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Filios a Etal_2001_Direct and in-Verse Design Calculations for a Settling Chamber and Contraction Arrangement

Filios a Etal_2001_Direct and in-Verse Design Calculations for a Settling Chamber and Contraction Arrangement

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Published by Andronikos Filios
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Published by: Andronikos Filios on Oct 13, 2008
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ASME - GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 17-20, 2001, Patras, Greece1
Proceedings of First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng.September 17-20, 2001, Patras, Greece
ANG1/P158
DIRECT AND INVERSE DESIGN CALCULATIONS FOR A SETTLING CHAMBERAND CONTRACTION ARRANGEMENT
Andronicos E. Filios
University of Patras, Department of Mechanical andAeronautical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics Lab.,26500 Patras, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 061 997202, e-mail: afilio@tee.gr 
Dionisios P. Margaris
University of Patras, Department of Mechanical andAeronautical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics Lab.,26500 Patras, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 061 997202, e-mail: margaris@mech.upatras.gr 
Dimitrios G. Papanikas
University of Patras, Department of Mechanical andAeronautical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics Lab.,26500 Patras, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 061 997201, e-mail: papanika@mech.upatras.gr 
Michalis Gr. Vrachopoulos
TEI Chalkidos, Department of Mechanical Engin.,Nirvana 29, 111 45 Patisia, Athens, Hellas.
Tel. & Fax: 01 8324020, e-mail: mvrachop@central.ntua.gr 
ABSTRACT
The development of a calculation scheme that will serveas a flow quality predictor for various combinations of screens–contraction ratio and moreover it can be used for thecorrelation of experimental data with available theories, isdiscussed. The proposed calculation depends on applicationand it may be direct or inverse. The direct calculation refers tothe prediction of the flow quality in the test section havingdefined the number and the mesh size of screens as well as thecontraction ratio. The inverse calculation provides theoptimum settling chamber configuration, i.e. number and porosity of screens, which in combination to the requestedcontraction ratio will insure the requested flow quality. The predictions are correlated with published measurements.
KEYWORDS
Wind tunnel, Settling chamber, Screens, Contraction.
INTRODUCTION
Despite of the rapid expansion in the area of thecomputational fluid dynamics, the wind tunnel remains anessential tool in engineering, both for model tests and basicresearch. The main aim when designing any wind tunnel is the production of a steady flow with spatial uniformity in the testsection over a range of Reynolds number. This requirementcan never be perfectly attained since there are always presentsmall eddies of varying size and intensity which arecollectively described as the turbulence of the air stream. Thewind tunnel fan, the corner guide vanes and the upstream wallsare the main sources of the test section turbulence.A more than seventy years experience in wind tunneldesign and testing proves that the settling chamber andcontraction combination helps to accomplish the uniform lowturbulence field in the test section. The degree of achievementof the required flow quality depends on the various flowmanipulators (i.e. honeycomb, screens) installed in the settlingchamber as well as on the area ratio and the shape of thecontraction. Based on certain assumptions, various theoriesand empirical formulas have been proposed for computing theeffect of flow manipulators and contraction on the intensityand uniformity of turbulent flow. Theoretical and experimentalinvestigations regarding the effect both of screens and thecontraction on the characteristics of the turbulent flow have been carried out from the decade of 30’s. The mostrepresentative studies regarding the effect of screens are those by Prandtl [1], Dryden and Schubauer [2], and Taylor andBatchelor [3]. The effect of contraction on turbulence wastheoretically studied, by Prandtl [1], Taylor [4], Ribner andTucker [5], and Batchelor and Proudman [6]. According to thereported studies, the quenching action of the screen on theturbulence velocity fluctuations is related to the magnitude of the screen resistance coefficient that depends on its porosityand the Reynolds number. In the case of few screens followed by a contraction with a medium area ratio, the comparison of measurements and calculations indicate a reasonableagreement. However, for several screens in series in
 
