Dr. Vivek Mugundhan currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore.

Thrust Area of Research: Experimental Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence

Awards and Achievements

  • Secured University Rank 5 at the university level in the overall undergraduate degree examinations in Mechanical Engineering by Anna University, Chennai

Teaching/Research Interests

Major Subjects Taught:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Thermodynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


Vivek Mugundhan, Pugazenthi, R. S., Speirs, N. B., Samtaney, R., and Thoroddsen, S. T., “The alignment of vortical structures in turbulent flow through a contraction”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 884, 2020.[Abstract]

We investigate experimentally the turbulent flow through a two-dimensional contraction. Using a water tunnel with an active grid we generate turbulence at Taylor microscale Reynolds number Reλ∼250 which is advected through a 2.5 : 1 contraction. Volumetric and time-resolved tomographic particle image velocimetry and shake-the-box velocity measurements are used to characterize the evolution of coherent vortical structures at three streamwise locations upstream of and within the contraction. We confirm the conceptual picture of coherent large-scale vortices being stretched and aligned with the mean rate of strain. This alignment of the vortices with the tunnel centreline is stronger compared to the alignment of vorticity with the large-scale strain observed in numerical simulations of homogeneous turbulence. We judge this by the peak probability magnitudes of these alignments. This result is robust and independent of the grid-rotation protocols. On the other hand, while the pointwise vorticity vector also, to a lesser extent, aligns with the mean strain, it principally remains aligned with the intermediate eigenvector of the local instantaneous strain-rate tensor, as is known in other turbulent flows. These results persist when the distance from the grid to the entrance of the contraction is doubled, showing that modest transverse inhomogeneities do not significantly affect these vortical-orientation results.

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A. Subramanian, S. Yogesh, A., Sivanandan, H., Giri, A., Vasudevan, M., Vivek Mugundhan, and Dr. Ratna Kishore V., “Effect of airfoil and solidity on performance of small scale vertical axis wind turbine using three dimensional CFD model”, Energy, vol. 133, pp. 179-190, 2017.[Abstract]

This paper presents a study on the effect of solidity and airfoil profile on the performance of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs). A 1.1 kW commercially viable Darrieus VAWT was studied using ANSYS Fluent. Four different airfoils – NACA 0012, NACA 0015, NACA 0030 and AIR 001 – were considered in the analysis. The tip speed ratios (λ) were varied from 1 to 2.5 with an incoming wind velocity of 10 m/s. It was observed that NACA 0030 performed better at lower values of λ due to long duration of attached flow; while NACA 0012 performed better at λ > 1.8 with a wider range of λ. The shed vortex dissipates much faster for thinner airfoils than for thicker airfoils at higher values of λ. Two bladed VAWTs generated more power than the three bladed turbines. This indicated that turbines with lower solidity perform better at high λ.

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A. R. Sudhamshu, Pandey, M. Chandra, Sunil, N., Satish, N. S., Vivek Mugundhan, and Dr. Ratna Kishore V., “Numerical study of effect of pitch angle on performance characteristics of a HAWT”, Engineering Science and Technology, an International Journal, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 632–641, 2015.[Abstract]

Wind energy is one of the clean renewable forms of energy that can handle the existing global fossil fuel crisis. Although it contributes to 2.5% of the global electricity demand, with diminishing fossil fuel sources, it is important that wind energy is harnessed to a greater extent to meet the energy crisis and problem of pollution. The present work involves study of effect of pitch angle on the performance of a horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT), NREL Phase VI. The wind velocities considered for the study are 7, 15.1 and 25.1 m/s. The simulations are performed using a commercial CFD code Fluent. A frozen rotor model is used for simulation, wherein the governing equations are solved in the moving frame of reference rotating with the rotor speed. The SST k-ω turbulence model has been used. It is seen that the thrust increases with increase in wind velocity, and decreases with increase in pitch angle. For a given wind velocity, there is an optimum pitch angle where the power generated by the turbine is maximum. The observed effect of pitch angle on the power produced has been correlated to the stall characteristics of the airfoil blade

