Experimental Study of Cloud Formation
Cloud formation is a ubiquitous process and modeling it as a simplified experimental set-up may be an interesting and fruitful task. In this study different flow and thermal processes and fluid structures during cloud formation (especially Cumulus clouds) are investigated through an experimental setup. Vapor coming out of a 20cm×20cm water surface at temperature 60-800C interacts inside a square plexiglas tube of vertical height 60cm with dry, cold air passing from above the tube. An air conditioner is used to supply cold air at temperature 180C over the plexiglas tube. Various parameters like rate of evaporation, speed of cold air are regulated as per requirements. Turbulent plume structure is observed through a sheet of light. Optical visualization method is adopted for observing the condensed water droplets. Movies of vertical and horizontal views of plume structure are taken. Observation of this entrainment process reveals the turbulent nature of convection related to it and the gradual growth of cloud (aggregation of condensed water particles) with drop of temperature as clouds move up. Our present study is also important for prediction of type of Cumulus cloud formed for known environmental conditions.
K. Chatterjee et al., "Experimental Study of Cloud Formation", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 110-116, pp. 2570-2576, 2012