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# Department of Mechanical Engineering Thermal Fluid Systems Laboratory Manual Course number: ME 361

Experiment Title: The Lift Coefficient Assignment Author: Hessam Taherian Spring 2013

Introduction: To gain a tangible understanding of aerodynamic properties over common air-foil shapes, students from the Thermo-Fluids lab in the Mechanical Engineering department of the University of Alabama at Birmingham will perform pressure measurements at various locations of the surface of two airfoils (NACA 2415 and NACA 0015). This apparatus allows for pressures to be read at multiple surface locations at different wind speeds and angles of attack. Under multiple input conditions, students will take measurements in order to calculate aerodynamic properties of the airfoils such as the lift force ( ), lift coefficient ( ), Reynolds number ( ) and pressure coefficient ( ). From these data, students will also create lift coefficient-vs.-angle-of-attack ( vs. ) profiles at multiple Reynolds number values. They will then compare these plots to common plots for the airfoils under investigation. Safety Warning: Please wear ear plugs whenever the wind tunnel is operating. As this is a twoweek project, students are asked to keep the plugs they receive on the first week for their time in the lab the following week. Also, refrain from standing behind the fan when the wind tunnel is running. Lastly, when you open the door to the test section to change the angle of attack, be extremely careful not to leave any object inside the test section, and make sure that the door is properly fastened and closed before operating the tunnel. Apparatus: Figure 1 shows the test section of the wind tunnel. Inside, one of two airfoils (either NACA 2415 or NACA 0015) rests along the test-section centerline. It has 15 pressure taps installed along its center at various surface locations. These taps are fed via the yellow tubes shown below to pressure transducers, which output the pressure signal to a LabVIEW data-acquisition program.

Separationindicator strings

Angle-of-attack indicator

Test-section latches Figure 1. Wind-tunnel test section Figure 2 shows the main controls for operating the wind tunnel. In order to run wind through the test section, turn the control key on the CONTROL POWER switch from the LOCK position to the RUN

position. After this, the FAN ENABLE button should be pressed, and the dial set to a given speed value. Note that the display in the center gives the air speed v (in fps).

Figure 2. Controlling station for wind-tunnel operation Table 1 gives the axial locations of each pressure tap on the centerline of the airfoils shown installed in the test section on Figure 1. The transducer number column correspond to the pressure columns on the data files. Note that these locations indicate the positions along the chord line with zero being at the leading edge of the airfoil. These values should be normalized by the 6-inch chord length of both airfoils. There is also a column showing the effective area on which each of the pressures is measured. These areas are helpful in using a force-balance technique to calculate the overall lift force on the airfoil. However, this information, while useful, will not suffice to cover the overall objectives of the assignment.

Table 1. Surface location of pressure taps on airfoils Surface Pressure Tap Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Transducer Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Not connected Tap Location [in] 0.18 0.5 1.07 1.7 2.55 3.45 4.3 5.25 4.96 3.94 3.1 2.2 1.4 0.95 0.5 0.16 Area [in ] 3.995 5.229 7.050 8.695 10.281 10.281 10.516 17.155 19.388 10.928 10.223 9.988 7.348 5.288 4.641 3.878
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Lastly, in order to obtain the pressure data, students must incorporate a pre-coded LabVIEW dataacquisition program. The interface for this program is shown below. An explanation as to how this is used is given in the following section.

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## Figure 3. LabVIEW data-acquisition-program interface

Procedure: In order to compile sufficient data to produce a suitable report, students should follow the steps below.
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1. Record the make and model of all pertinent components of the system as well as determining the accuracy of the pressure transducers as well as the precision of the angle-of-attack indicator and fan-speed display. 2. Open the test section using the latches shown on Figure 1 and set the airfoil at a desired angle of attack ( ). Then close the test section lid, ensuring that all of the latches are securely fastened. 3. Turn on power to the main power switch (shown on Figure 2) by rotating the key into the RUN position. Make sure the speed dial is turned to the zero position and press the FAN ENABLE button. 4. Set the air speed by rotating the dial to a desired level. It will take a few seconds for the fan to start turning. Note that no tests can be performed under 30 fps, and no tests should be performed above 140 fps. Sweep through at least 7 air speeds for a given angle of attack. In order to save pressure data, please follow the steps below. a. Allow about one minute for the transients in the flow field to subside after you set the speed level. b. Press the Push to save button on the program user interface. c. After about 3 seconds, press the button again. This will save 3 seconds worth of pressure data onto a file named Airfoil_#.lvm, where # represents an integer of ascending order from the previous saved document. d. Save these files onto a portable drive, and import the data from them into a program like Excel or MATLAB for analysis. 5. After all measurements are taken at a given angle of attack, power down the system by pressing the E-STOP button, rotating the wind-speed dial back to the zero position, and rotating the key back to the LOCK position (in that order). 6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 by changing the angle of attack. At different angles of attack, please try to match the air-speed values from the various airfoil orientations as closely as possible. Please take measurements from -10 degrees to 20 degrees at 5-degree increments. At higher angles of attack, please have one member secure the airfoil in place by hand, if you see it rotating away from the set position.

Toward the higher angles of attack, one would expect the flow to separate on the upper surface of the airfoil. Keep an eye on the separation-indicator strings (labeled on Figure 1) from each run and document any noticeable differences that may occur. Note that this experiment will last two weeks. Each week will employ a different airfoil shape. Report/Documentation of Results: Based on the data recorded from the experiment, students must produce a report that summarizes their findings. This report will be due one week after the completion of the experiment. While students should feel free to arrange the data in a manner they feel best presents them in a clear and meaningful way, the report should include:

While this procedure will provide enough data for an acceptable report, students are encouraged to change their experimental method in a way that they think would provide interesting results. However, they must first ensure that the basic requirements of the assignment are met.

A proper description of the aerodynamic principles behind these measurements. The equations and calculations performed to present the results.
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Plot sample pressure distribution on the upper and lower surfaces of the airfoil. Calculations of lift force ( ), lift coefficient ( ), Reynolds number ( )

vs. at multiple Reynolds numbers with a comparison to theoretical results for both airfoil 3 shapes.

Note that all calculations should account for uncertainty in the measurements using the uncertainty 4 analysis provided by Kline and McClintock (1953) . Cite this Instructions Manual as: Taherian, H., 2013, The Lift Coefficient Assignment, Thermal Fluid Systems Lab, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL All reports are to be written in APA format. For more information on this formatting style, please visit http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/. Please send an electronic copy (Microsoft Word preferred) of your lab reports before the deadline which is exactly two weeks following the date you performed the experiment.

Please include only the primary calculations in the main text of the document. If there are additional calculations that students feel are important enough to include, please do so in an appendix. 3 Find the most neat and concise graphical presentation for these data. One good way of doing this is to combine multiple plots onto one graph. If this makes the graph too congested, choose a minimum, maximum and middle value for Reynolds number and plot only those three distributions. 4 Kline, S. J., and F. A. McClintock: "Describing Uncertainties in Single-Sample Experiments", Mech. Eng., p. 3, January 1953