The present study intends to investigate the potentiality of the single dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuators (SDBDPAs) to reattach the separated flow, occurring at low Reynolds numbers. For this aim, a curved wall plate, which profile shape was designed to reproduce the suction surface of a low-pressure turbine (LPT) blade, was installed in the test section of a closed loop wind tunnel and a SDBDPA was placed in a groove made over it, at the front of the adverse pressure gradient region. The flow behavior in absence of actuation has been experimentally investigated by particle image velocimetry (PIV) and laser Doppler velocimetry measurements (LDV). Moreover, sinusoidal voltage excitation with amplitude of 8 kV and frequency of 2 kHz was applied to the SDBDPA and PIV measurements were also performed in presence of actuation. The applied voltage and the discharge current have also been recorded simultaneously, and they have been used for the determination of the device dissipated power.
Different wind tunnel free stream velocities were investigated, both in absence and presence of actuation. The effect of the active flow control was then studied in the entire measurement domain by analyzing the velocity fields, the turbulence intensity (Tu) values, the momentum coefficient (cμ) and the boundary layer shape factor (H12). In absence of actuation, a large reverse flow and a turbulence intensity up to ≈60% was observed in the separation region. Good agreement was found between the flow results obtained by the two velocity measurement techniques. Considering the actuated cases, it was found that, in all the tested operating conditions, actuation implied a reduction of the separated region and the turbulence intensity, even if a low flow control effect was noticed at the highest tested velocity.