Turbulent drag reduction using surface plasma

Jukes, Timothy N. (2007) Turbulent drag reduction using surface plasma. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.



An experimental investigation has been undertaken in a wind tunnel to study the induced airflow and drag reduction capability of AC glow discharge plasma actuators.

Plasma is the fourth state of matter whereby a medium, such as air, is ionized creating a system of electrons, ions and neutral particles. Surface glow discharge plasma actuators have recently become a topic for flow control due to their ability to exert a body force near the wall of an aerodynamic object which can create or alter a flow. The exact nature of this force is not well understood, although the current state of knowledge is that the phenomenon results from the presence of charged plasma particles in a highly non-uniform electric field. Such actuators are lightweight, fully electronic (needing no moving parts or complicated ducting), have high bandwidth and high energy density. The manufacture of plasma actuators is relatively cheap and they can be easily retrofitted to existing surfaces.

The first part of this study aims at characterising the airflow induced by surface plasma actuators in initially static air. Ambient air temperature and velocity profiles are presented around a variety of actuators in order to understand the nature of the induced flow for various parameters such as applied voltage, frequency, actuator geometry and material. It is found that the plasma actuator creates a laminar wall jet along the surface of the material on which it is placed.

The second part of the study aims at using plasma actuators to reduce skin-friction drag in a fully developed turbulent boundary layer. Actuators are designed to induce spanwise forcing near the wall, oscillating in time. Thermal anemometry measurements within the boundary layer are presented. These show that the surface plasma can cause a skin-friction drag reduction of up to 45% due to the creation of streamwise vortices which interact with, and disrupt the near-wall turbulence production cycle.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Choi, K.S.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Actuators, Turbulent boundary layer, Skin-friction drag
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
ID Code:2160
Deposited By:Mrs K.J. Blore
Deposited On:06 Sep 2011 10:05
Last Modified:06 Sep 2011 10:05

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