Free surface effects and the utility of a skim plate for experiments in a water towing tank at steady and unsteady model velocity
A towing tank is utilized to investigate the flow field around a two-dimensional submerged foil model operating near the free surface. Free surface effects are analyzed for steady and unsteady model velocity. The model’s submergence depth and angle of attack are varied. Tests are conducted for the model facing upside-up and upside-down. The surface deflection is recorded and the experimental results are utilized to validate an analytic model that is deployed to predict wake wave patterns at arbitrary model velocity. The flow mechanism leading to load alterations when the foil is in the vicinity of the free surface is explored in detail using experimental and analytic results. The imposed wave-induced velocity perturbations alter the effective angle of attack experienced by the foil. Flow separation is delayed when the model is facing upside-up and promoted when facing upside-down. For test cases with unsteady sinusoidal model velocity, forward traveling waves are generated, leading to a time-varying change in the inflow condition of the submerged foil. Increasing the model’s submergence depth alleviates free surface effects. A skim plate is installed in-between the free surface and model. It shows similar wave alleviating effects as obtained when increasing the model submergence depth by locally blocking wave-induced velocities. The skim plate position is varied in the longitudinal direction to determine its most advantageous position. Surface wave effects at unsteady model velocity are alleviated most effectively when the skim plate protrudes upstream of the model.
Published in: Experiments in Fluids, 10.1007/s00348-022-03502-w, Springer Nature