand the nature of the leakage with respect to pressure difference, eccentricity, and motion related to the plunger of typical sucker rod pump systems. More specifically, based on the newly derived relaxation time scales for transient solutions of the governing Navier–Stokes equations, the quasi-static nature of relevant measurement techniques is confirmed for the current production systems. This key observation is also demonstrated with a computational model using the experimentally measured pressure difference and the plunger movement.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111202-111202-7. doi:10.1115/1.4043423.

The fully developed laminar flow of Non-Newtonian fluids in ducts has broad application in engineering. The power-law viscosity model is utilized most often in the engineering literature, but it is deficient for many fluids as it does not admit limiting Newtonian viscosities at low and high shear rates. The goal of this work is to demonstrate two approximate but accurate and efficient methods for computing the pressure gradient in ducts of noncircular cross section for shear-thinning fluids following a general viscosity curve. Both methods predict the pressure gradient to better than 1% as established by full numerical solutions for ten cross-sectional shapes, a result representing an order-of-magnitude improvement over previous approximate methods. In the first method, an approach recently proposed and demonstrated to be accurate for a circular duct is shown to be equally applicable to noncircular ducts. In the second method, a widely used approach for noncircular ducts based on a generalization of the Rabinowitsch–Mooney equation is improved through an alternate evaluation of its parameters. Both methods require one-time numerical solutions of the power-law viscosity model for a duct shape of interest, and the necessary results are tabulated for the ten cross-sectional shapes analyzed. It is additionally demonstrated that the pressure-gradient error of the second method is approximately halved by simply replacing the hydraulic diameter with a viscous diameter obtained from the Hagen–Poiseuille equation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111203-111203-6. doi:10.1115/1.4043493.

Optical-based experiments were carried out using the immiscible pair of liquids hexane and water in a vertically oriented Taylor–Couette reactor operated in a semibatch mode. The dispersed droplet phase (hexane) was continually fed and removed from the reactor in a closed loop setup. The continuous water phase did not enter or exit the annular gap. Four distinct flow patterns were observed including (1) a pseudo-homogenous dispersion, (2) a weakly banded regime, (3) a horizontally banded dispersion, and (4) a helical flow regime. These flow patterns can be organized into a two-dimensional regime map using the azimuthal and axial Reynolds numbers as axes. In addition, the dispersed phase holdup was found to increase monotonically with both the azimuthal and axial Reynolds numbers. The experimental observations can be explained in the context of a competition between the buoyancy-driven axial flow of hexane droplets and the wall-driven vortex flow of the continuous water phase.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Techniques and Procedures

J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):111401-111401-10. doi:10.1115/1.4043422.

Particle image velocimetry (PIV) data processing time can constrain data set size and limit the types of statistical analyses performed. General purpose graphics processing unit (GPGPU) computing can accelerate PIV data processing allowing for larger datasets and accompanying higher order statistical analyses. However, this has not been widespread likely due to limited accessibility to the GPU-PIV hardware and software. Most GPU-PIV software is platform dependent and proprietary, which restricts the computing systems that can be used and makes the details of the algorithm unknown. This work highlights the development of an open-source, cross-platform, GPU-accelerated, PIV algorithm. Validation of the algorithm is done using both synthetic and experimental images. The algorithm was found to accurately resolve the time-averaged flow, instantaneous velocity fluctuations, and vortices. All data processing was done on a GPU supercomputing cluster and notably outperformed the central processing unit version of the software by a factor of 175. The algorithm is freely available and included in the OpenPIV distribution.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Brief

J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):114501-114501-4. doi:10.1115/1.4043424.

Super-hydrophobic coating reduces hydrodynamic drag of rigid surfaces due to separation of a part of the surface from the flow by air. The drag reduction ratio is proportional to the ratio of the surface area covered by air to the whole surface area. The maximum ratio may be achieved for coating with a regular spanwise super-hydrophobic bar. The air–water boundary over such bar would be a capillary wave with wavelength equal the distance between bar apexes. The numerical analysis of such waves was carried out by solving a two-dimensional nonlinear free-boundary problem of ideal fluid theory. Besides several wave shapes, the main computational results include dependencies of wavelengths and dimensionless pressure coefficient necessary for wave maintenance on Weber number. These dependencies make it possible to select the bar size and inflow speed allowing for existence of such waves and the highest drag reduction ratios.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2019;141(11):114502-114502-3. doi:10.1115/1.4043425.

The problem of stagnation-point flow impinging radially on a linearly twisting cylinder is considered. This advances previous work on the motion outside a cylinder undergoing linear torsional motion. The problem is governed by a Reynolds number R and a dimensionless torsion rate σ. Numerical calculations are carried out using the ODEINT program, and convergence of the shooting method is obtained using the MNEWT program. The radial and azimuthal wall shear stresses are found over a range of R and σ, and radial and azimuthal velocity profiles at σ={0,1,2} are presented for various values of R. The interesting feature is that the axial wall shear stress parameter f(1) is a very weak function of σ while the azimuthal wall shear stress parameter g(1) is a strong function of σ although both stress parameters are a strong function of R.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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