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In fluid dynamics, a secondary flow is a relatively minor flow superimposed on the primary flow, where the primary flow usually matches very closely the flow pattern predicted using simple analytical techniques that assume the fluid is inviscid. (An inviscid fluid is a theoretical fluid having zero viscosity.)
The primary flow of a fluid, particularly in the majority of the flow field remote from solid surfaces immersed in the fluid, is usually very similar to what would be predicted using the basic principles of physics, and assuming the fluid is inviscid. However, in real flow situations, there are regions in the flow field where the flow is significantly different in both speed and direction to what is predicted for an inviscid fluid using simple analytical techniques. The flow in these regions is the secondary flow. These regions are usually in the vicinity of the boundary of the fluid adjacent to solid surfaces where viscous forces are at work, such as in the boundary layer.
In engineering secondary flow also identifies an additional flow path.
The basic principles of physics and the Coriolis effect satisfactorily explain that the direction of the wind in the atmosphere is parallel to the isobars. Measurements of wind speed and direction at heights well above ground level confirm that the speed of the wind matches that predicted by considerations of gradient flow, and the direction of the wind is indeed parallel to the isobars in the region. However, from ground level up to heights where the influence of the earth's surface can be neglected, the wind speed is less than predicted by the barometric pressure gradient, and the wind direction is partly across the isobars rather than parallel to them. This flow of air across the isobars near ground level is a secondary flow. It does not conform to the primary flow, which is parallel to the isobars.
At heights well above ground level there is a balance between the Coriolis effect, the local pressure gradient, and the velocity of the wind. This is balanced flow. Closer to the ground the air is not able to accelerate to the speed necessary for balanced flow. Interference by the surface of the ground or water, and by obstructions such as terrain, waves, trees and buildings, cause drag on the atmosphere and prevent the air from accelerating to the speed necessary to achieve balanced flow. As a result, the wind direction near ground level is partly parallel to the isobars in the region, and partly across the isobars in the direction from higher pressure to lower pressure.
As a result of the slower wind speed at the earth's surface, in a region of low pressure the barometric pressure is usually significantly higher at the surface than would be expected, given the barometric pressure at mid altitudes, due to Bernoulli's principle. Hence, the secondary flow toward the center of a region of low pressure is also drawn upward by the significantly lower pressure at mid altitudes. This slow, widespread ascent of the air in a region of low pressure can cause widespread cloud and rain if the air is of sufficiently high relative humidity.
In a region of high pressure (an anticyclone) the secondary flow includes a slow, widespread descent of air from mid altitudes toward ground level, and then outward across the isobars. This descent causes a reduction in relative humidity and explains why regions of high pressure usually experience cloud-free skies for many days.
The primary flow around a tropical cyclone is parallel to the isobars – and hence circular. The closer to the center of the cyclone, the faster is the wind speed. In accordance with Bernoulli's principle where the wind speed is fastest the barometric pressure is lowest. Consequently, near the center of the cyclone the barometric pressure is very low. There is a strong pressure gradient across the isobars toward the center of the cyclone. This pressure gradient provides the centripetal force necessary for the circular motion of each parcel of air. This strong gradient, coupled with the slower speed of the air near the Earth's surface, causes a secondary flow at surface level toward the center of the cyclone, rather than a wholly circular flow.
Even though the wind speed near the center of a tropical cyclone is very fast, at any point on the Earth's surface it is not as fast as it is above that point away from the retarding influence of the Earth's surface. The slower speed of the air at the earth's surface prevents the barometric pressure from falling as low as would be expected from the barometric pressure at mid altitudes. This is compatible with Bernoulli's principle. The secondary flow at the Earth's surface is toward the center of the cyclone but is then drawn upward by the significantly lower pressure at mid and high altitudes. As the secondary flow is drawn upward the air cools and its pressure falls, causing extremely heavy rainfall over several days.
Tornadoes and dust devils display localised vortex flow. Their fluid motion is similar to tropical cyclones but on a much smaller scale so that the Coriolis effect is not significant. The primary flow is circular around the vertical axis of the tornado or dust devil. As with all vortex flow, the speed of the flow is fastest at the core of the vortex. In accordance with Bernoulli's principle where the wind speed is fastest the air pressure is lowest; and where the wind speed is slowest the air pressure is highest. Consequently, near the center of the tornado or dust devil the air pressure is low. There is a pressure gradient toward the center of the vortex. This gradient, coupled with the slower speed of the air near the earth's surface, causes a secondary flow toward the center of the tornado or dust devil, rather than in a purely circular pattern.
