Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma actuators have several applications within the field of active flow control. Separation control, wake control, aircraft noise reduction, modification of velocity fluctuations, or boundary layer control are just some examples of their applications. They present several attractive features such as their simple construction, very low mass, fast response, low power consumption, and robustness. Besides their aerodynamic applications, these devices have also possible applications within the field of heat transfer, for example film cooling applications or ice formation prevention. However, due to the extremely high electric fields in the plasma region and consequent impossibility of applying classic intrusive techniques, there is a relative lack of information about DBDs thermal characteristics. In an attempt to overcome this scenario, this work describes the thermal behavior of DBD plasma actuators under different flow conditions. Infra-red thermography measurements were performed in order to obtain the temperature distribution of the dielectric layer and also of the exposed electrode. During this work, we analyzed DBD plasma actuators with different dielectric thicknesses and also with different dielectric materials, whose thermal behavior is reported for the first time. The results allowed to conclude that the temperature distribution is not influenced by the dielectric thickness, but it changes when the actuator operates under an external flow. We also verified that, although in quiescent conditions the exposed electrode temperature is higher than the plasma region temperature, the main heat energy dissipation occurs in the dielectric, more specifically in the plasma formation region.

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