Operation and sound power characteristics of cooling fans in surrounding structures

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    In order to maintain proper operation, most machinery requires a certain amount of cooling. Cooling is normally provided by fans, which are dimensioned to fulfil the cooling requirements. In some cases the fan arrangement generates excessive noise even compared to the machine itself. By adequate design it is possible to reduce the noise generated by the fan in its application. The design process consists of the selection of the fan impeller and design of the casing including the surrounding structures of the fan. These choices have an influence on the system resistance, performance and sound power characters of the cooling arrangement. A diagram of factors affecting fan noise in cooling applications is presented in the picture. In this paper the results of research work related to the means of designing a low noise cooling fan arrangement are presented. The study includes axial fans of several diameter and blade angle combinations, two different axial fan designs and radial fans. All the fans have been selected to suit the same cooling requirements. The effects of surrounding structure alternatives are also reviewed. For each fan design the effects of performance and sound power have been measured simultaneously. A mock up of an induction machine together with an air supply system was used as a test environment for the arrangement. The mock up provided a versatile test environment to study a large number of design parameters. The air supply system enabled to test the fans at several operation points and define the fan characteristics regarding the pressure rise and sound power as a function of volume flow of the cooling system. The results are presented using dimensionless performance and the specific sound power level curves of the fans. The 1/3-octave band frequency spectra are presented for various operation points and fan types in order to evaluate the performance of the fan in the application. Significant differences in the performance and sound power of the system can be observed between various fan types and surrounding structure parameters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFan Noise 2003
    PublisherCentre Technique des Industries Mécaniques (CETIM)
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event2nd International Symposium Fan Noise 2003 - Senlis, France
    Duration: 23 Sept 200325 Sept 2003


    Conference2nd International Symposium Fan Noise 2003


    • induction machine
    • sound power
    • noise
    • cooling fan


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