The slower speed of the air at the surface prevents the air pressure from falling as low as would normally be expected from the air pressure at greater heights. This is compatible with Bernoulli's principle. The secondary flow is toward the center of the tornado or dust devil, and is then drawn upward by the significantly lower pressure several thousands of feet above the surface in the case of a tornado, or several hundred feet in the case of a dust devil. Tornadoes can be very destructive and the secondary flow can cause debris to be swept into a central location and carried to low altitudes.
Dust devils can be seen by the dust stirred up at ground level, swept up by the secondary flow and concentrated in a central location. The accumulation of dust then accompanies the secondary flow upward into the region of intense low pressure that exists outside the influence of the ground.
When water in a circular bowl or cup is moving in circular motion the water displays free-vortex flow – the water at the center of the bowl or cup spins at relatively high speed, and the water at the perimeter spins more slowly. The water is a little deeper at the perimeter and a little more shallow at the center, and the surface of the water is not flat but displays the characteristic depression toward the axis of the spinning fluid. At any elevation within the water the pressure is a little greater near the perimeter of the bowl or cup where the water is a little deeper, than near the center. The water pressure is a little greater where the water speed is a little slower, and the pressure is a little less where the speed is faster, and this is consistent with Bernoulli's principle.
There is a pressure gradient from the perimeter of the bowl or cup toward the center. This pressure gradient provides the centripetal force necessary for the circular motion of each parcel of water. The pressure gradient also accounts for a secondary flow of the boundary layer in the water flowing across the floor of the bowl or cup. The slower speed of the water in the boundary layer is unable to balance the pressure gradient. The boundary layer spirals inward toward the axis of circulation of the water. On reaching the center the secondary flow is then upward toward the surface, progressively mixing with the primary flow. Near the surface there may also be a slow secondary flow outward toward the perimeter.
The secondary flow along the floor of the bowl or cup can be seen by sprinkling heavy particles such as sugar, sand, rice or tea leaves into the water and then setting the water in circular motion by stirring with a hand or spoon. The boundary layer spirals inward and sweeps the heavier solids into a neat pile in the center of the bowl or cup. With water circulating in a bowl or cup, the primary flow is purely circular and might be expected to fling heavy particles outward to the perimeter. Instead, heavy particles can be seen to congregate in the center as a result of the secondary flow along the floor.
Water flowing through a bend in a river must follow curved streamlines to remain within the banks of the river. The water surface is slightly higher near the concave bank than near the convex bank. (The "concave bank" has the greater radius. The "convex bank" has the smaller radius.) As a result, at any elevation within the river, water pressure is slightly higher near the concave bank than near the convex bank. A pressure gradient results from the concave bank toward the other bank. Centripetal forces are necessary for the curved path of each parcel of water, which is provided by the pressure gradient.
The primary flow around the bend is vortex flow – fastest speed where the radius of curvature of the stream itself is smallest and slowest speed where the radius is largest.The higher pressure near the concave (outer) bank is accompanied by slower water speed, and the lower pressure near the convex bank is accompanied by faster water speed, and all this is consistent with Bernoulli's principle.
A secondary flow results in the boundary layer along the floor of the river bed. The boundary layer is not moving fast enough to balance the pressure gradient and so its path is partly downstream and partly across the stream from the concave bank toward the convex bank, driven by the pressure gradient.The secondary flow is then upward toward the surface where it mixes with the primary flow or moves slowly across the surface, back toward the concave bank. This motion is called helicoidal flow.
On the floor of the river bed the secondary flow sweeps sand, silt and gravel across the river and deposits the solids near the convex bank, in similar fashion to sugar or tea leaves being swept toward the center of a bowl or cup as described above.This process can lead to accentuation or creation of D-shaped islands, meanders through creation of cut banks and opposing point bars which in turn may result in an oxbow lake. The convex (inner) bank of river bends tends to be shallow and made up of sand, silt and fine gravel; the concave (outer) bank tends to be steep and elevated due to heavy erosion.
Different definitions have been put forward for secondary flow in turbomachinery, such as "Secondary flow in broad terms means flow at right angles to intended primary flow".
Secondary flows occur in the main, or primary, flowpath in turbomachinery compressors and turbines (see also unrelated use of term for flow in the secondary air system of a gas turbine engine). They are always present when a wall boundary layer is turned through an angle by a curved surface.They are a source of total pressure loss and limit the efficiency that can be achieved for the compressor or turbine. Modelling the flow enables blade, vane and end-wall surfaces to be shaped to reduce the losses.
