Originally the company evaluated several conventional fan design approaches, including all the available commercial codes based on a direct design approach. The evaluation criteria included computer system requirements and associated hardware costs, the number of engineers needed to be involved in the design process and the learning curve to produce new designs with a high level of confidence. ADT’s TURBOdesign1 software came out the winner in part because it did not require special hardware and, after just three weeks of initial training, engineers were able to tackle their first fan design case.
The design team used TURBOdesign1’s 3D Inverse Design code to introduce these new features and achieve rotor blade loading that produced the required flow and pressure rise at the lowest shaft power with a sufficient stall margin.
After completing and testing of two different axial fan designs, the company engineers became more confident that their next designs would be successful.
The inverse design code, used together with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, satisfied all of the new design objectives. The company was able to eliminate the costs of using outside consultants and reduce the lead time for new turbo-machinery designs.
“We found ourselves using all the features implemented in the TURBOdesign1 code,” said the company’s aerodynamics engineer. “In addition to specifying meridional geometry and blade loading, having the ability to specify custom blades thickness, stacking location and stacking profiles was very useful in achieving good aerodynamic designs.”
TURBOdesign1 output data was exported to a spreadsheet and additional design parameters, like diffusion factor for axial fans, were evaluated during the design procedure. This gave the designers an even higher level of confidence early in a design process, before taking it to CFD for evaluation and prototype construction and testing.