COMPUTATIONAL AERODYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF AIRFOILS FOR ENERGY-PRODUCING SAILING SHIPS
Johnson, Susan R.
Gannon, Anthony J.
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The purpose of this research was to determine an airfoil configuration that produces the maximum amount of thrust on a sailboat that uses a turbine deployed in the water to collect energy. Three airfoil types were analyzed: a single-element airfoil, two-element airfoil, and cloth sail airfoil. A computational fluid dynamics program, ANSYS CFX, was used to perform the analysis. Two key conclusions were observed. The first conclusion is the discrepancy in computational fluid dynamics and the experimental results calculating the drag over a single element NACA 0012 airfoil. An early prediction in flow separation resulted in an overestimation in drag above an angle of attack of eight degrees. The second conclusion is the two-element airfoil was the best configuration to maximize the thrust of a sailboat. After comparing the lift over drag ratio across an angle of attack sweep, the two-element airfoil significantly outperformed the cloth and single-element airfoils.
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