Parametric Analysis of a Large-scale Cycloidal Rotor in Hovering Conditions
Journal article, 2017
In this work, four key design parameters of cycloidal rotors, namely the airfoil section; the number of blades; the chord-to-radius ratio; and the pitching axis location, are addressed. The four parameters, which have a strong effect on the rotor aerodynamic efficiency are analyzed with an analytical model and a numerical approach. The numerical method is based on a finite-volume discretization of two-dimensional Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations on a multiple sliding mesh, are proposed and validated against experimental data. A parametric analysis is then carried out considering a large-scale cyclogyro, suitable for payloads above 100 kg, in hovering conditions. Results demonstrate that the airfoil thickness significantly affects the rotor performance; such a result is partly in contrast with previous findings for small- and micro-scale configurations. Moreover, it will be shown that increasing the number of blades could result in a decrease of the rotor efficiency. The effect of chord-to-radius will demonstrate that values of around 0.5 result in higher efficiency. Finally it is found out that for these large systems, in contrast with micro-scale cyclogyros, the generated thrust increases as the pitching axis is located away from the leading edge, up to 35% of chord length. Further the shortcomings of using simplified analytical tools in the prediction of thrust and power in non-ideal flow conditions will be highlighted and discussed.