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K. P. Vasudevan Nambeesan, Parthiban, R., K Kumar, R., Athul, U. R., Vivek Mugundhan, and Dr. Thirumalini S., “Experimental study of heat transfer enhancement in automobile radiator using Al^2^O^3 water-ethylene glycol nanofluid coolants”, International Journal of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 2857-2865, 2015.[Abstract]

An experimental study on heat transfer enhancement in an automobile radiator using Al2O3/water–ethylene glycol (EG) nanofluids is carried out. Heat transfer enhancement studies can help in the design of lighter and more compact radiators for the same given load, which in turn can improve the fuel economy of the automobile. A closed loop experimental setup is designed using a commercial automobile radiator for the study. The effect of adding EG to water on the overall heat conductance (UA) is studied using two mixtures of water–EG proportions, 90:10 and 80:20 (by volume). They showed a reduction in UA by 20% and 25% respectively. Experiments have also been done using Al2O3/water–EG nanofluids. The nanofluid was prepared using an 80:20 mixture and 0.1% (vol.) of Al2O3 nanoparticles. The addition of nanoparticles enhanced the heat transfer performance by 37 %. All the experiments have been conducted at a constant coolant flow rate and coolant inlet temperatures varying from 40 oC to 70 oC. The results showed that the heat transfer performance of the radiator reduced with the addition of EG and increased with the addition of nanoparticles to the water–EG mixture. More »»


A. Gowrishankar, Vignesh, S., Sunder, P. B. Shyam, Abhinav, R., Vivek Mugundhan, and Dr. Ratna Kishore V., “Numerical Study of Natural Convection in an Enclosure with an Internal Heat Source at Higher Rayleigh Numbers”, Heat Transfer - Asian Research, vol. 44, pp. 620-640, 2015.[Abstract]

Natural convection is extensively used in cooling of large scale electrical and electronic equipments. This work involves study of flow and heat transfer characteristics in enclosures with partial openings having an internal heat source at higher Rayleigh number (Rah > 106). It involves the numerical simulation of 2D steady state natural convection in enclosures of different aspect ratios (H/W = 2 and 3) for five Rayleigh numbers (Rah = 107, 108, 109, 1010, and 1011). Two different configurations have been considered based on the number and position of vents-diagonal side (DS) and two inlets one outlet (2I1O). The time dependent nature of the flow is characterized by performing a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis of temperature and velocity at a characteristic location in the enclosure. The global parameters considered are the mass flow rate driven through the cavity by the heater and the average Nu defined over the heater surface. It is seen that with increase in Rah, flow becomes more fluctuating and moves towards chaotic regime and this transition is quicker at lower H/W. For the given configuration both the global parameters increases with increase in Rah and decrease in H/W. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Dr. Ratna Kishore V., Vivek Mugundhan, Goutham, K., Sreekanth, G. R., Dharmarajan, S., and Goel, M., “Numerical study of a buoyant plume from a multi-flue stack into a variable temperature gradient atmosphere”, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol. 22, pp. 16814–16829, 2015.[Abstract]

Air pollution is one of the major global hazards and industries have been one of its major contributors. This paper primarily focuses on analyzing the dispersion characteristics of buoyant plumes of the pollutant released from a multi-flue vertical stack into a variable temperature gradient atmosphere (α) in a constant-velocity cross wind using two stack configurations—inline and parallel. The study is conducted for different Froude numbers, Fr = 12.64, 9.55, and 8.27. The atmospheric temperature gradients considered for the study are 0, +1, +1.5, and +2 K/100 m. The numerical study is done using the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code FLUENT. The effects of stack configuration, α, and Fr on the plume characteristics are presented. It is observed that the plume rises higher and disperses over a larger area with the inline configuration due to better mixing and shielding effect. With higher α, it is seen that the plume rises initially and then descends due to variation of the buoyant force. The plume rise initially is strongly influenced by the momentum of the jet, and as it moves downstream, it is influenced by the cooling rate of the plume. Furthermore, the plume rises higher and disperses over a larger area with a decrease in Fr.

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