Flow past an accumulator unit of an underwater energy storage system: Three touching balloons in a floral configuration
Journal of Marine Science and Application
droplet-shaped bluff body, LES, shedding vortex tubes, swinging flow, swirling flow, underwater balloons
An LES simulation of flow over an accumulator unit of an underwater compressed air energy storage facility was conducted. The accumulator unit consists of three touching underwater balloons arranged in a floral configuration. The structure of the flow was examined via three dimensional iso surfaces of the Q criterion. Vortical cores were observed on the leeward surface of the balloons. The swirling tube flows generated by these vortical cores were depicted through three dimensional path lines. The flow dynamics were visualized via time series snapshots of two dimensional vorticity contours perpendicular to the flow direction; revealing the turbulent swinging motions of the aforementioned shedding-swirling tube flows. The time history of the hydrodynamic loading was presented in terms of lift and drag coefficients. Drag coefficient of each individual balloon in the floral configuration was smaller than that of a single balloon. It was found that the total drag coefficient of the floral unit of three touching balloons, i.e. summation of the drag coefficients of the balloons, is not too much larger than that of a single balloon whereas it provides three times the storage capacity. In addition to its practical significance in designing appropriate foundation and supports, the instantaneous hydrodynamic loading was used to determine the frequency of the turbulent swirling-swinging motions of the shedding vortex tubes; the Strouhal number was found to be larger than that of a single sphere at the same Reynolds number.
Vasel-Be-Hagh, Ahmadreza; Carriveau, Rupp; and Ting, David S.K.. (2014). Flow past an accumulator unit of an underwater energy storage system: Three touching balloons in a floral configuration. Journal of Marine Science and Application, 13 (4), 467-476.