Irrigation & Drainage Systems Engineering

ISSN: 2168-9768

Open Access

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Picture of Water Droplet Evaporation in Air


Giulio Lorenzini, Alessandra Conti and Daniele De Wrachien

The study of droplet evaporation is applied to many and varied fields: the present approach is oriented to sprinkler irrigation. This paper examines a parametric study on the evaporation in air of a single droplet, with the aim of highlighting the influence of each parameter alone on the evaporative process. Four parameters are investigated:air temperature, droplet initial velocity, droplet initial diameter, diffusion coefficient of vapour in air. Droplet evaporation is studied through numerical-CFD simulation employing STAR-CCM+ version 5.04.012 software, which treats the evaporative phenomenon hypothesizing quasi-steady conditions, given the interface low liquid-gas vapour concentration gradients. The results are provided as time- and space-dependent in-percentage evaporation rates, the latter ones after defining a specific distance, from the injection point, to be covered. Apart from a qualitatively predictable effect of air temperature and diffusion coefficient of vapour in air, droplet initial velocity and above all droplet initial diameter prove not at all to be negligible when managing an irrigation process, the latter being inversely proportional to droplet mass evaporation. These results prove that droplet evaporation is a complicate fluid dynamic effect and cannot be simply regarded as a diffusive process. The final discussion provides some practical remarks useful to irrigation operators.


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