Numerical and experimental investigation of flow around a balloon-shaped bluff body
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Bluff body, Buoyancy energy storage, CFD, Lift bag, Underwater compressed air energy storage
Air accumulator is a critical component in Underwater Compressed Air Energy Storage systems and Buoyancy Energy Storage systems. In order to bridge the gap between the CFD simulations and experiment verification of flow around air accumulator, in this study, the force characteristics and flow structures around a balloon-shaped air accumulator bluff body model have been investigated using a computational-experimental dual prong method for the first time. The three-dimensional Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) closure is achieved through the k-ω SST turbulence model in FLUENT. The force characteristics and flow structures are measured in a low-speed closed-loop wind tunnel to verify the simulation results. The free end and shape effects are investigated by comparing the flow structure of three different but interconnected bluff bodies at the equivalent Reynolds number of 7.0 × 104. The results show that the k-ω SST turbulence model can correctly predict the time-averaged force characteristics of the balloon-shaped bluff body and flow structures in the wake. Besides, the distinct vortex structures are induced due to the free end and tapered shape effects.
Wang, Zhiwen; Ting, David S.K.; Carriveau, Rupp; Xiong, Wei; and Wang, Zuwen. (2019). Numerical and experimental investigation of flow around a balloon-shaped bluff body. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 35, 80-88.