High fidelity phase locked PIV measurements analysing the flow fields surrounding an oscillating piezoelectric fan

  • Donnelly B.
  • Jeffers N.
  • Nolan K.
  • Stafford J.

Piezoelectric fans have been studied extensively and are seen as a promising technology for thermal management due to their ability to provide quiet, reliable cooling with low power consumption. The fluid mechanics of an unconfined piezoelectric fan are complex which is why the majority of the literature to date confines the fan in an attempt to simplify the flow field. This paper investigates the fluid mechanics of an unconfined fan operating in its first vibration frequency mode. The piezoelectric fan used in this study measures 12.7mm x 70mm and resonates at 92.5Hz in air. A custom built experimental facility was developed to capture the fan’s flow field using phase locked Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The phase locked PIV results are presented in terms of vorticity and show the formation of a horse shoe vortex. A three dimensional λ2 criterion constructed from interpolated PIV measurements was used to identify the vortex core in the vicinity of the fan. This analysis was used to clearly identify the formation of a horse shoe vortex that turns into a hairpin vortex before it breaks up due to a combination of vortex shedding and flow along the fan blade. The results presented in this paper contribute to both the fluid dynamics and heat transfer literature concerning first mode fan oscillation.

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