Ionic wind generation by a wire-cylinder-plate corona discharge in air at atmospheric pressure

Dorian F. Colas, Antoine Ferret, David Z. Pai, Deanna A. Lacoste, Christophe O. Laux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

A wire-cylinder-plate electrode configuration is presented to generate ionic wind with a dc corona discharge in air at atmospheric pressure. The objective of the work is to maximize the power supplied to the flow in order to increase acceleration while avoiding breakdown. Thus, the proposed experimental setup addresses the problem of decoupling the mechanism of ion generation from that of ion acceleration. Using a wire-plate configuration as a reference, we have focused on improving the topography of the electric field to (1) separate the ionization and acceleration zones in space, and (2) guide the trajectory of charged particles as parallel to the median axis as possible. In the proposed wire-cylinder-plate setup, a dc corona discharge is generated in the space between a wire and two cylinders. The ions produced by the corona then drift past the cylinders and into a channel between two plates, where they undergo acceleration. To maximize the ionic wind it is found that the geometric configuration must be as compact as possible and that the voltage applied must be right below breakdown. Experimentally, the optimized wire-plate reference setup provides a maximum flow velocity of 8 m s-1, a flow rate per unit electrode length of 0.034 m2 s-1, and a thrust per unit electrode length of 0.24 N m-1. The wire-cylinder-plate configuration provides a maximum flow velocity of 10 m s-1, a flow rate per unit electrode length of 0.041 m2 s-1, and a thrust per unit electrode length of 0.35 N m-1. This 46% increase in thrust is obtained by increasing the electric power per unit electrode length by only 16% (from 175 to 210 W m-1), which confirms the gain in efficiency obtained with the decoupled system. In comparison with a simple wire-wire corona configuration, the wire-cylinder-plate configuration increases the ionic wind velocity by up to a factor of 3, and the thrust by an order of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103306
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume108
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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