Advanced Boundary Simulations of an Aeroacoustic and Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel

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2021-05-25
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This study presents the first 3D two-way coupled fluid structure interaction (FSI) simulation of a hybrid anechoic wind tunnel (HAWT) test section with modeling all important effects, such as turbulence, Kevlar wall porosity and deflection, and reveals for the first time the complete 3D flow structure associated with a lifting model placed into a HAWT. The Kevlar deflections are captured using finite element analysis (FEA) with shell elements operated under a membrane condition. Three-dimensional RANS CFD simulations are used to resolve the flow field. Aerodynamic experimental results are available and are compared against the FSI results. Quantitatively, the pressure coefficients on the airfoil are in good agreement with experimental results. The lift coefficient was slightly underpredicted while the drag was overpredicted by the CFD simulations. The flow structure downstream of the airfoil showed good agreement with the experiments, particularly over the wind tunnel walls where the Kevlar windows interact with the flow field. A discrepancy between previous experimental observations and juncture flow-induced vortices at the ends of the airfoil is found to stem from the limited ability of turbulence models. The qualitative behavior of the flow, including airfoil pressures and cross-sectional flow structure is well captured in the CFD. From the structural side, the behavior of the Kevlar windows and the flow developing over them is closely related to the aerodynamic pressure field induced by the airfoil. The Kevlar displacement and the transpiration velocity across the material is dominated by flow blockage effects, generated aerodynamic lift, and the wake of the airfoil. The airfoil wake increases the Kevlar window displacement, which was previously not resolved by two-dimensional panel-method simulations. The static pressure distribution over the Kevlar windows is symmetrical about the tunnel mid-height, confirming a dominantly two-dimensional flow field.

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