In the present study the wake flow past an isolated propeller operating in oblique flow conditions is investigated experimentally. In particular, the investigation concerns a systematic topological comparison of the wake behaviour in axisymmetric and in oblique inflow conditions, for three inclination angles, and is focused on an analysis of the underlying mechanisms of wake evolution and instability. To this end, the experiment has been designed to investigate the dynamics of propeller vortical structures over a wide spatial extent covering the wake region from the propeller disk up to 4.5 diameters in the streamwise direction. Detailed flow measurements have been undertaken by particle image velocimetry (PIV), using a multicamera configuration with three cameras arranged side by side. This allowed simultaneous acquisition of a large flow extent at a spatial resolution adequate to resolve the smallest vortical structures involved in the process of propeller wake instability. The analysis has been based on both phase-locked averaged and instantaneous flow fields. The study extends the knowledge on the subject of propeller wake dynamics, highlighting the major hydrodynamic effects that non-Axisymmetric propeller operating conditions exert on the mechanisms of wake evolution, instability and breakdown, such as asymmetric destabilization of the tip vortices on the leeward and windward sides of the wake, and the interference between the tip and the junction vortices, as well as the cause-effect relation between the breakdown of the blade trailing wake and the instability of the tip and hub vortices. © 2018 Cambridge University Press.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics