Modification of Blade-Vortex Interactions Using Leading Edge Blowing

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Virginia Tech


The interaction of an unsteady wake with a solid body can induce sizable loading of the structure, which has many detrimental side effects in both the structural and acoustic senses. These interactions are ubiquitous in nature and engineering. A flow control technique is sought to mitigate this interaction, thereby decreasing the level of structural vibration.

This thesis investigates the effectiveness of steady leading-edge blowing (LEB) flow control for modifying the vortex induced vibrations on an airfoil in the wake of a circular cylinder. The airfoil was allowed to oscillate perpendicular to the fluid flow direction in response to the impinging Von-Karman vortex street. The flow field and airfoil vibrations were simultaneously captured using Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (DPIV) and accelerometer measurements in a time-resolved sense. The results indicate that LEB can significantly reduce the degree of unsteady loading due to the blade vortex interaction (BVI). In some cases, the LEB jet appears to break the coherency of a vortex incident on the airfoil, and in other cases the jet increase the mean stand-off distance of the vortex as it convects over the airfoil surface. It was also found that, for large circular cylinders, if the airfoil is within the mean closure point of the circular cylinder wake, the LEB can increase the level of BVI.

The Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) was also used to analyze the DPIV data. POD is mathematically superior for reducing a data rich field into fundamental modes; a suitable basis function for the reduction is chosen mathematically and it is not left to the researcher to pick the basis function. A comparison of the energy in these modes is useful in ascertaining the dynamics of the BVI. For one of the two cases examined with POD, it was found for no LEB the fundamental (i.e. most energetic) mode is given by the vortex shedding of the circular cylinder upstream. The addition of LEB reduces the energy contained in this fundamental mode. Thus the LEB jet has the effect of reducing the flow field coherency; the structure of the large vortices is broken up into smaller vortices. For the other case, the LEB jet has the opposite effect: the jet has the ability to organize the circular cylinder wake into coherent structures. This acts to increase the coherency of the circular cylinder wake and increases the level of BVI.



Digital Particle Image Velocimetry, Leading Edge Blowing, Blade-Vortex Interaction