In this work a CFD analysis is applied to study the suppression of the boundary layer separation into a highly-loaded subsonic compressor stator cascade, by different active flow control techniques. Active flow control techniques have the potential to delay separation and to increase the pressure ratio. In particular three different techniques have been applied: the actuation by steady jet, by zero net mass flux Synthetic Jet (SJA) and by plasma actuator.
Several works have investigated the use of synthetic jet and plasma actuators on the airfoil, but only few studies have compared the effect of these devices.
Concerning the synthetic jet actuator, a suction/blowing type boundary condition is used, imposing a prescribed sinusoidal velocity depending on velocity amplitude, jet frequency and jet angle of ejection with respect to the wall.
Concerning the plasma actuation, the effect is modeled into numerical flow solvers by adding the paraelectric force that represents the plasma force into the momentum equation. The plasma, generated by Dielectric Barrier Discharge, acts as a momentum source to the boundary layer allowing it to remain attached throughout a larger portion of the airfoil. The time-averaged body force component, acting on the fluid, depends on the frequency and on the applied voltage, the charge density, the electrical field and the dimensional properties of the actuator, like width of the electrodes and gap between the electrodes. Using this numerical model, the effect of plasma actuators to suppress the flow separation over the blade has been investigated, increasing the turbo-machinery performance too.
Finally, the comparison between the different actuation devices shows that, reducing the secondary flow structures, each actuation technique beneficially affects the performance of the stator compressor cascade, even if in the steady jet the costs are relevant.