Numerical simulation of flow over a flapping airfoil

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This project presents the study of the aerodynamic forces acting on a plunging and pitching airfoil by performing two-dimensional Direct Numerical Simulation to solve the Navier-Stokes equations for incompressible flow around an airfoil with an Immersed Boundary Method. This analysis is performed on NACA-0012 symmetric airfoils at reduced frequency of k = 0.2π and plunging amplitude of h/c = 1. Different flapping configurations are considered by combining different mean pitch angles of θm = 0◦ and 10◦, pitching amplitude of θ0 = 0◦, 10◦, 20◦ and 30◦ and Reynolds number of Re = 3000, 1000 and 500 at fixed phase shift φ = 90◦. The different simulated cases display diverse flow wake structures. The role of leading edge vortex and trailing edge vortex were found to be one key in the observed performance variation. For the analysed cases, it was noticed that the resulting wake structures are influenced by Re for flapping configuration with non-zero pitching amplitude, but they are independent of Re for zero pitching amplitude motions. Also, it was observed that increasing θ0 results in lower effective angle of attack producing disappearance of vortex structures. Finally, this work evaluates the performance of a simplified model, developed in a parallel project [Moriche et al., 2016], to predict the aerodynamic forces acting on a flapping airfoil. It was noted that this model has an enormous potential to predict lift and thrust generation, even though it has a great simplicity.
Direct Numerical Simulation, Navier-Stokes equations, Aerodynamics, Flow–structure interactions
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