ASME - GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 17-20, 2001, Patras, Greece2combination with a medium or high area ratio contraction thecomparison indicates often a poor agreement and sometimessignificant divergence. The choice of the optimumcombination of screens with a required contraction ratio that isrelated to the tunnel energy ratio is a well-known problem tothe subsonic wind tunnel designers.
NOMENCLATURE
c:Contraction ratiod:Screens wire diamete
t
:Turbulence reduction factor due to screen
s
:Screen’s pressure-loss coefficient
λ 
:Width of square mesh screenA:Test section cross sectional areaG
1
, G
2
:Reduced resistance factorsRe
d
:Reynolds number based on wire diameteT:Turbulence level
α
:Screen’s deflection coefficient
β
:Porosity or open area of the screen
λ 
:Factor for the increase of turbulenceintensity in a contraction
SETTLING CHAMBER
Screens have been used to improve flow quality in windtunnels since 1930s. Firstly, Prandtl [1] gave a simple theoryregarding the contribution of screens in improving the velocitydistribution. Dryden and Schubauer [2] gave a physicalexplanation for the flow-manipulator role of the screen andthey derived a simple theory for the reduction of turbulenceintensity based on the assumption that the effect of a screen is partly to absorb the kinetic energy of turbulence. Taylor andBatchelor [3] produced a detailed analysis of the effect of screens on small disturbance. Their theory is linearized on theassumption that there is negligible natural decay of turbulencewhile the field is translated through the ‘region of influences’.Batcelor [7], on the assumption of isotropic turbulence far upstream, showed that the equations for the factors of reduction of turbulence intensity become relatively easy tocompute.The suppression of turbulence can also be achieved byusing honeycomb, which is more effective for removing swirland lateral mean velocity variations. Its effect is demonstratedexperimentally for lack of theoretical prediction. Themaximum benefit from a honeycomb requires straight anduniform cells with optimum cell length to diameter ratio 7–10,without any critical dependence on their cross sectional shape.The use of the honeycomb is suggested for flow yaw anglesless than 10
o
since greater yaw angles cause the ‘stall’ of thehoneycomb cells resulting to a reduction of their effectiveness besides increasing the pressure losses. In the past, thehoneycomb was used as a common flow manipulator upstreamof the screens while in the modern wind tunnels rarely is in useand it is located downstream of a wide angle diffuser or a bell-mouth inlet.Screens have three main effects on the flow passingthrough them: i) reduction of mean velocity variation-leadingto prevention of, or delay in, boundary layer separation; ii)reduction of turbulent fluctuations and iii) refraction of inclined flow – towards the local normal to the screen. Theaction of the screen is described in terms of two parameters: k 
s
,the screen pressure-loss or drag coefficient and
α
, thedeflection coefficient. The k 
s
-coefficient is defined as the pressure loss across the screen divided by the dynamic pressure of the mean flow through the screen. The
α
-coefficient is defined as the ratio of the flow angle normal tothe screen downstream to the flow angle normal to the screenupstream.
Determination of k
s
and
α
Over the years, several expressions have been derivedgiving the pressure loss coefficient of a screen in terms of 
β
,the porosity or open-area ratio of the screen and Re
d
, theReynolds number based on wire diameter. In the case of screens made of round wires, forming a square-mesh the porosity is
( )
2
/d1
λ 
, where d is the wire diameter and
λ 
thewidth of the square mesh. For the calculation of the pressure-loss coefficient of a screen, Wieghardt [8] suggests theempirical formulae
( )
3/1d3/5s
Re1C
ββ=
(1)The value of C-coefficient depends on Reynolds number andfor a typical wind tunnel design, i.e. flow velocity in thesettling chamber less than 10m/s and 60 < Re
d
/
β
< 600, thevalue of C is 6. De Vahl [9] shows that for the lower Reynoldsnumbers the pressure-loss coefficient is equal to
d2dos
Re2,5595,095,01 Re2,55
+      ββ=+=
(2)Equations (1) and (2) may be written as follows
( )
3/1d1s3/5s1
Re1)(g1CG
=β=ββ=
(3)
d2s2
Re2,55)(gG
=β=
(4)where G
1
and G
2
the reduced resistance factors depending onlyon Reynolds number as it is shown in Fig. 1. The functionsg
1
(
β
) and g
2
(
β
) depends on screen characteristics as it is shownin Fig. 2.By definition, the deflection coefficient
α
can vary between 0 and 1. Extensive measurements and correlations on plane screens placed vertical to the airstream leads to thefollowing semi-empirical relation [3]
s
11,1
+=α
(5)
 
