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Cross Flow Fan – Testing Vibration and Aerodynamics with CFD

cross flow fan simulation

The cross flow fan (also called tangential fan) is used extensively in the HVAC industry, as well as in electronics. Producing an even laminar airflow and allowing horizontal or vertical mounting, a cross flow fan prevents the overheating of components. This type of fan is ideal for limited spaces, due to its long, rectangular form.

Besides the small size, the cross flow fan has more advantages, including high relative efficiency (especially for small pressure and placement), controllable characteristics, very low load when throttled, low speed and noise. [1]

Optimizing a Cross Flow Fan with CFD Analysis

Early in the design process, fans can be virtually tested with CFD to make sure the highest efficiency and performance and the lowest noise are achieved. A simulation software can also help in performing vibration analyses and predicting the aerodynamics of the fan, everything long before creating a physical prototype.

SimScale’s CFD solution allows fan designers to test different designs in parallel, 100% in the browser, giving flexibility, collaboration options and access to high computing power — up to 32 cores —from a normal PC or laptop. This way they can make optimization decisions based on the simulations’ results and deliver the best possible design.

Take a look at the results of this simulation, which focused on analyzing a cross flow fan to study its aerodynamics and vibration performance.

The design objective was to obtain maximum flow across the fan, while maintaining lowest possible levels of vibration. Hence it was important for the designer to study and optimize the performance characteristics early in the design stage to avoid substantial costs for building physical prototypes.

Fan Simulation Results

The outcome of this CFD analysis visualizes the flow field using contour plots. It aims at predicting the maximum air flow for a specific rotation speed of the fan.

The forces which act on the blades were converted to average load, in order to define them as the boundary condition for vibration analysis and find the maximum displacements expected due to vibration.

cross flow fan

cross flow simulation

cross flow analysis results


Sources:

[1] http://www.consortepl.com/crossflow-fans/crossflow-fan-characteristics/

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