Numerical investigations of the vortex interactions for a flow over a pitching foil at different stages

Chien Chou Tseng, Yu En Cheng

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The fluid-structure interaction is investigated numerically for a two-dimensional flow (Re=2.5·106) over a sinusoid-pitching foil by the SST (Shear Stress Transport) k-ω model. Although discrepancies in the downstroke phase, which are also documented in other numerical studies, are observed by comparing with experimental results, our current numerical results are sufficient to predict the mean features and qualitative tendencies of the dynamic stall phenomenon. These discrepancies are evaluated carefully from the numerical and experimental viewpoints. In this study, we have utilized Λ, which is the normalized second invariant of the velocity gradient tensor, to present the evolution of the Leading Edge Vortex (LEV) and Trailing Edge Vortex (TEV). The convective, pressure, and diffusion terms during the dynamic stall process are discussed based on the transport equation of Λ. It is found that the pressure term dominates the rate of the change of the rotation strength inside the LEV. This trend can hardly be observed directly by using the vorticity transport equation due to the zero baroclinic term for the incompressible flow.The mechanisms to delay the stall are categorized based on the formation of the LEV. At the first stage before the formation of the LEV in the upper surface, the pitching foil provides extra momentum into the fluid flows to resist the flow separation, and hence the stall is delayed. At the second stage, a low-pressure area travels with the evolution of the LEV such that the lift still can be maintained. Three short periods at the second stage corresponds to different flow patterns during the dynamic stall, and these short periods can be distinguished according to the trend of the pressure variation inside the LEV. The lift stall occurs when a reverse flow from the lower surface is triggered during the shedding of the LEV. For a reduced frequency kf=0.15, the formation of the TEV happens right after the lift stall, and the lift can drop dramatically. With a faster reduced frequency kf=0.25, the shedding of the LEV is postponed into the downstroke, and the interaction between the LEV and TEV becomes weaker correspondingly. Thus, the lift drops more gently after the stall. In order to acquire more reliable numerical results within the downstroke phase, the Large Eddy Simulation (LES), which is capable of better predictions for the laminar-to-turbulent transition and flow reattachment process, will be considered as the future work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1974
Pages (from-to)291-318
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


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