Simulation of the Effects of Wind on the Dragon Kayakers in Competition

Long, Dean (2020) Simulation of the Effects of Wind on the Dragon Kayakers in Competition. [USQ Project]

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This project applies an understanding of fluid mechanics to study the effects of wind on kayakers in competition using computational fluid dynamic software. A multiphase model was created on ANSYS Fluent to simulate the flow conditions and find the drag outputs. The model includes two inlets, to allow for separate air and water velocities, and uses a volume of fluid multiphase system with an SSTk−ωturbulence model. Kayaker velocities from 1-7m/s are combined with relative head winds from 1-10m/s to determine the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic drag due to windy conditions. The wind stress on the water’s surface is also simulated through small waves included in the boundary conditions. The results found an exponential increase of drag of approximately DF= 2.15~V2−6.47~V+ 5.43 as a function of velocity in static air conditions. For a kayaker at racing pace facing a maximum 10m/s headwind, the results show a drag increase of approximately5%, decreasing as kayak velocity increased. The largest components of drag for a kayaker are the hydrodynamic skin friction and wave drag, hence the low air drag percentage was expected relative to the dominant hydrodynamic drag. The drag due to small waves on the water’s surface was found to range from 5-6% at race pace, and was considered to have the larger effect on competitors, as wind speeds from 8-10m/s are very high and unlikely during competition. The model was used to compare the drag of common racing strategies, and findings suggests that an even-pacing requires less energy than the commonplace ‘reverse J’ strategy. There were some limitations to the research project involving software and time constraints, and further work recommendations are made in the report which suggest refinements and future applications of the model.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew; Saleh, Khalid
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2021 00:01
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:11

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