Title: A computational and experimental study on aerodynamics of motor-driven propellers using thrust stand and rotating cup anemometer

Authors: Zaid Siddiqi; Jin Wook Lee

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Program, Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72204, USA ' Mechanical Engineering Program, Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72204, USA

Abstract: The aims of this study are: 1) develop a cost-effective experimental set up that incorporates a commercially available thrust-stand and rotating cup anemometer; 2) analyse rotor performance at rotational speeds ranging from 6,000 PRM to 14,000 RPM; 3) use the multiple reference frame (MRF) approach to develop computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations that provide a good agreement with experimental results; 4) to assess the efficacy of using a rotating cup anemometer to measure propeller downwash velocity. A 6-inch propeller is paired with a 2,600 KV motor. Overall rotor efficiency peaks near 7,200 RPM and beyond 9,300 RPM; it declines rapidly as the mechanical and electrical power output increases. To assess the thrust and downwash velocity, two turbulence models are used in steady state: k-∈ realisable and the k-ω SST. The k-ω SST shows good overall agreements for thrust, while the k-∈ realisable provides a more accurate modelling of the downwash velocity. Based on the CFD results, the rotating cup anemometer is found to be unsuitable for measuring propeller downwash velocities.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle; computational fluid dynamics; CFD; multiple reference frame; MRF; thrust; downwash velocity; thrust-stand; anemometer.

DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2022.120276

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, 2022 Vol.22 No.1, pp.23 - 36

Received: 29 Jul 2020
Accepted: 17 Mar 2021

Published online: 07 Jan 2022 *

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