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Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272

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Analysis of hot-wire anemometry data obtained in a synthetic


jet ow q
S.G. Mallinson
b

a,*

, J.A. Reizes a, G. Hong a, P.S. Westbury

a
Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Environmental Engineering Centre, Building Research Establishment Ltd., Garston, Watford WD2 7RJ, UK

Received 29 October 2001; accepted 15 May 2003

Abstract
Synthetic jet actuators show great promise as active ow control devices. Here, we analyze hot-wire anemometry data obtained
along the centre-line of a synthetic jet ow. The value of the Kolmogorov length-scale is estimated from the experimental data, and
it is seen to increase with distance away from the orice. The results suggest that previously used computational meshes may need to
be rened, particularly in the near orice region, if we wish to capture down to the smallest dissipative scales. Finally, wavelet
transforms are applied to the data, which allows the identication of the length-scales for which energy uctuations and intermittency are important.
2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
When a cyclic pressure variation is applied across an
orice, a series of vortex rings are formed which can
coalesce into a jet. This jet is said to be synthesized
from the working uid, and has the curious (cycleaveraged) property of zero mass-ux but nonzero momentum-ux [1,2]. The variation in pressure may be
produced in several ways, such as an oscillating membrane [1], a piston-in-cylinder arrangement [3] and
acoustic excitation [4,5] (see Fig. 1). Our experiments
have focussed on the oscillating membrane conguration, often referred to as a synthetic jet actuator. This
actuator has a number of advantages over other means
of producing the pressure variation, including low
power requirements [6] and compactness, the latter
permitting micro-fabrication of the actuators [7,8]. A
number of dierent types of ows, including laminar,
transitional and turbulent jets and suction, can be produced depending upon the geometric and forcing paq
This work was presented at the ASME Sixth International
Thermal Anemometry Symp., Melbourne, Australia (2001).
*
Corresponding author. Address: Silverbrook Research, 393 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW 2041, Australia.
E-mail address: sam.mallinson@silverbrookresearch.com (S.G.
Mallinson).

0894-1777/$ - see front matter 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.expthermusci.2003.05.001

rameters. In this paper, we will discuss issues


surrounding the measurement of velocity in a turbulent
synthetic jet ow, the implications of these measurements on resolution requirements for numerical simulations, and apply wavelet transform analysis to the
experimental data.

2. Experimental details
2.1. Actuator construction and measurement technique
The synthetic jet actuator was constructed from a
brass plate with a circular orice, to the underside of
which was attached a MuRata circular piezoelectric
speaker element. The actuator dimensions and forcing
parameters are as follows (refer to Fig. 1(a)): do 0:75
mm, ho 1:65 mm, dc 36:8 mm, hc 1:35 mm,
fm 1:45 kHz and Dm 2:3 lm. The piezo-element was
driven using a sinusoidal voltage signal.
Velocity measurements were conducted using a
Dantec StreamLine automated anemometry system,
operated in constant temperature mode. The entire
system was connected to a personal computer for data
acquisition and analysis. A single normal probe, Dantec
Type 55H15 with tungsten wire, was employed, having a
probe length lw 1:0 mm, and diameter dw 5 lm. The

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S.G. Mallinson et al. / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272

Fig. 1. Some methods of producing a synthetic jet. In (a) do orice diameter, ho orice height, dc cavity diameter, hc cavity height,
fm membrane forcing frequency, Dm maximum membrane deection.

In our earlier study [2], we compared the measured


mean velocity along the centre-line of the jet with NavierStokes predictions. These computations ignored
the cavity and orice ow regions, instead employing a
wall normal velocity boundary condition over the orice
exit plane, and assumed a k   turbulence model (see [2]
for a complete discussion of the numerical method). The
comparison is shown in Fig. 2(a). There is fair agreement between experiment and computation in the near
eld region and good agreement farther away from the
orice. The spectra (Fig. 2(b)) exhibit peaks at the
membrane forcing frequency and higher harmonics, and
the amplitude of these peaks diminishes rapidly as the
ow proceeds away from the orice. All of the spectra
have a region wherein the energy decays as f 5=3 , which
is characteristic of turbulent ow.
One possible reason for the poor agreement in the
near-eld region is that the probe length is comparable
with the jet diameter. We corrected the prediction for
this eect by taking the average velocity over a distance
equal to the probe length (dashed line). This improved
the comparison dramatically. Another potential problem is that ow reversal occurs near the orice, and this
cannot be resolved using the standard hot-wire techniques available in our laboratory. Instead of derectifying the experimental signal, we have rectied the
numerical signal to permit comparison. This is shown
in Fig. 2(a) as the dot-dashed line, and it is clear that
rectication greatly improves the agreement close to the
orice. This curve also indicates that reversed ow occurs on the centre-line for y=do < 1, consistent with the
experimental data. This is signicantly smaller than the

mean velocity (m s1)

