Computational Analysis of Drag Reduction Methods for a Rearward Facing Step

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Myhre, Nicodemus
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The Rearward Facing Step is a classic study of flow separation due to its simplicity and widespread applicability. However, little recent effort has been put into finding spatially compact methods, unlike traditional streamlining, which can significantly reduce the drag associated with this awkward aerodynamic geometry. This study investigates the effect of a rotating cylinder positioned on the corner of the step with the aim of energizing the flow over the step to reduce drag. Specifically, we attempt to determine how changes in the Reynolds number (scale) and specific alterations to the geometry affect the usefulness of the cylinder. This method is both compact and easily simulated. The study is performed computationally using the ANSYS Fluent software package in order to perform tests on a wide variety of scenarios at relatively low cost; however, a real-world verification is underway in a separate research project. iii
CFD, aerodynamics, rotating cylinder, rearward facing step, ANSYS software package, Navier-Stokes equations