In the last decades, Synthetic jet actuators have gained much interest among the flow control techniques due to their short response time, high jet velocity and absence of traditional piping, which matches the requirements of reduced size and low weight. A synthetic jet is generated by the diaphragm oscillation (generally driven by a piezoelectric element) in a relatively small cavity, producing periodic cavity pressure variations associated with cavity volume changes. The pressured air exhausts through an orifice, converting diaphragm electrodynamic energy into jet kinetic energy. This review paper considers the development of various Lumped-Element Models (LEMs) as practical tools to design and manufacture the actuators. LEMs can quickly predict device performances such as the frequency response in terms of diaphragm displacement, cavity pressure and jet velocity, as well as the efficiency of energy conversion of input Joule power into useful kinetic power of air jet. The actuator performance is also analyzed by varying typical geometric parameters such as cavity height and orifice diameter and length, through a suited dimensionless form of the governing equations. A comprehensive and detailed physical modeling aimed to evaluate the device efficiency is introduced, shedding light on the different stages involved in the process. Overall, the influence of the coupling degree of the two oscillators, the diaphragm and the Helmholtz frequency, on the device performance is discussed throughout the paper.
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