ASME - GREEK SECTION, First Nat. Conf. on Recent Advances in Mech. Eng., September 17-20, 2001, Patras, Greece3
Figure 1: Reduced resistance factors for screens.Figure 2: Porosity functions for screens.
0,00,10,20,30,40,50,6101001000
Re
d
   R  e   d  u  c  e   d  r  e  s   i  s   t  a  n  c  e   f  a  c   t  o  r  s   G
   1
  a  n   d   G
   2
G
1
 G
2
/10
0,00,10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,91,00,00,10,20,30,40,5d/
l
   S  c  r  e  e  n  p  o  r  o  s   i   t  y ,
         β
01020304050
   F  u  n  c   t   i  o  n  s  g
   1
  a  n   d  g
   2
β
 g
2
(
β
)g
1
(
β
); C=6,5g
1
(
β
); C=6,0g
1
(
β
); C=5,5
Effect of the screens in reducing flow irregularities
In Ref. 1, Prandtl states that screens can be used to obtaina more uniform velocity distribution across the duct sectionand that a moderate velocity difference is approximatelylowered by the factor 1/(1+k 
s
). This factor has been extendedto apply to turbulence reduction across a screen. Collar [10]using Bernoulli’s equation and assuming that the turbulentvelocities are small compared to the mean velocity, shows thatthe reduction factor for rms u-component becomes equal to (2-
s
)/(2+k 
s
). Taylor and Batchelor [11] utilizing the test data presented in Ref. 12, shows that the lateral turbulencereduction factor is approximately equal to deflectioncoefficient
α
. Moreover, using potential flow theory andaccounting for the boundary conditions on both sides of thescreen they show that the axial turbulence reduction factor  becomes (1+
α
-
α
s
)/(1+
α
+k 
s
). In Ref. 2, the energy changeacross the screen is equated to the difference between theupstream turbulent energy and the downstream turbulentenergy. Since the turbulent velocity is proportional to thesquare root of the turbulent energy, the turbulent reductionfactor becomes 1/(1+k 
s
)
0,5
. A direct comparison of theturbulence reduction factors proposed by the above theoriesand the correlation with measurements is provided in Ref. 13.The experimental data presented in Refs. 2 and 12 seem toverify the theoretical decay law of Dryden and Schubauer. Theinstallation of several screens in series results to a reduction of the incoming turbulence in each one by its turbulence factor.Therefore, the total turbulence reduction factor for a series of  N-screens, each one having a pressure-loss coefficient k 
si
, isequal to the product of the individual reduction factors, i.e.
=
+=
 N1isit
11f(6)As seen from the above formulae, installing a sufficiently largenumber of screens can attain a low level of turbulence in thesettling chamber. However, it must be kept in mind that beyondthe screen, in addition to the turbulence passing through, thereis also the turbulence created by the screen itself, the screenturbulence. The turbulence generated by the last screendetermines the minimum attainable turbulence in the entranceof the wind tunnel contraction. With Re
d
<60, screen turbulenceis negligible and the largest contribution to the total turbulenceis the acoustic turbulence. With Re
d
>90, the contribution of thelast screen in the turbulence intensity may be computed withacceptable accuracy from the formula proposed by Batchelor and Townsend [14].
CONTRACTION
The contracting nozzle is placed upstream of the testsection for two main reasons: a) It increases the flow meanvelocity allowing the honeycomb and screens to be placed inthe lower speed regions, thus reducing the pressure losses andthe tunnel power factor. b) Both mean and fluctuating velocityvariations are reduced to a smaller fraction of the averagevelocity at a given cross section. The most important single parameter in determining these effects is the contraction ratio.The theoretical studies by Prandtl [1], Taylor [4] andBatchelor and Proudman [6] imply that the contraction doesexert a selective effect on the rms components of thefluctuating velocity, i.e. the longitudinal component is reducedwhile the lateral components are increased. On the assumptionof isotropic turbulence and neglecting the decay of turbulence,Prandtl and Batchelor recommend the following
λ 
-factors for the increase of the turbulence intensity

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