“Prediction of the aerodynamic noise generated by a centrifugal fan: numerical results and experimental validation”
Centrifugal fans are widely used in several applications and, in some cases, the noise generated by these machines has become a serious problem. Usually, the centrifugal fan noise is dominated by tones at the blade passage frequency and its higher harmonics. This is a consequence of the strong interaction between the flow discharged from the impeller and the volute tongue. The purpose of this study is to develop a prediction method for the noise generated by a centrifugal fan. A three-dimensional numerical simulation of the complete unsteady flow on the whole impeller-volute configuration has been carried out using the computational fluid dynamics code FLUENT®. The unsteady forces applied by the fan blades to the fluid are obtained from the data provided by the simulation. The Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings model extension of Lighthill’s analogy predicts the aerodynamic noise generated by the centrifugal fan from these unsteady forces. Also, the noise generated by the fan has been measured experimentally, and the experimental results have been compared to the numerical results in order to validate the aerodynamic noise prediction methodology. A good agreement has been found between the numerical and the experimental results.
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