|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
Analysis of lift and drag forces on the wing of the underwater glider
Underwater glider wings are the lifting surfaces of unmanned underwater vehicles UUVs depending on the chosen aerofoil sections. The efficiency as well as the performance of an underwater glider mostly depends on the hydrodynamic characteristics such as lift, drag, lift to drag ratio, etc of the wings. Among other factors, the geometric properties of the glider wing are also crucial to underwater glider performance. This study presents an opportunity for the numerical investigation to improve the hydrodynamic performance by incorporating curvature at the trailing edge of a wing as oppose to the standard straight or sharp trailing edge. A CAD model with straight leading edge and trailing edge was prepared with NACA 0016 using SolidWorks 2017. The operating conditions were setup such that the inlet speed varies from 0.1 to 0.5 m/s representing a Reynolds number 27.8 x 10ᵌ and 53 x 10ᵌ. The static pressure at different angles of attack (AOA) which varies from 2 to 16degrees at the increment of 2degrees for three turbulent models (K-Ԑ-standard, K-Ԑ-RNG and K-Ԑ-Realizable), was computed for upper and lower surfaces of the modified wing model using ANSYS Fluent 18.1. Thereafter the static pressure distribution, lift coefficient, drag coefficient, lift to drag ratio and pressure coefficient for both upper and lower surfaces were analysed. The findings showed that the lift and drag coefficient are influenced by the AOA and the inlet speed. If these parameters change the performance of the underwater glider changes as depicted by figure 5.6 and figure 5.7. The hydrodynamics of the underwater glider wing is optimized using the Cʟ/Cᴅ ratio as function of the operating conditions (AOA and the inlet speed). The investigation showed that the optimal design point of the AOA of 12 degrees and a corresponding inlet speed of 0.26m/s. The critical AOA matched with the optimal design point AOA of 12 degrees. It was also observed that Cp varies across the wing span. The results showed the Cp is higher closer to the fuselage while decreasing towards the mid-span and at the tip of the wing. This showed that the wing experiences more stress close to the fuselage than the rest of the wing span which implies that a higher structural rigidity is required close to the fuselage. The results of the drag and lift curves correspond to the wing characteristics typical observed for this type of aerofoil.