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Exercise Questions

Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows






















Students should attempt exercise questions as soon as relevant
materials are covered in the lecture.


X-2
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 1 -- Scaling Laws

1. A box of volume L
3
is filled with air in turbulent motion. Derive the
expression for the decay of turbulent kinetic energy, ) (
2
1
2 2 2 2
w v u q + + =
as a function of time when no energy is fed or produced within.
[Hint] The differential equation for the decay of turbulent kinetic energy is
given by ( ) =
2
q
dt
d
, where is the dissipation rate.













2. When the Reynolds number is 2x10
5
in the above question, estimate the
velocity scale of energy containing eddies and the size of Kolmogorov
microscale, where L = 2 m and = 1.5x10
-5
m
2
/s.
[Hint] The Reynolds number is defined as

L u
R
e
= , while the Kolmogorov
microscale is given by
4
3

=
e
R L .
X-3
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

















3. A turbulent boundary layer is being developed over a flat plate in a wind
tunnel. An initial test shows that the wall shear stress at the location of
measurement is 1.31 x 10
-2
Pa, where the kinematic viscosity and the
density of air are given by 1.5 x 10
-5
m
2
/s and 1.23 kg/m
3
, respectively.

Obtain the dissipation rate of the turbulent boundary layer at the edge of the
viscous sublayer, assuming that the turbulent velocity scale is represented
by the friction velocity. Explain why the dissipation rate is nearly maximum
at this location in the boundary layer.

X-4
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 2 Energy Cascade

Even when viewed on TV, we can often distinguish between an eruption of
volcano and that of a scaled model by observing the pattern of fire flames and
smoke. Describe the reason why this is possible using appropriate relationships for
turbulent flows.

You should then illustrate your answer numerically by assuming values for typical
turbulence scales.
[Hint] Use the relationship:
4
3
Re

l


X-5
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 3 Energy Spectra

The time series of the velocity signal in a turbulent flow is expressed by
u = sin (t)
where, is the angular velocity and t is the time.

















(a) Sketch the velocity signal as a function of time, clearly indicating its
amplitude and period.
(b) Sketch the energy spectrum of the velocity signal as a function of frequency.
(c) Give two examples of the flows where this type of energy spectrum can be
observed.
X-6
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 4 Asymptotic Methods

If we consider turbulent shear flows with large Reynolds number (R
l
), there
is an overlapped region in the energy spectrum that satisfies

l

small-scale end of the large-scale spectrum, E = E(, , S) and


0

large-scale end of the Kolmogorov spectrum, E = E(, , )



at the same time. Then, show that the inertial subrange of energy spectrum can
be given by
E() ~
-5/3


where, is the wave number, l the scale of energy containing eddies, the
Kolmogorov scale, the dissipation rate and S (= u/l) the share rate.

[Hint] The dimensions of E, , are E = [L
3
T
-2
], = [L
-1
] and = [L
2
T
-3
].
X-7
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 5 Probability Density Function


1. Sketch a random signal u(t) as a function of time t and obtain the
corresponding probability density function (PDF) using the graphical
technique as described in this lecturer.


2. Compare this PDF with that of the Gaussian distribution, which is given by

( )
2
1
2
2 2
2
) 2 / exp(
) (

u
u B
G

=


3. Repeat the question 1 and 2 above for a sine signal,

) sin( ) ( t t u =


4. Observe major differences between the probability density function of a
random signal and that of a sinusoidal signal.

X-8
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 6 Turbulence Modelling


1. The followings are the two-dimensional, steady Navier-Stokes equation for
boundary layer flows and the Continuity equation, where U
0
is the free-
stream velocity.
0 =
y
V
+
x
U


y
U
+
x
U
U
=
y
U
V +
x
U
U
2
2
0
0



Derive the corresponding Reynolds equation indicating the Reynolds stress
terms in the equation.


2. If the mixing length l
m
for pipe flows is given by

R
y
- 1 0.06 -
R
y
- 1 0.08 - 0.14 =
R
l
4 2
m


show that l
m
= 0.4 y for small y (i.e. y/R << 1), where R is the pipe radius and y
is the distance from the wall.

[Hint] Take a derivative of l
m
/R w.r.t. y/R and set y/R 0.
X-9
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

3. In the - model, show that the turbulent viscosity
t
is given by


2
k
C
t
=
where,
w
+
v
+ u = k
2 2
2

2
1
and C

is a constant.













4. We wish to develop a new first order, two-equation turbulence model,
where the turbulent kinetic energy per unit mass K
e
and the acceleration of
energy containing eddies A
e
are chosen as the two variables to be modelled.

(a) Based on dimensional analysis, derive plausible algebraic
dependencies of the turbulence velocity scale u and length scale l upon K
e

and A
e
.

(b) How are the dissipation rate and the turbulent kinematic viscosity
T

expressed in terms of K
e
and A
e
?
X-10
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

Exercise 7 Experimental Techniques

1. A turbulent boundary layer with freestream velocity U

of 3 m/s is
developed over a flat plate in a wind tunnel under zero pressure gradient
condition, where the velocity profiles are measured with hot-wire
anemometer. At this speed, the friction velocity is approximately 1/25 of the
free-stream velocity. The kinematic viscosity and the density of air are 1.5 x
10
-5
m
2
/s and 1.23 kg/m
3
, respectively.

(a) It is known that the thickness of the viscous sublayer represents the smallest
scale of turbulence in the boundary layer. Determine the sensor length of the
hot wire that you should use in order to obtain an accurate energy spectrum
of velocity fluctuations from the measurement.

(b) The RMS (root-mean squared) value of voltage output from the hot-wire
anemometer is 1.8 V at the edge of the viscous sublayer, where the local
mean velocity is 1.3 m/s. Obtain the turbulence intensity (u'/U

) when the
amplifier setting of the signal conditioner is 50. The calibration constants
for the hot-wire sensor are A = 1.36 and B = 0.66 when Kings law is used.

(c) Boundary layer profiles are measured using hot-wire anemometer in
constant temperature mode, where ambient temperature went up a few
degrees during the test. Describe how this will affect the velocity
measurement, assuming that the operating temperature of the hot wire is
fixed throughout the test. Justify your answer by considering the heat
transfer balance of a hot-wire sensor.




X-11
Introduction to Turbulence
and Turbulent Flows

2. Water of 20C is flowing through a 0.10m diameter smooth pipe at a bulk
velocity of 3m/s. Estimate the absolute error in static pressure measurement if
a 5mm diameter square-edged tap is used. The kinematic viscosity and the
density of water are 1.0 x 10
-6
m
2
/s and 1.0 x 10
3
kg/m
3
, respectively.


3. The hydrogen bubble technique will be used in an experimental investigation
of flow around a circular cylinder in a uniform stream, where the Reynolds
number is above the critical value for vortex shedding.

(a) Describe the basic principle of this technique, including an appropriate
experimental set-up for this particular flow situation.

(b) What problems are anticipated in interpreting the results?



X-12