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CFD Methodology for the Optimization of a Centrifugal Fan with Backward Inclined Blades Using OpenFOAM®

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This research develops numerical models through computational tools to evaluate the centrifugal fan with backward inclined blades performance in space and time. This study has been carried out in order to reduce costs, resources, and time consumption commonly employed by traditional design studies in science and engineering. OpenFOAM has been employed to compute the model of the airflow and analyze the energy transfer between flow particles and centrifugal fan blades under real working conditions by means of turbulence models and mathematical algorithms based on advanced theories of thermal and fluids mechanics sciences. A multiple reference frame motion approach is computed with MRFsimpleFOAM solver to mitigate computational resources in the analysis of centrifugal forces and velocity components of the airflow displaced in the rotor-stator interaction zone. Tetrahedral cells have been computed to discretize the airflow control volume, where a partial differential equations system is solved. This method has been supported through a mesh independence study performed to improve the quality of the numerical model and perform the approximation of the airflow behavior to the real working conditions of the industrial centrifugal fan. Output data of the turbulence model have been compared with the experimental curve of the instrumented test bench acquired with LabVIEW software. Results have showed a good agreement between the numerical model and the experimental measurements. The length impeller blade parameter has been selected to develop a numerical optimization and to improve the industrial centrifugal fan performance in a virtual environment.
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Centrifugal Fan; CFD; Turbulence Model; Optimization; OpenFOAM®

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