Computational fluid-dynamics investigations of vortex generators for flow-separation control

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Many flow cases in fluid dynamics face undesirable flow separation due to ad-verse pressure gradients on wall boundaries. This occurs, for example, due togeometrical reasons as in a highly curved turbine-inlet duct or on flow-controlsurfaces such as wing trailing-edge flaps within a certain angle-of-attack range.Here, flow-control devices are often used in order to enhance the flow and delayor even totally eliminate flow separation. Flow control can e.g. be achieved byusing passive or active vortex generators (VGs) for momentum mixing in theboundary layer of such flows. This thesis focusses on such passive and activeVGs and their modelling for computational fluid dynamics investigations.First, a statistical VG model approach for passive vane vortex genera-tors (VVGs), developed at the Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm andthe Swedish Defence Research Agency, was evaluated and further improvedby means of experimental data and three-dimensional fully-resolved computa-tions. This statistical VVG model approach models those statistical vortexstresses that are generated at the VG by the detaching streamwise vortices.This is established by means of the Lamb-Oseen vortex model and the Prandtllifting-line theory for the determination of the vortex strength. Moreover, thisansatz adds the additional vortex stresses to the turbulence of a Reynolds-stresstransport model. Therefore, it removes the need to build fully-resolved three-dimensional geometries of VVGs in a computational fluid dynamics mesh. Usu-ally, the generation of these fully-resolved geometries is rather costly in termsof preprocessing and computations. By applying VVG models, the costs arereduced to that of computations without VVGs. The original and an improvedcalibrated passive VVG model show sensitivity for parameter variations suchas the modelled VVG geometry and the VVG model location on a flat plate inzero- and adverse-pressure-gradient flows, in a diffuser, and on an airfoil withits high-lift system extracted. It could be shown that the passive VG modelqualitatively and partly quantitatively describes correct trends and tendenciesfor these different applications.In a second step, active vortex-generator jets (VGJs) are considered. They were experimentally investigated in a zero-pressure-gradient flat-plate flow atTechnische Universitä?t Braunschweig, Germany, and have been re-evaluated for our purposes and a parameterization of the generated vortices was conducted. Dependencies of the generated vortices and their characteristics on the VGJsetup parameters could be identified and quantified. These dependencies wereused as a basis for the development of a new statistical VGJ model. This modeluses the ansatz of the passive VVG model in terms of the vortex model, theadditional vortex-stress tensor, and its summation to the Reynolds stress ten-sor. Yet, it does not use the Prandtl lifting-line theory for the determinationof the circulation but an ansatz for the balance of the momentum impact thatthe VGJ has on the mean flow. This model is currently under developmentand first results have been evaluated against experimental and fully-resolvedcomputational results of a flat plate without pressure gradient.