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Aerodynamics II

Lecture 3: Elementary Potential Flows


Faculty: Sudhir Joshi
Date: 30th August, 2010

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Elementary potential flows

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Potential Equation (Laplaces equation)


Continuity eqn:

Irrotational flow:

Velocity Potential:

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Potential Equation (Laplaces equation)


Substituting u, v and w into the continuity equation:

Laplaces equation for irrotational, incompressible flows Every inviscid, incompressible, irrotational flow is described by a potential which satisfies the above potential equation.

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Potential Equation (Laplaces equation)


The Laplace equation is linear, therefore we can use the principle of superposition. So, if 1 and 2 are solutions of the Laplace equation, so is

= 1 1+ 2 2
So, complicated flow patterns can be obtained by a suitable combination of elementary flows

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Potential Equation (Laplaces equation)


The stream function :

Automatically satisfies Laplaces equation (putting u and v into irrotationality condition)

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Uniform parallel flow

For Uniform flow

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Source flow

Velocity components:

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Source flow
Potential function:

Stream function:

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Uniform flow + Source flow

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Doublet flow

If we let the distance l shrink to zero and let the source strength Q grow to infinity, such that the product Ql = = const,

Then this will result in a doublet.

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Doublet flow

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Doublet flow

Doublet flow

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Vortex flow

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Vortex flow

If we calculate the vorticity, we will find that the vorticity is zero everywhere in the flow field, except at the origin where the vorticity is infinitely large.
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Vortex flow

Instead of the integration constant c we usually express the strength of the vortex in terms of its circulation.

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Vortex flow

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Elementary potential flows

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