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Computation 2015, 3(4), 509-527;

CFD and Experimental Study on the Effect of Progressive Heating on Fluid Flow inside a Thermal Wind Tunnel

School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, 294345 Dubai, UAE
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, S10 2TN Sheffield, UK
Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manfred Krafczyk
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 30 September 2015 / Accepted: 15 October 2015 / Published: 21 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Fluid Dynamics in Civil Engineering)
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A detailed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and experimental investigation into characterizing the fluid flow and thermal profiles in a wind tunnel was carried out, highlighting the effect of progressive heating on the non-uniformity flow profile of air. Using controllable electrical heating elements, the operating temperatures in the test-section were gradually increased in order to determine its influence on the subsequent velocity and thermal profiles found inside the test-section. The numerical study was carried out using CFD FLUENT code, alongside validating the experimental results. Good correlation was observed as the comparison yielded a mean error of 6.4% for the air velocity parameter and 2.3% for the air temperature parameter between the two techniques. The good correlation established between the numerically predicted and experimentally tested results identified broad scope for using the advanced computational capabilities of CFD applicable to the thermal modeling of wind tunnels. For a constant temperature process, the non-uniformity and turbulence intensity in the test section was 0.9% and 0.5%, which is under the recommended guidelines for wind tunnels. The findings revealed that the increase in temperature from 20 °C to 50 °C reduced the velocity by 15.2% inside the test section. View Full-Text
Keywords: CFD; non-uniformity; temperature; velocity; wind tunnel CFD; non-uniformity; temperature; velocity; wind tunnel

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Chaudhry, H.N.; Calautit, J.K.; Hughes, B.R.; Sim, L.F. CFD and Experimental Study on the Effect of Progressive Heating on Fluid Flow inside a Thermal Wind Tunnel. Computation 2015, 3, 509-527.

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