Performance enhancement of downwind sails due to leading edge flapping: A wind tunnel investigation
TypeArticles dans des revues avec comité de lecture
This work presents a wind tunnel experimental study on the effect of the leading edge flapping on the aerodynamic performance of a spinnaker. Four J80-class spinnaker models, combining two different assembling structures (panel layout) and two different sail materials are tested at various wind speeds and wind angles in a wind tunnel. Results show that, for the wind angle range the spinnaker is designed for, the sustained periodic flapping of the sail leading edge has a significant benefit on performance, with 10% increase in drive force. In these model-scale tests, the sail structural properties did not show significant differences in performance, but affect the point where flapping sets in: a model with a stiffer material and a cross-cut panel layout starts flapping for a longer sheet length, compared to a lighter cloth and a tri-radial layout. Finally, it is shown that the nondimensional flapping frequency is rather constant 0.4 in the design range of wind angle, but it varies with the wind speed and sail structural properties on a smaller wind angle where the spinnaker is more stretched.
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