The majority of scientific and industrial electrical spray applications make use of sprays that contain a range of drop diameters. Indirect evidence suggests the mean drop diameter and the mean drop charge level are usually correlated. In addition, within each drop diameter class there is every reason to suspect a distribution of charge levels exist for a particular drop diameter class. This paper presents an experimental method that uses the joint PDF of drop velocity and diameter, obtained from phase Doppler anemometry measurements, and directly obtained spatially resolved distributions of the mass and charge flux to obtain a drop diameter and charge frequency distribution. The method is demonstrated using several data-sets obtained from experimental measurements of steady poly-disperse sprays of an electrically insulating liquid produced with the charge injection technique. The space charge repulsion in the spray plume produces a hollow cone spray structure. In addition an approximate self-similarity is observed, with the maximum radial mass and charge flow occurring at r/d ~ 200. The charge flux profile is slightly offset from the mass flux profile, and this gives direct evidence that the spray specific charge increases from approximately 20% of the bulk mean spray specific charge on the spray axis to approximately 200% of the bulk mean specific charge in the periphery of the spray. The results from the drop charge estimation model suggest a complex picture of the correlation between drop charge and drop diameter, with spray specific charge, injection velocity and orifice diameter all contributing to the shape of the drop diameter–charge distribution. Mean drop charge as a function of the Rayleigh limit is approximately 0.2, and is invariant with drop diameter and also across the spray cases tested.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 17, 2009
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