, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 582-591

Effect of natural ventilation on the boundary layer separation and near-wake vortex shedding characteristics of a sphere

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Abstract

Experiments were conducted in water and wind tunnels on spheres in the Reynolds number range 6 × 103 to 6.5 × 105 to study the effect of natural ventilation on the boundary layer separation and near-wake vortex shedding characteristics. In the subcritical range of Re (<2 × 105), ventilation caused a marginal downstream shift in the location of laminar boundary layer separation; there was only a small change in the vortex shedding frequency. In the supercritical range (Re > 4 × 105), ventilation caused a downstream shift in the mean locations of boundary layer separation and reattachment; these lines showed significant axisymmetry in the presence of venting. No distinct vortex shedding frequency was found. Instead, a dramatic reduction occurred in the wake unsteadiness at all frequencies. The reduction of wake unsteadiness is consistent with the reduction in total drag already reported. Based on the present results and those reported earlier, the effects of natural ventilation on the flow past a sphere can be categorized in two broad regimes, viz., weak and strong interaction regimes. In the weak interaction regime (subcritical Re), the broad features of the basic sphere are largely unaltered despite the large addition of mass in the near wake. Strong interaction is promoted by the closer proximity of the inner and outer shear layers at supercritical Re. This results in a modified and steady near-wake flow, characterized by reduced unsteadiness and small drag.

Received: 8 September 1998 / Accepted: 1 January 2000