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Mesh Twisting Technique for Swirl Induced Laminar Flow Used to Determine a Desired Blade Shape

Abstract : Swirling flow has been shown to increase heat transfer in heat exchangers. However, producing swirl while not presenting a severe pressure drop can be a challenge. In this paper, a desired shape of guidance blades for laminar swirl flow is determined by numerical simulation in OpenFOAM. Emphasis is on the mesh technique, where a predefined blade shape is formed by mesh twisting, or morphing. The validity of numerical simulations on a twisted mesh is shown by comparing it to the theoretical solution of laminar flow in a pipe without swirl and guidance blades. A sensitivity study shows that a cell size ratio of 0.025 of diameter is sufficient and affects the solution minimally. To determine the desired shape of guidance blades previously found optimal swirl decay and velocity profile for laminar swirling flow are utilized. Three blade shapes are explored: (I) with a twist angle that varies with axial location only; (II) having a deviation angle matching the theoretical deviation angle for laminar swirling flow; (III) same as II but with a hollow center. Simulations are performed for Re = 100 and swirl number S = 0.2 . Case II is able to sustain swirl longest while maintaining a low pressure drop and is therefore a desired swirler shape profile as predicted theoretically.
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Asdis Helgadottir, Sylvain Lalot, François Beaubert, Halldor Pálsson. Mesh Twisting Technique for Swirl Induced Laminar Flow Used to Determine a Desired Blade Shape. Applied Sciences, MDPI, 2018, 8 (10), pp.1865. ⟨10.3390/app8101865⟩. ⟨hal-03449889⟩

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