Experiments in Fluids

, 56:110 | Cite as

Experimental assessment of spanwise-oscillating dielectric electroactive surfaces for turbulent drag reduction in an air channel flow

  • Davide GattiEmail author
  • Andreas Güttler
  • Bettina Frohnapfel
  • Cameron Tropea
Research Article


In the present work, wall oscillations for turbulent skin friction drag reduction are realized in an air turbulent duct flow by means of spanwise-oscillating active surfaces based on dielectric electroactive polymers. The actuator system produces spanwise wall velocity oscillations of 820 mm/s semi-amplitude at its resonance frequency of 65 Hz while consuming an active power of a few 100 mW. The actuators achieved a maximum integral drag reduction of 2.4 %. The maximum net power saving, budget of the power benefit and cost of the control, was measured for the first time with wall oscillations. Though negative, the net power saving is order of magnitudes higher than what has been estimated in previous studies. Two new direct numerical simulations of turbulent channel flow show that the finite size of the actuator only partially explains the lower values of integral drag reduction typically achieved in laboratory experiments compared to numerical simulations.


Wind Tunnel Direct Numerical Simulation Skin Friction Drag Reduction Spanwise Direction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



DG gratefully acknowledge the Fritz and Margot Faudi foundation for financing his research period at TU Darmstadt and Prof. Maurizio Quadrio for interesting discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Gatti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Güttler
    • 1
  • Bettina Frohnapfel
    • 1
  • Cameron Tropea
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Fluid MechanicsKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Center of Smart InterfacesTechnische Universtät DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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