Simulation of plasma actuator induced air flow over an airfoil

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Κουρβισιάνου, Νεφέλη

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This study examines the impact of a plasma actuator applied to an NACA 0012 airfoil across different Reynolds numbers. Utilizing the OpenFOAM computational package, the actuator was simulated and implemented as a source force over a designated cell zone using the fvOptions utility. Initially, the actuator was configured with a base frequency of 3kHz and a voltage amplitude of 10kVpp. To model this setup, the study employed steady-state governing equations for continuity and momentum, along with the k-ω Shear Stress turbulence model. The simulation utilized 100,000 cells. Initially, two actuators were placed at different locations: the first at x/c = 0.1 of the airfoil's chord and the second at x/c = 0.003 of the airfoil's chord. These simulations were conducted at a free stream velocity of 3 m/s and a Reynolds number of 200,000. Based on these simulations, we concluded that the actuator positioned closer to the leading edge of the airfoil yielded superior results. This was evidenced by a reduction in the separation zone over the airfoil, along with an increase in the lift coefficient and a decrease in the drag coefficient. Following that, the actuator positioned at x/c = 0.03 underwent further analysis. Two different freestream velocities were applied: 1 m/s, corresponding to a Reynolds number of 150,000, and 6 m/s, resulting in a Reynolds number of 400,000. The findings from these simulations indicate that the effectiveness of the actuator is most pronounced when the freestream velocity, and consequently the Reynolds number, is low. Conversely, when the freestream velocity exceeds 6 m/s, the effects of the actuator become negligible. Finally, simulations were conducted with the same voltage amplitude (10 kVpp) but at two different frequencies: 1kHz and 3kHz, resulting in variations in the actuator's body force. It was noted that when the body force was higher (with the 3kHz base frequency), the actuator operated at its optimal condition.



Computational fluid dynamics, Plasma actuator, Airfoil