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The computer aided methodologies developed in the project (mesh generation, code finite element aerodynamic and acoustic software codes and graphic visualization code) have demonstrated to be an efficient numerical tool for enhanced design of fans.

The performance of the software codes has been successfully validated in a number of industrial test cases for which experimental results were obtained in the project. This has shown the capacity of the codes to accurately predict the characteristic parameters of the fans as the flow rate-pressure curve and the noise level for different operation levels.

Further work is still necessary in the full integration of the different software modules developed as well as in the necessary links with CAD systems. This does not prevent the immediate in-house exploitation of the available results by the industrial partners.

In conclusion the project has successfully concluded with results that demonstrate the feasibility of the techniques studied in an industrial environment. Work is still necessary to transform the prototype codes developed into a professional software package usable by other farm manufacturing companies and related industries.
It is proposed to develop a methodology based on: 1) new computational models for aerodynamic and noise analysis, and 2) experimental testing to enhance the existing design methods of axial and centrifugal fans for industrial, domestic and residential applications.Present methods for fans design are mostly based in "ad hoc" trial and error procedures using in-house experience and intensive aerodynamic and noise prototype testing. Typically the design of a simple domestic fan can involve the manufacturing of 4-6 different prototypes to reach an acceptable design. More specifically, the project aims to drastically reduce these design time cycles by developing efficient computational models which will allow the study of the air flow through the fan rotor and the level of noise generated in a fast and comprehensive form. In this manner the aerodynamic and acoustic properties of the fan cn be accurately simulated in the computer and investigated so that the fan airfoils are designed in such a way that all air particles are given the desired increase in energy and unavoidable losses and noise levels are kept as low as possible with the minimum prototype testing.The computer-based methodology for design of axial and centrifugal fans will involve the following RTD tasks:

1. Specification of aerodynamic and acoustic parameters required for the design of axial and centrifugal fans.

2. Development of an efficient and robust 3D Navier-Stokes finite element solver for incompressible rotating flows for computer simulation of unsteady air flow through the rotor and guide wheel of axial and centrifugal fans.

3. Extension of the aerodynamic computational model to include turbulence effects to predict noise levels in fans by correlating kinetic turbulent energy and noise.

4. Validation of the aerodynamic and noise prediction models by comparison of numerical and experimental test.

5. Development of a methodology based in computer simulation to reduce the design cycle of axial and centrifugal fans with minimum energy losses and reduction of noise effect.

It is expected that the computational models developed will enhance existing methods for design of axial and centrifugal fans. Productivity gains in the order of 40% are forecast with consequential lowering of unit costs which will reflect in a subsequent increase of world market share of european enterprises in a field where USA and eastern countries completion is strong. Although a fully operational software code is scheduled for the end of the project, the commercial development of the code with full pre and postprocessing graphic interfacing facilities will require at least 2 further years. Subsequent exploitation envisaged includes solution of inverse design problem to minimize energy losses and noise effects in axial and centrifugal fans. This will ensure appropriate technology transfer to a wide number of industrial sectors like air conditioning systems, engines, turbines, compressors, hydraulic and fuel pumps, valves, radiators, torque converters, power steering systems, ain induction and exhaust systems, mower, mufflers, etc.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Carretera Puiggerda - Km 108.7
17500 Ripoll

Participants (5)

APV Ventaxia Ltd
United Kingdom
Fleming Way
RH10 2NN Crawley
Gran Capitan,camp.norte Upc
08034 Barcelona
Paseo Espronceda 278
08204 Sabadell
Computational Dynamics Research Ltd
United Kingdom
Innovation Centre Singleton Park
SA2 8PP Swansea
Rue Des Baronnieres
01704 Beynost