Flow analysis of vortex generators on wing sections by stereoscopic particle image velocimetry measurements

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    Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry measurements have been executed in a low speed wind tunnel in spanwise planes in the flow past a row of vortex generators, mounted on a bump in a fashion producing counter-rotating vortices. The measurement technique is a powerful tool which provides all three velocity components in the entire measurement plane. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of vortex generators in a turbulent, separating, low Reynolds number (Re = 20 000) boundary layer over a geometry which is generating an adverse pressure gradient similar to the flow past a wind turbine blade. The low Reynolds number is chosen on the basis that this is a fundamental investigation of the structures of the flow induced by vortex generators and the fact that one obtains a thicker boundary layer and larger structures evoked by the actuating devices, which are easier to measure and resolve. The flow behaves as expected, in the sense that the vortices transport high momentum fluid into the boundary layer, making it thinner and more resistant to the adverse pressure gradient with respect to separation. The amount of reversed flow is significantly reduced when vortex generators are applied. The idea behind the experiments is that the results will be offered for validation of modeling of the effect of vortex generators using various numerical codes. Initial large eddy simulation (LES) computations have been performed that show the same qualitative behaviour as in the experiments.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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