Ice accumulation is a big issue for both aeronautical and wind power industries. In an attempt to optimize the aerodynamic performance and prevent the ice accumulation in different components of aircraft and wind turbines, plasma actuators started to be studied as devices that allow to perform simultaneously flow control and ice accretion prevention. Considering the use of plasma actuators for flow control and ice prevention, in the current work numerical simulations were performed in order to investigate the anti-icing ability of dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma actuators applied on a NACA 0012 airfoil. In a first stage, DBD plasma actuators were fabricated and experimentally tested in order to estimate the heat flux produced by these devices during their operation. An innovative calorimetric method, developed in our lab, was implemented in order to estimate the thermal power transferred by these devices to an adjacent flow. In this technique the actuators are placed inside a calorimeter with the shape of a pipe with a constant airflow rate. When the actuator is operated the heat dissipated from the plasma discharge is transferred to adjacent flow and the temperature of the flow is monitored at the outlet. By using the fundamental calorimetric law, the heat flux from the actuator to the adjacent air can be estimated. In a second phase, an airfoil NACA 0012 with multi-DBD plasma actuators was studied in favorable conditions for ice accretion. The accumulation of ice on the airfoil surface was analyzed for the condition with and without the thermal effect created by the DBD plasma actuators. The heat effect produced by the DBD devices was simulated considering the heat flux obtained on the calorimetric experiments. The results showed that plasma actuators allow to induce significant thermal effects that can be used for performing anti-icing and deicing functions. These simple electronic devices can be used to reduce the icing zone near the airfoil and improve its aerodynamic characteristics.

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