Large eddy simulation of flow around a reverse rotating propeller

Hyunchul Jang, Krishnan Mahesh

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40 Scopus citations


This paper studies the flow around a propeller rotating in the reverse direction in a uniform free stream. Large eddy simulation is used to study this massively separated flow at a Reynolds number of 480 000 and advance ratios J D = -0.5, = -0.7 and -1.0. Simulations are performed on two grids; statistics of the loads and velocity field around the propeller show encouraging agreement between the two grids and with experiment. The impact of advance ratio is discussed, and a physical picture of the unsteady flow and its influence on the propeller loads is proposed. An unsteady vortex ring is formed in the vicinity of the propeller disk due to the interaction between the free stream and the reverse flow produced by the reverse rotation. The flow is separated in the blade passages; the most prominent is the separation along the sharp edge of the blade on the downstream side of the blade. This separation results in high-amplitude, transient propeller loads. Conditional averaging is used to describe the statistically relevant events that determine low- and high-amplitude thrust and side-forces. The vortex ring is closer and the reverse flow induced by propeller rotation is lower when the loads are high. The propeller loads scale with pU2 for J < -0.7 and with pn2D2 for J > -0.7.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-179
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Turbulence simulation
  • Turbulent flows


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