Small engines will be finding increasing applications in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones and helicopters. However, their turbomachines exhibit lower efficiencies than those of large scale engines. In this context, the aerodynamic losses in the low-pressure turbines (LPTs) are largely accountable to flow separation at low Reynolds numbers operation, i.e. in cruise conditions. Active flow control is a promising technology to suppress separation, thus reducing losses, fuel consumption rates and therefore emissions. The present paper is focused on the experimental investigation of the potentialities of a Single Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuator (SDBDPA) to reattach the separated flow at a Reynolds number of 2 ·104. The influence of the high voltage (HV) waveform supplying the SDBDPA on both flow separation control and device power dissipation was studied. The investigated SDBDPA was manufactured by microfabrication techniques. Photolithography ensured thin metal deposition with high manufacturing reliability control. Due to the possible device degradation during operation, emphasis was put in selecting thin film materials that could withstand the plasma environment. Schott alkali-free borosilicate glass substrate was chosen as dielectric, while a multilayer tungsten (W)/titanium nitride (TiN) as electrode material. The experimental approach comprised the actuator testing over a curved wall plate, designed with a shape to reproduce the suction surface of a LPT rotor blade and installed in closed loop wind tunnel test section. The SDBDPA was located at the front side of the adverse pressure gradient area, in order to control flow separation. Different HV excitation waveforms (sinus, triangle and square) and amplitudes were tested and compared, aiming to identify the input signal that gave the best flow control authority and device energy conversion efficiency. The applied voltage and the discharge current were acquired in order to determine the actuator dissipated power. Two-dimensional (2-D) flow velocity measurements were carried out by laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and particle image velocimetry (PIV). Velocity results showed that the extension of the separation area was reduced by actuation. Moreover, when the actuator was on, the boundary layer thickness and the negative velocity magnitude decreased. Their reduction increased with the applied voltage (i.e. higher power dissipations). At comparable peak-to-peak applied voltages, the sinus waveforms slightly outperformed the other waveforms; however, while the sinus and triangle ones had comparable power dissipation, the square wave always dissipated the most.

Separation control by a microfabricated SDBD plasma actuator for small engine turbine applications: influence of the excitation waveform

E. Pescini
;
M. G. De Giorgi;A. Suma;A. Ficarella
2018

Abstract

Small engines will be finding increasing applications in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones and helicopters. However, their turbomachines exhibit lower efficiencies than those of large scale engines. In this context, the aerodynamic losses in the low-pressure turbines (LPTs) are largely accountable to flow separation at low Reynolds numbers operation, i.e. in cruise conditions. Active flow control is a promising technology to suppress separation, thus reducing losses, fuel consumption rates and therefore emissions. The present paper is focused on the experimental investigation of the potentialities of a Single Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuator (SDBDPA) to reattach the separated flow at a Reynolds number of 2 ·104. The influence of the high voltage (HV) waveform supplying the SDBDPA on both flow separation control and device power dissipation was studied. The investigated SDBDPA was manufactured by microfabrication techniques. Photolithography ensured thin metal deposition with high manufacturing reliability control. Due to the possible device degradation during operation, emphasis was put in selecting thin film materials that could withstand the plasma environment. Schott alkali-free borosilicate glass substrate was chosen as dielectric, while a multilayer tungsten (W)/titanium nitride (TiN) as electrode material. The experimental approach comprised the actuator testing over a curved wall plate, designed with a shape to reproduce the suction surface of a LPT rotor blade and installed in closed loop wind tunnel test section. The SDBDPA was located at the front side of the adverse pressure gradient area, in order to control flow separation. Different HV excitation waveforms (sinus, triangle and square) and amplitudes were tested and compared, aiming to identify the input signal that gave the best flow control authority and device energy conversion efficiency. The applied voltage and the discharge current were acquired in order to determine the actuator dissipated power. Two-dimensional (2-D) flow velocity measurements were carried out by laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and particle image velocimetry (PIV). Velocity results showed that the extension of the separation area was reduced by actuation. Moreover, when the actuator was on, the boundary layer thickness and the negative velocity magnitude decreased. Their reduction increased with the applied voltage (i.e. higher power dissipations). At comparable peak-to-peak applied voltages, the sinus waveforms slightly outperformed the other waveforms; however, while the sinus and triangle ones had comparable power dissipation, the square wave always dissipated the most.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/418250
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