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Compact Test Rig Design for Fans and Blowers

[+] Author Affiliations
Philipp Epple

University of Applied Sciences, Coburg, Germany

Matthias Semel, Bettina Willinger, Antonio Delgado

Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen, Germany

Paper No. IMECE2014-38972, pp. V007T09A087; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 7: Fluids Engineering Systems and Technologies
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4954-5
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


In order to develop high efficiency fans and blowers the design methods are being improved continuously. The same is valid for the modern CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) programs, which are used in the design process in order to validate the designs. However, at the end of the development process measurements at test rigs are needed in order to verify the final design. CFD is substituting to some extend EFD (Experimental Fluid Dynamics), but still EFD is the final way to evaluate a design.

Usually the universities and the industry have some test rig where measurements are done. These test rigs in general are unique and built according to a corresponding standard. However, these standards, as for example the German DIN 24 163 [1] or the European DIN EN ISO 5801 [2] prescribe only the main proportions of such test rigs while several important features are not described in detail. In particular the aerodynamic theory behind the standard is very often omitted. For example, the measurement of the pressure characteristic of a fan is performed at a pressure tab at the test chamber wall and not at the fan itself. How to assure that the pressure measured at the wall tab corresponds to the fan pressure?

In this work the relevant theory behind the design of test rigs was worked out in detail for the relevant test rig features where the standards do not explain the fluid mechanical aspects. On this basis pressure and suction side test rigs were designed and completely simulated with a commercial CFD program, Ansys CFX.

The goal was to develop compact test rigs according to the European DIN EN ISO 5801 [2] standard. It is shown in this work how the size of the test chamber influences the measuring results. Furthermore an in detail CFD study of a series of flow measurement devices, as inlet and Venturi nozzles, was performed. In such a way it was possible to show the influence of the dimensions of these devices on the accuracy of the measurements.

Finally two test rigs were built, one for suction side and the other one for pressure side measurements. Compared to other test rigs in this category in use in the industry in Germany it was possible to reduce the size of these test rigs by a factor of about two complying with the measurement uncertainty of the DIN EN ISO 5801 standard.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Design , Fans



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