(a)
experiment
CFD
CFD, averaged
CFD, averaged and rectified

10

15
y / do

20

25

30

10

(b)

10

10

2.2. Mean velocity

12

E / <u >

sample rate was set at 20 kHz and low-pass ltering was


applied at 10 kHz. The uncertainty in the mean velocity
measurements has been estimated to be approximately
2% [2]. The hot-wire was calibrated using a Dantec
54H10 automated calibration system, and it was found
that the calibration drifted by less than 1% over the
course of the study. A dynamic calibration procedure
(see, for example, [9]) was felt unnecessary, as it typically
has only a small eect for isothermal ows [10].

10

10

10

10

y / do = 4
y / do = 8
y / do = 12
y / do = 16
y / do = 32

10

0.1

1.0
f / fm

10.0

Fig. 2. Previous work [2]: (a) mean velocity distributions along jet
centre-line, y streamwise distance from the orice; (b) energy spectra.

core length for steady jets, which can range from 4 to 40


diameters, depending on a variety of factors including
the ow conditions, orice geometry and wall roughness.
Velocity uctuations can have an eect on hot-wire
signals. Perry and Morrison [11] showed that a skipping

S.G. Mallinson et al. / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272

2.3. Kolmogorov length-scale


A more probable cause of discrepancies is weaknesses
in the computational method [14]. A simple wall-normal
velocity boundary condition for the velocity, coupled
with a k   turbulence model, cannot be expected to
reproduce all of the details of the complex vortical-dissipative ow produced by the actuator. Ideally, we
would like to perform three-dimensional simulations of
the cavity, orice and external ow-elds, together with
a more accurate dissipation scheme, such as a sub-grid
scale model employed in large-eddy simulations (LES).
In this type of computation, the mesh is supposed to
resolve down to the Kolmogorov length-scale, g, which
is representative of the smallest eddies in the ow. Before proceeding to more advanced computational efforts, it is therefore important to estimate g, using
 3 1=4
m
g
1

where m is the kinematic viscosity,  is the dissipation
rate and the overbar denotes average values. We can
estimate  from the experimental data [15] using the
isotropic relation
 2
ou
 15m
2
ox
and invoking Taylors hypothesis, whereby o=ox
U 1 o=ot, with U being the mean velocity (that is, as-

100

Kolmogorov length scale (m)

rope structural mode, due to thermal expansion of the


wire, could result in errors in the measured velocity of
25% or more in unsteady ows. The skipping rope mode
normally has a strong eect on the high frequency
content of the signal, and so the mean value might be
only weakly aected. In the present study, the energy
spectra (Fig. 2(b)) close to the orice have well dened
peaks at a range of frequencies, and it is this type of
excitation that typically induces skipping rope modes
[10,11]. Davies [12] found that at high frequencies, there
is a phase lag between the velocity and the ow-induced
heat transfer, and noted that the minimum Strouhal
number, Smin , for this to occur was approximately
0:1 Pr Red , where Smin fd=U , Pr is the Prandtl number,
Red Ud=m is the Reynolds number and d is the hotwire diameter. For the present study, Smin 0:25, giving
a minimum frequency for phase lag eects of f
500 kHz. This is well above the maximum frequency
response of the wire, which is approximately 10 kHz.
The computational simulations of Apelt and Ledwich
[13] are in general agreement with the study of Davies.
The signicance of velocity uctuations is therefore
likely to be small, although it would be of interest to
determine more precisely the eect of skipping rope
modes, for example, by varying the wire overheat-ratio.

267

Eqn. (2), Taylors hypothesis


Eqn. (2), modified Taylors hypothesis
Eqn. (3)

80

60

40

20

10

20
y / do

30

40

Fig. 3. Kolmogorov length-scale distribution along the centre-line:


comparison of dierent estimates.

suming that turbulence is convected at the mean velocity).


