The present work originated in an investigation on fluid dynamic aspects of electrostatic precipitators performed on scale models of an industrial apparatus. The experimental analysis of velocity and turbulence distribution, performed by hot-wire anemometry, confirmed that significant turbulence levels are found inside particle collectors. In fact, components used to spatially smooth the flow and lower its velocity peaks, such as hoods with wide divergence angles, turning vanes, and perforated plates, may also act as sources of turbulence and reduce the efficiency of electrostatic precipitators. These observations prompted a deeper analysis, both analytical and experimental, of the turbulence decay downstream perforated screens. A new simple semi-empirical model of turbulence decay is proposed, which has shown reasonably good agreement with experimental data, even at short downstream distance from the perforated plate, 50 to 250 hydraulic diameters.

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