Secondary flows occur throughout the impeller in a centrifugal compressor but are less marked in axial compressors due to shorter passage lengths.Flow turning is low in axial compressors but boundary layers are thick on the annulus walls which gives significant secondary flows. Flow turning in turbine blading and vanes is high and generates strong secondary flow.
Secondary flows also occur in pumps for liquids and include inlet prerotation, or intake vorticity, tip clearance flow (tip leakage), flow separation when operating away from the design condition, and secondary vorticity.
The following, from Dixon, and of magnitudeshows the secondary flow generated by flow turning in an axial compressor blade or stator passage. Consider flow with an approach velocity c1. The velocity profile will be non-uniform due to friction between the annulus wall and the fluid. The vorticity of this boundary layer is normal to the approach velocity
As the vorticity of each blade onto each other will be of opposite directions, a secondary vorticity will be generated. If the deflection angle, e, between the guide vanes is small, the magnitude of the secondary vorticity is represented as
This secondary flow will be the integrated effect of the distribution of secondary vorticity along the blade length.
Gas turbine engines have a power-producing primary airflow passing through the compressor. They also have a substantial (25% of core flow in a Pratt & Whitney PW2000)secondary flow obtained from the primary flow and which is pumped from the compressor and used by the secondary air system. Like the secondary flow in turbomachinery this secondary flow is also a loss to the power-producing capability of the engine.
Thrust-producing flow which passes through an engines thermal cycle is called primary airflow. Using only cycle flow was relatively short-lived as the turbojet engine. Airflow through a propeller or a turbomachine fan is called secondary flow and is not part of the thermal cycle.This use of secondary flow reduces losses and increases the overall efficiency of the propulsion system. The secondary flow may be many times that through the engine.
During the 1960s cruising at speeds between Mach 2 to 3 was pursued for commercial and military aircraft. Concorde, North American XB-70 and Lockheed SR-71 used ejector-type supersonic nozzles which had a secondary flow obtained from the inlet upstream of the engine compressor. The secondary flow was used to purge the engine compartment, cool the engine case, cool the ejector nozzle and cushion the primary expansion. The secondary flow was ejected by the pumping action of the primary gas flow through the engine nozzle and the ram pressure in the inlet.
A fluid flowing around the surface of an object exerts a force on it. Lift is the component of this force that is perpendicular to the oncoming flow direction. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the force parallel to the flow direction. Lift conventionally acts in an upward direction in order to counter the force of gravity, but it can act in any direction at right angles to the flow.
The Tesla turbine is a bladeless centripetal flow turbine patented by Nikola Tesla in 1913. It is referred to as a bladeless turbine. The Tesla turbine is also known as the boundary-layer turbine, cohesion-type turbine, and Prandtl-layer turbine because it uses the boundary-layer effect and not a fluid impinging upon the blades as in a conventional turbine. Bioengineering researchers have referred to it as a multiple-disk centrifugal pump. One of Tesla's desires for implementation of this turbine was for geothermal power, which was described in Our Future Motive Power.
In fluid dynamics, Bernoulli's principle states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in static pressure or a decrease in the fluid's potential energy. The principle is named after Daniel Bernoulli who published it in his book Hydrodynamica in 1738. Although Bernoulli deduced that pressure decreases when the flow speed increases, it was Leonhard Euler who derived Bernoulli's equation in its usual form in 1752. The principle is only applicable for isentropic flows: when the effects of irreversible processes and non-adiabatic processes are small and can be neglected.
In fluid dynamics, a vortex is a region in a fluid in which the flow revolves around an axis line, which may be straight or curved. Vortices form in stirred fluids, and may be observed in smoke rings, whirlpools in the wake of a boat, and the winds surrounding a tropical cyclone, tornado or dust devil.
In fluid dynamics, the baroclinity of a stratified fluid is a measure of how misaligned the gradient of pressure is from the gradient of density in a fluid. In meteorology a baroclinic atmosphere is one for which the density depends on both the temperature and the pressure; contrast this with a barotropic atmosphere, for which the density depends only on the pressure. In atmospheric terms, the barotropic zones of the Earth are generally found in the central latitudes, or tropics, whereas the baroclinic areas are generally found in the mid-latitude/polar regions.