The distribution of g with distance along the jet
centre-line is presented in Fig. 3, with the variation being
nearly linear. The use of Taylors hypothesis is questionable, in that the mean ow velocity varies with time.
If we assume, instead, that the turbulence is convected at
the instantaneous, rather than mean, velocity, then we
obtain: o=ox ut1 o=ot, where ut is the local instantaneous velocity. This seems reasonable, as over the
course of a cycle, the ow consists of a vortex which is
ejected from the orice and then dissipates [1,2]: most of
the ow, including the turbulence is carried along by this
vortex. It is also possible to estimate  from the energy
spectra, Ek Ef U =2p [10]
Z 1
 15m
j2 Ek dj
3
0

where j 2pf =U is the wavenumber. 1 These two estimates are also shown in Fig. 3 and it is seen that the
distributions are quite similar.
If the turbulence scales are smaller than the hot-wire
probe length, then the signals are spatially ltered
[10,1618]. To obtain reliable information about the
turbulence quantities, as is required for our estimate of
, we need to correct for these spatial resolution errors.
Turan and Azad [17] compared three corrections
which assumed isotropic ow with one that relaxed this
assumption. The isotropic corrections are derived by
considering the response of the hot-wire to an assumed
turbulence spectrum, whilst the nonisotropic correction relies on making measurements at several dierent

1
This method is equivalent to the rst from a signal analysis point
of view.

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S.G. Mallinson et al. / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272

hot-wire length to diameter ratios and extrapolating to


zero length. The comparison took the form of evaluating the terms in a turbulent kinetic energy balance
(TKEB) equation. All four corrections performed well
in isotropic ows, but only the nonisotropic correction
satised the TKEB for nonisotropic ows.
The ow considered in this study is highly nonisotropic due to its pulsatile nature; unfortunately, we are
unable to make the necessary measurements to correct
properly for nonisotropic ow behaviour. We can,
however, make an estimate of the potential uncertainties
in our measurements. The isotropic correction of
Wyngaard [18] suggests the present experimental results
for  need to be increased by approximately 30%. The
work of Turan and Azad [17] suggests that: applying an
isotropic correction to nonisotropic ow data results in
approximately 100% overestimation of the true value of
; high turbulence intensity eects can cause approximately 100% overestimation of the true value of , with
the greatest eect in nonisotropic ow regions; and that
data not corrected for yaw eects may underestimate the
true value by upto 40%. We might thus tentatively
suggest approximate errors in our estimates of  to be
+140%/)50%, which translate into +35%/)15% uncertainty in the values of Kolmogorov length-scale presented in Fig. 3.
Arpaci [19] has found that for velocity uctuations at
a frequency x, the Kolmogorov length-scale, gx>0 is
given by
gx>0  h

m3 =1=4
gx0
 m 1=2 i1=2 h
 1=2 i1=2
1x 
1 x m

where gx0 is the value for no periodic forcing, Eq. (1).


For the present study, this equation suggests that at the
membrane forcing frequency, the eect would be to reduce g by 17% compared to an equivalent unforced
ow.
In the computations, twenty points were placed
across the orice radius of 0.375 mm, giving a mesh
spacing of approximately 19 lm. Notwithstanding the
uncertainties in the measured values of g, it would seem,
from Fig. 3, that the mesh is capable of capturing scales
down to approximately g for the far-eld, but in the
near-eld, the mesh will need to be rened.
2.4. Wavelet transform analysis
Wavelet transforms separate a signal into a series of
self-similar functions of scale and time, allowing both
spectral and spatial information to be obtained simultaneously. This is in contrast with Fourier transforms
which are inherently nonlocal, and as the wavelets are
localized in space, the local character of the signals can
be determined [20], which is clearly of interest in this
periodically excited ow. In the broader sense, wavelets

oer the tantalizing possibility of reconciling the statistical and coherent structure points of view of turbulence
by providing an orthonormal basis for computations
which require less degrees of freedom than suggested by
Fourier modes [20,21]; that is, it reduces the computational power required for a given problem. In this study,
we will use wavelet transforms to examine the cyclic
variation of energy scales.
The wavelet transform, ^u, of a signal u is dened as
[20,22]
Z
t  t 
o
^ua; to a1=r utg
dt
5
a
where g is the analysing function, a is the scale for dilatation of g, t is time, the superscript  denotes complex
conjugation, the subscript o denotes local values, and r
is set equal to 2 to allow us to examine the energy distribution at dierent scales [2022]. In this paper, we will
apply wavelet transforms for the rst time to velocity
data obtained in a synthetic jet ow.
The analysing function, or wavelet, employed in the
present study is the second derivative of the Gaussian,
commonly referred to as the Maar wavelet or Mexican
hat [20]
(
)
2
t 
 t 2 
t=a
g
1
exp 
6
a
a
2
In practice, the integrand in Eq. (5) is obtained as the
inverse Fourier transform of the product of the Fourier
transforms of the signal and the wavelet. The Fourier
transform of the Maar wavelet is [20,22]


