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Shorter Fan Design Time

The Flakt Woods Group, a well-known manufacturer of large industrial fans, had to deliver to a major defense organization fans to be used in many different applications with very stringent and widely varying technical specifications and requirements. In order to meet the delivery schedule, they outsourced the design of one of the more challenging fans to PCA Engineers, engineering consultants specializing in turbomachinery design.

The critical requirement was that the fan should have nearly flat operating characteristics, so that delivery pressure does not rise significantly as the volume flow falls. Normally, PCA would have begun by looking for a similar design that we had done in the past, but they had never produced anything similar to this one. So they selected C4 airfoils as a starting point based on our client’s preference and their previous experience. PCA used an in-house program,Vista-AC Blade, to generate the initial profile curves, which they imported into CFX-BladeGen to refine the edges of the rotor and stator, set up clearances and evaluate the interaction with the annulus. Once PCA had completed an initial design that looked good, they used CFX-TurboGrid to generate a mesh of the blade passages and CFX-TASCflow to analyze the performance of the initial design. PCA used the build case option in CFX-TASCflow to automatically generate a two-stage geometry and organize the meshes for each stage.

PCA was able to design the fan in only one month, where it would have taken at least three monthsusing the traditional build and test approach.