The Coandă effect is the tendency of a fluid jet to stay attached to a convex surface. It is named after Romanian inventor Henri Coandă, who described it as "the tendency of a jet of fluid emerging from an orifice to follow an adjacent flat or curved surface and to entrain fluid from the surroundings so that a region of lower pressure develops."
Wind shear, sometimes referred to as wind gradient, is a difference in wind speed or direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere. Atmospheric wind shear is normally described as either vertical or horizontal wind shear. Vertical wind shear is a change in wind speed or direction with change in altitude. Horizontal wind shear is a change in wind speed with change in lateral position for a given altitude.
An airfoil or aerofoil is the cross-sectional shape of a wing, blade, or sail.
Centrifugal compressors, sometimes called radial compressors, are a sub-class of dynamic axisymmetric work-absorbing turbomachinery.
The Brayton cycle is a thermodynamic cycle named after George Brayton that describes the workings of a constant-pressure heat engine. The original Brayton engines used a piston compressor and piston expander, but more modern gas turbine engines and airbreathing jet engines also follow the Brayton cycle. Although the cycle is usually run as an open system, it is conventionally assumed for the purposes of thermodynamic analysis that the exhaust gases are reused in the intake, enabling analysis as a closed system.
In common usage, wind gradient, more specifically wind speed gradient or wind velocity gradient, or alternatively shear wind, is the vertical gradient of the mean horizontal wind speed in the lower atmosphere. It is the rate of increase of wind strength with unit increase in height above ground level. In metric units, it is often measured in units of meters per second of speed, per kilometer of height (m/s/km), which reduces to the standard unit of shear rate, inverse seconds (s−1).
An oxbow lake is a U-shaped lake that forms when a wide meander of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. This landform is so named for its distinctive curved shape, which resembles the bow pin of an oxbow. In Australia, an oxbow lake is called a billabong, from the indigenous Wiradjuri language. In south Texas, oxbows left by the Rio Grande are called resacas.
In meteorology, the planetary boundary layer (PBL), also known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) or peplosphere, is the lowest part of the atmosphere and its behaviour is directly influenced by its contact with a planetary surface. On Earth it usually responds to changes in surface radiative forcing in an hour or less. In this layer physical quantities such as flow velocity, temperature, and moisture display rapid fluctuations (turbulence) and vertical mixing is strong. Above the PBL is the "free atmosphere", where the wind is approximately geostrophic, while within the PBL the wind is affected by surface drag and turns across the isobars.
The thermal wind is the vector difference between the geostrophic wind at upper altitudes minus that at lower altitudes in the atmosphere. It is the hypothetical vertical wind shear that would exist if the winds obey geostrophic balance in the horizontal, while pressure obeys hydrostatic balance in the vertical. The combination of these two force balances is called thermal wind balance, a term generalizable also to more complicated horizontal flow balances such as gradient wind balance.
Turbomachinery, in mechanical engineering, describes machines that transfer energy between a rotor and a fluid, including both turbines and compressors. While a turbine transfers energy from a fluid to a rotor, a compressor transfers energy from a rotor to a fluid.
A ridge or barometric ridge is a term in meteorology describing an elongated area of relatively high atmospheric pressure compared to the surrounding environment, without being a closed circulation. It is associated with an area of maximum anticyclonic curvature of wind flow. The ridge originates in the center of an anticyclone and stretch between two low-pressure areas, and the locus of the maximum curvature is called the ridge line. This phenomenon is the opposite of a trough.
Whenever there is relative movement between a fluid and a solid surface, whether externally round a body, or internally in an enclosed passage, a boundary layer exists with viscous forces present in the layer of fluid close to the surface. Boundary layers can be either laminar or turbulent. A reasonable assessment of whether the boundary layer will be laminar or turbulent can be made by calculating the Reynolds number of the local flow conditions.
In atmospheric science, balanced flow is an idealisation of atmospheric motion. The idealisation consists in considering the behaviour of one isolated parcel of air having constant density, its motion on a horizontal plane subject to selected forces acting on it and, finally, steady-state conditions.
A point bar is a depositional feature made of alluvium that accumulates on the inside bend of streams and rivers below the slip-off slope. Point bars are found in abundance in mature or meandering streams. They are crescent-shaped and located on the inside of a stream bend, being very similar to, though often smaller than, towheads, or river islands.
Three-dimension losses and correlation in turbomachinery refers to the measurement of flow-fields in three dimensions, where measuring the loss of smoothness of flow, and resulting inefficiencies, becomes difficult, unlike two-dimensional losses where mathematical complexity is substantially less.