Applied Sciences (Mar 2020)

Aerodynamic Characteristics of Different Airfoils under Varied Turbulence Intensities at Low Reynolds Numbers

  • Yang Zhang,
  • Zhou Zhou,
  • Kelei Wang,
  • Xu Li

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 5
p. 1706


Read online

A numerical study was conducted on the influence of turbulence intensity and Reynolds number on the mean topology and transition characteristics of flow separation to provide better understanding of the unsteady jet flow of turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP) aircraft. By solving unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) equation based on C-type structural mesh and γ - Re ˜ θ t transition model, the aerodynamic characteristics of the NACA0012 airfoil at different turbulence intensities was calculated and compared with the experimental results, which verifies the reliability of the numerical method. Then, the effects of varied low Reynolds numbers and turbulence intensities on the aerodynamic performance of NACA0012 and SD7037 were investigated. The results show that higher turbulence intensity or Reynolds number leads to more stable airfoil aerodynamic performance, larger stalling angle, and earlier transition with a different mechanism. The generation and evolution of the laminar separation bubble (LSB) are closely related to Reynolds number, and it would change the effective shape of the airfoil, having a big influence on the airfoil’s aerodynamic characteristics. Compared with the symmetrical airfoil, the low-Reynolds-number airfoil can delay the occurrence of flow separation and produce more lift in the same conditions, which provides guidance for further airfoil design under TeDP jet flow.