Performance prediction of cavitating propulsors using a viscous/inviscid method



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A viscous/inviscid interaction method for predicting the effect of viscosity on the performance of wetted and cavitating propulsors is presented. The emphasis is placed on steady wetted and cavitating propulsor flows. A three-dimensional low order potential based boundary element method is strongly coupled with a two dimensional integral boundary layer analysis method based on the strip theory assumption. The influence of viscosity on the outer inviscid flow is modeled through the wall transpiration model by distributing “blowing” sources on the propulsor blade and trailing wake surfaces. The boundary layer edge velocities are expressed as the sum of the inviscid edge velocity and a correction which depends only on the boundary layer variables. The influence of outer potential flow on the inner boundary layer flow is considered through the edge velocities. In the case of sheet cavitation, a “thin” cavity approach is employed and the viscous/inviscid interaction method is applied on the blade surface underneath the cavity. On the cavity surface, the friction force coefficient is forced to be zero. Numerical predictions by the present viscous/inviscid interaction method are presented for open, ducted, and water-jet propulsors. For water-jet propulsors, the flow is solved in an iterative manner by solving the rotor and stator problems separately and by considering the time-averaged effects of one component on the other. Predicted forces, pressure distributions, and boundary layer variables are compared with those predicted by other numerical methods and experimental measurements.