Transitional and Turbulent Flow Modeling in a Tesla Valve
Thompson, S.M., Jamal, T., Paudel, B. J., & Walters, K. (2013). Transitional and Turbulent Flow Modeling in a Tesla Valve. ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition. San Diego, CA: ASME. 7B, V07BT08A027. DOI:10.1115/IMECE2013-65526.
A Tesla valve is a fluidic dioide that may be used in a variety of mini/micro channel applications for passive flow rectification and/or control. The valve’s effectiveness is quantified by the diodicity, which is primarily governed by the incoming flow speed, its design and direction-dependent minor losses throughout its structure during forward and reverse flows. It has been previously shown that the Reynolds number at the valve inlet is not representative of the entire flow regime throughout the Tesla structure. Therefore, pure-laminar solving methods are not necessarily accurate. Local flow instabilities exist and exhibit both transitional and turbulent characteristics. Therefore, the current investigation seeks to identify a suitable RANS-based flow modeling approach to predict Tesla valve diodicity via three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for inlet Reynolds numbers up to Re = 2,000. Using ANSYS FLUENT (v. 14), a variety of models were employed, including: the Realizable k-ε, k-kL-ω and SST k-ω models. All numerical simulations were validated against available experimental data obtained from an identically-shaped Tesla valve structure. It was found that the k-ε model drastically under-predicts experimental data for the entire range of Reynolds numbers investigated and cannot accurately model the Tesla valve flow. The k-kL-ω and SST k-ω models approach the experimentally-measured diodicity better than regular 2D CFD. The k-kL-ω demonstrates exceptional agreement with experimental data for Reynolds numbers up to approximately 1,500. However, both the k-kL-ω and k-ω SST models over-predict experimental data for Re = 2,000.