A fountain type ultrasonic atomizer was chosen to be a possible device to be used to assist in the alleviation of global warming. Atomization of seawater by an ultrasonic atomizer will enhance more cloud condensation nuclei; as a result, more UV radiation will be reflected back into the space. There are two crucial spray characters: droplet size and the number of droplets. The droplet size needs to be in a certain size range, so that they can stay in the atmosphere. The number of droplets needs to be as high as possible; the more cloud nuclei, the more UV radiation is reflected. The characteristics of sprays are affected by many parameters: liquid properties and the atomizer design. In this study, we characterized two different atomizers: one with a fixed frequency atomizer at 1.72 MHz and one with adjustable frequency and voltage atomizer with a calculated resonant frequency of 2.24 MHz. In addition for the fixed atomizer, different liquid media: tap water (20° C), hot water (46° C), cold water (14° C) and salt waters with different percents salinity (2% - 3.5% by volume), were studied. A Phase Doppler Anemometer was used to measure the characteristics of sprays: droplet velocity, droplet size and number of droplets in a required size range. It was found that the droplet velocity is barely affected by the liquid properties and liquid depth except for the hot water. The relatively high temperature liquid appears to alter the characteristics of the piezo disk; in addition, the inconsistent temperature could vary the characteristics of the spray. The droplet size is strongly dependent on liquid properties and frequency of vibration. The number of droplets is obviously affected by liquid properties and atomizer designs; there is not yet a known correlation between the number of droplets and other parameters. A theoretical study was undertaken in order to compare predicted acoustic properties of acoustic waves with the measured number of droplets generated. The mathematical model was constructed based on applying boundary conditions to a general 2- Dimensional wave equation in cylindrical coordinates. The predicted results satisfy the boundary conditions very well. Since we deal with high frequency acoustic waves, the number of wave modes used in the prediction is significant. It is important to be ensure that all the cut-on wave modes are included otherwise the predicted results will not be very accurate. The more modes that are included, the more computer storage is required; therefore, the number of modes need to be enough to obtain accurate result but not too many to be over the limit of computer storage. The high number of modes used also decreases computer speed, increasing the running time. The mathematical model was used to predict acoustic properties. It was found that the predicted maximum acoustic pressure inside the central small region, where the disk is located, has the best correlation with the number of droplets for all liquid media and all operating conditions. The mathematical model can only predict which operating condition and atomizer design will provide the maximum acoustic pressure. As a result, we can optimize the fountain type ultrasonic atomizer in order to obtain the best result, suiting each application applied. If the geometry is changed, the model is also required to be re-written so that it will predict accurate results.
|Date of Award
|31 Dec 2011
- The University of Manchester
|Arthur Watkins (Supervisor) & Dennis Cooper (Supervisor)