This paper examines the use of a coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) – Rigid Body Dynamics (RBD) model to study the fixed-axis autorotation of a square flat plate. The calibration of the model against existing wind tunnel data is described. During the calibration, the CFD models were able to identify complex period autoration rates, which were attributable to a mass eccentricity in the experimental plate. The predicted flow fields around the autorotating plates are found to be consistent with existing observations. In addition, the pressure coefficients from the wind tunnel and computational work were found to be in good agreement. By comparing these pressure distributions and the vortex shedding patterns at various stages through an autorotation cycle, it was possible to gain important insights into the flow structures that evolve around the plate. The CFD model is also compared against existing correlation functions that relate the mean tip speed ratio of the plate to the aspect ratio, thickness ratio and mass moment of inertia of the plate. Agreement is found to be good for aspect ratios of 1, but poor away from this value. However, other aspects of the numerical modelling are consistent with the correlations.
Hargreaves, D., Kakimpa, B., & Owen, J. S. (2014). The computational fluid dynamics modelling of the autorotation of square, flat plates. Journal of Fluids and Structures, 46, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2013.12.006