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Passive Flow Control in Twin Air-Intakes

Authors: Akshoy R. Paul, Pritanshu Ranjan, Ravi R. Upadhyay, Anuj Jain


Aircraft propulsion systems often use Y-shaped subsonic diffusing ducts as twin air-intakes to supply the ambient air into the engine compressor for thrust generation. Due to space constraint, the diffusers need to be curved, which causes severe flow non-uniformity at the engine face. The present study attempt to control flow in a mild-curved Y-duct diffuser using trapezoidalshaped vortex generators (VG) attached on either both the sidewalls or top and bottom walls of the diffuser at the inflexion plane. A commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code is modified and is used to simulate the effects of SVG in flow of a Y-duct diffuser. A few experiments are conducted for CFD code validation, while the rest are done computationally. The best combination of Yduct diffuser is found with VG-2 arranged in co-rotating sequence and attached to both the sidewalls, which ensures highest static pressure recovery, lowest total pressure loss, minimum flow distortion and less flow separation in Y-duct diffuser. The decrease in VG height while attached to top and bottom walls further improves axial flow uniformity at the diffuser outlet by a great margin as compared to the bare duct.

Keywords: Twin air-intake, Vortex generator (VG), Turbulence model, Pressure recovery, Distortion coefficient

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