A Caltech Library Service

The Relationship Between Near-Wake Structure and Heat Transfer for an Oscillating Circular Cylinder in Cross-Flow


Pottebaum, Tait Sherman (2003) The Relationship Between Near-Wake Structure and Heat Transfer for an Oscillating Circular Cylinder in Cross-Flow. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/C9NQ-N832.


A series of experiments were carried out in order to understand the relationship between wake structure and heat transfer for a transversely oscillating circular cylinder in cross-flow and to explore the dynamics of the vortex formation process in the wake. The cylinder's heat transfer coefficient was determined over a range of oscillation amplitudes up to 1.5 cylinder diameters and oscillation frequencies up to 5 times the stationary cylinder natural shedding frequency. The results were compared to established relationships between oscillation conditions and wake structure. Digital particle image thermometry/velocimetry (DPIT/V) was used to measure the temperature and velocity fields in the near-wake for a set of cases chosen to be representative of the variety of wake structures that exist for this type of flow. The experiments were carried out in a water tunnel at a Reynolds number of 690.

It was found that wake structure and heat transfer both significantly affect one another. The wake mode, a label indicating the number and type of vortices shed in each oscillation period, is directly related to the observed heat transfer enhancement. The dynamics of the vortex formation process, including the trajectories of the vortices during roll-up, explain this relationship. The streamwise spacing between shed vortices was also shown to affect heat transfer coefficient for the 2S mode, which consists of two single vortices shed per cycle. The streamwise spacing is believed to influence entrainment of freestream temperature fluid by the forming vortices, thereby affecting the temperature gradient at the cylinder base. This effect may exist for other wake modes, as well.

The cylinder's transverse velocity was shown to influence the heat transfer by affecting the circulation of the wake vortices. For a fixed wake structure, the effectiveness of the wake vortices at enhancing heat transfer depends on their circulation. Also, the cylinder's transverse velocity continually changes the orientation of the wake with respect to the freestream flow, thereby spreading the main source of heat transfer enhancement--the vortices near the cylinder base--over a larger portion of the cylinder surface.

Previously observed heat transfer enhancement associated with oscillations at frequencies near the natural shedding frequency and its harmonics were shown to be limited to amplitudes of less than about 0.5 cylinder diameters.

A new phenomenon was discovered in which the wake structure switches back and forth between distinct wake modes. Temperature induced variations in the fluid viscosity are believed to be the cause of this mode-switching. It is hypothesized that the viscosity variations change the vorticity and kinetic energy fluxes into the wake, thereby changing the wake mode and the heat transfer coefficient. This discovery underscores the role of viscosity and shear layer fluxes in determining wake mode, potentially leading to improved understanding of wake vortex formation and pinch-off processes in general.

Aspect ratio appears to play a role in determining the heat transfer coefficient mainly for non-oscillating cylinders. The heat transfer is also affected by aspect ratio for oscillation conditions characterized by weak synchronization of the wake to the oscillation frequency.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:DPIT; DPIV; thermochromic liquid crystal; TLC
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Planetary Sciences
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gharib, Morteza
Thesis Committee:
  • Gharib, Morteza (chair)
  • Leonard, Anthony
  • Shepherd, Joseph E.
  • Richardson, Mark I.
  • Hunt, Melany L.
Defense Date:11 April 2003
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05202003-145011
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1886
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:21 May 2003
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 17:23

Thesis Files

PDF (Pottebaum_thesis.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page