x2
1=2
Gx 2p x2 exp 
7
2
where x is the frequency.
The physical signal varies with time. Taylors hypothesis can again be invoked to permit the denition of
a spatial scale, l aU , where U is the local mean velocity. The transform is performed for a range of scales,
with the minimum and maximum values of l being equal
to twice the hot-wire sample period and 10 times the
orice diameter, respectively.
The wavelet transform for signals obtained at various
locations along the jet centre-line are shown in Fig. 4.
The coordinates are l0 l=g and t0 t=s, where
s 1=fm ; that is, t0 is the period number. For comparison, the raw signals are shown in Fig. 5. Closer to the
orice, the wavelet transform exhibits periodic increases
and decreases, corresponding to the cyclic forcing of the
actuator, which is clearly seen in the raw data. Farther
away, the wavelet transform does not exhibit the same
level of regularity, and the raw data has more gradual,
as opposed to spiky, peaks and troughs.
The variance, r2 , and atness (or kurtosis), K, of the
wavelet transform with respect to t0 allows us to examine

S.G. Mallinson et al. / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272

269

Fig. 4. Wavelet transform of velocity signals obtained in synthetic jet ow: (a) y=do 4, (b) y=do 8, (c) y=do 12, (d) y=do 16, (e) y=do 32.
l0 l=g and t0 t=s, where s 1=fm .

the variation of energy and intermittency with scale,


respectively [20,21]. Here we take
r2

^
u2i
n1

^u4i
2

r2

where the overbar indicates averaged values. Fig. 6 presents the distributions of S r2 =u2 and K versus l0 for

270

S.G. Mallinson et al. / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272
20

30

(b)

(a)

15
velocity (m s1)

velocity (m s1)

20

10

10
5

0
120

125

130
t

135

0
120

140

125

130
t

135

12

12

(d)

(c)

8
velocity (m s1)

velocity (m s1)

0
120

140

125

130
t

135

0
120

140

125

130
t

135

140

(e)

velocity (m s1)

0
120

125

130
t

135

140

Fig. 5. Raw velocity signals obtained in synthetic jet ow: (a) y=do 4, (b) y=do 8, (c) y=do 12, (d) y=do 16, (e) y=do 32.

various locations along the jet centre-line. It is seen that


the energy uctuations occurs predominantly for lengthscales of approximately 70g, and that there is very little
activity at scales approaching g. For the atness distributions, the two locations closest to the orice have a
strong minimum near to the same value of l0 as for the

peak in variance, and this corresponds to the strong


peaks observed in their energy spectra (Fig. 2(b)). The
other locations do not exhibit a strong minimum, and all
curves show an increasing intermittency with decreasing
scale, below a certain value of l0 . This critical value of l0
becomes smaller with increasing distance from the ori-

S.G. Mallinson et al. / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2004) 265272

mately 70 times the Kolmogorov length-scale, and that


smaller length-scale uctuations are not as important far
from the orice. Thus, computations may not need to
resolve down to g to account for most of the energy
processes in the ow.

80000

(a)

60000

y / do = 3
y / do = 6
y / do = 9
y / do = 12
y / do = 24

40000

Acknowledgements

20000

0 0
10

271

10

10

10

l
10

Part of this work was supported by the Australian


Research Council. The rst author would like to acknowledge the generous support provided by the Australian Academy of Science Scientic Visits to Europe
Scheme and the Department of Aeronautics, Imperial
College, UK. The authors would also like to acknowledge several invaluable comments from the reviewers
and Dr. B. Pearson, University of Nottingham, UK.

(b)
y / do = 3
y / do = 6
y / do = 9
y / do = 12
y / do = 24

References

0
0
10

10

10

10

Fig. 6. Higher order statistical moments of wavelet transform with


scale for various locations along the jet centre-line: (a) variance, (b)
atness.

ce, suggesting that smaller turbulence length-scales


occur less frequently as we move away from the orice.
The raw data (Fig. 5) certainly seem to support this
observation, and it is consistent with the experimental
data for g: the dissipation length scale increases with
distance from the orice along the centre-line.

3. Conclusions
Hot-wire signals obtained in a synthetic jet ow have
been analysed. The values of Kolmogorov length-scale
estimated from the data suggest that there may be
problems with experimental spatial resolution, particularly near the orice; similar comments apply to computations if we wish to capture down to dissipation
scales. Finally, wavelet transform analysis suggests that
energy uctuations occur predominantly at approxi-

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