A method to quantify the efficiency of the first two operational stages of a nanosecond dielectric barrier discharge (ns-DBD) plasma actuator is proposed. The method is based on the independent measurements of the energy of electrical pulses and the useful part of the energy which heats up the gas in the discharge region. Energy input is calculated via a back current shunt technique as the difference between the energy given and the energy reflected back. The ratio of the difference of the latter two quantities and the energy input gives the electrical efficiency (η E) of a ns-DBD. The extent of the energy deposited is estimated via Schlieren visualizations and infrared thermography measurements. Then, the ideal power flux obtained if all the inputted energy was converted into heat is calculated. Transient surface temperature was measured via infrared thermography and used to solve a 1D inverse heat transfer problem in a direction normal to the surface. It gives as output the actual power flux. The estimated ratio between the two power fluxes represents a quantification of the mechanical fluid efficiency (η FM) of a ns-DBD plasma actuator. Results show an inverse proportionality between η E, and η FM, and the thickness of the barrier. The efficiency of the first two operational stages of a ns-DBD is further defined as η = η E centerdot η FM.
- plasma actuator