The effect of porosity on the drag of cylinders

K. Steiros, K. Kokmanian, N. Bempedelis, M. Hultmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


It is well known that perforation of a flat plate reduces its drag when exposed to a flow. However, studies have shown an opposite effect in the case of cylinders. Such a counterintuitive result can have significant consequences on the momentum modelling often used for wind turbine performance predictions, where increased porosity is intrinsically linked to lower drag. Here, a study of the drag of various types of porous cylinders, bars and plates under steady laminar inflow is presented. It is shown that, for most cases, the drag decreases with increased porosity. Only special types of perforations can increase the drag on both cylinders and bars, either by enhancing the effect of the rear half of the models or by organizing the wake structures. These rare occurrences are not relevant to wind turbine modelling, which indicates that current momentum models exhibit the qualitatively correct behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number606
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Wakes


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