Andronicos E. Filios , Dionissios P. Margaris , Athanasios G. Bouras, Maria K. Koukou , Nicolaos W. Vlachakis
PHYSICS ON THE FLOW MANIPULATION2.1 Settling chamber
Screens have been used to improve flow quality in wind tunnels since 1930s. Firstly, Prandtl
gave a simpletheory regarding the contribution of screens in improving the velocity distribution. Dryden and Schubauer
gave a physical explanation for the flow-manipulator role of the screen and they derived a simple theory for thereduction of turbulence intensity based on the assumption that the effect of a screen is partly to absorb thekinetic energy of turbulence. Taylor and Batchelor
produced a detailed analysis of the effect of screens onsmall disturbance. Their theory is linearized on the assumption that there is negligible natural decay of turbulence while the field is translated through the ‘region of influences’. Batchelor
, on the assumption of isotropic turbulence far upstream, showed that the equations for the factors of reduction of turbulence intensity become relatively easy to compute.Screens have three main effects on the flow passing through them: i) reduction of mean velocity variation-leading to 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. An overview of the various empiricalformulae that are applied for the calculation of the pressure loss coefficient (k
) of a screen in terms of porosityof the screen and the Reynolds number is presented by Loehrke and Nagib
states that screens can be used to obtain a more uniform velocity distribution across the ductsection and that a moderate velocity difference is approximately lowered by the factor 1/(1+k
). Dryden andSchubauer
shown that the energy change across the screen is equated to the difference between the upstreamturbulent energy and the downstream turbulent energy. Since the turbulent velocity is proportional to the squareroot of the turbulent energy, the turbulent reduction factor becomes 1/(1+k
. A direct comparison of theturbulence reduction factors proposed by the above theories and the correlation with measurements is providedin Refs. [8,9]. The installation of several screens in series, results to a reduction of the incoming turbulence ineach one by its turbulence factor. However, it must be kept in mind that beyond the screen, in addition to theturbulence passing through, there is also the turbulence created by the screen itself, the screen turbulence. Theturbulence generated by the last screen determines the minimum attainable turbulence in the entrance of thewind tunnel contraction.
The contracting nozzle is placed upstream of the test section for two main reasons: a) It increases the flowmean velocity allowing the honeycomb and screens to be placed in the lower speed regions, thus reducing the pressure losses and the tunnel power factor. b) Both mean and fluctuating velocity variations are reduced to asmaller fraction of the average velocity at a given cross section. The most important single parameter indetermining these effects is the contraction ratio.The theoretical studies by Prandtl
and Batchelor and Proudman
imply that the contractiondoes exert a selective effect on the rms components of the fluctuating velocity, i.e. the longitudinal component isreduced while the lateral components are increased. The investigation carried out by Klein and Ramjee
showsthat the shape of the contraction does not have significant influence on the turbulence intensities at the exit of the contraction. The published theories defining the turbulence level reduction in contractions are limited for axisymmetric configurations and while they have been partially correlated with results from 2-D and 3-Dgeometries they also be applied herein.
3 NUMERICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE FLOW IN A WIND TUNNEL3.1 The configuration studied
In this research work preliminary results from the application of the developed mathematical model tosimulate the steady incompressible flow field in the settling chamber-contraction-test section arrangement of the NBS 4,5 ft wind tunnel are presented. The NBS 4,5 ft is an early American closed circuit octagonal tunnelconstructed in Washington in 1918 by the National Bureau of Standards for research on air turbulence and boundary layer phenomena. The selection of that tunnel is due to the availability of published experimentaldata
, which are considered as reference and repeatedly have been used in wind tunnel design studies
. The 3-D geometry of the settling chamber-contraction-test section arrangement which has an octagonal cross section ina lack of simplicity for the present preliminary investigation is considered as ax-symmetric, i.e the cross sectionis a circle, and it is shown in figure 1. Stations 1, 2, 3 and 4 indicate the ends of each section. Station-i indicatesthe position of the wire screen and station-m indicates the position where experimental data regarding turbulenceintensities are available.