Comparative studies of numerical methods for evaluating aerodynamic characteristics of two-dimensional airfoil at low Reynolds numbers

D. Lee, T. Nonomura, A. Oyama, K. Fujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates the predictability of the aerodynamic performance of some numerical methods at low Reynolds numbers and their dependency on the geometric shape of airfoil. We conducted three-dimensional large-eddy simulations (3-D LES), two-dimensional laminar simulations (2-D Lam), and Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes simulations with Baldwin–Lomax (2-D RANS(BL)) and Spalart–Allmaras (2-D RANS(SA)) turbulence models. Although there is little discrepancy between the 3-D LES, 2-D Lam, and 2-D RANS(SA) results in terms of the lift and drag characteristics, significant differences are observed in the predictability of the separation and reattachment points. The predicted lift, separation, and reattachment points of the 2-D Lam are qualitatively similar to those of the 3-D LES, except for high angles of attack at which a massive separation occurs. The 2-D RANS(SA) shows good predictability of the lift and separation points, but it does not estimate reattachment points accurately. The 2-D RANS(BL) fails to predict the precise separation points, which results in a poor lift predictability. These characteristics appear regardless of the airfoil geometry shapes. The results suggest that a 2-D Lam without any turbulence models can be used to estimate qualitative airfoil aerodynamic characteristics at the low Reynolds numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Computational Fluid Dynamics
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 2
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Low Reynolds number
  • aerodynamic characteristics
  • airfoil shape
  • laminar separation bubble
  • numerical methods
  • reattachment
  • separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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