A simplified model is established to estimate the jet exit density variation of a plasma synthetic jet actuator (PSJA) driven by a capacitive arc discharge. This model, in conjunction with phase-locked planar particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) measurements, enables the calculation of jet mechanical energy for different operating conditions. Discharge energy is directly calculated based on waveforms of applied voltage and discharge current. The ratio of jet mechanical energy to discharge energy provides the absolute electro-mechanical efficiency. Results indicate that PSJA is characterized by a rather low electro-mechanical efficiency in the order of 0.1%, while the maximum observed value under tested conditions is 0.22%. Electro-mechanical efficiency improves significantly with nondimensional energy deposition, and appears largely independent of jet exit diameter.
- synthetic jet