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76

THE ANNALS OF UNIVERSITY DUNREA DE JOS OF GALAI


FASCICLE VIII, 2002, ISSN 1221-4590
TRIBOLOGY

ACTIVE NOISE CONTROL of AXIAL FANS


Barbu Dragan1, Florin Taraboanta1
Technical University Gh. Asachi Iasi, Romania,bdragan@mec.tuiasi.ro

ABSTRACT
In this paper, an active control for globally reducing noise radiated by small
axial flow fans, is presented. Principle and analysis of feedback active noise control are
presented for a single-channel case The analysis showed that feedback active noise
control can be formulated as an adaptive predictor. Computer simulation of feedback
active noise control system performance is based on error paths measured from an
experimental set-up. The results of these experiments clearly demonstrate that blade
passage tones can be reduced with about 10dB using active noise control.

KEYWORDS: Active, Noise, Control, Axial, Fans


1. INTRODUCTION
Axial coolers represent frequently noise sources
for electronic systems. The aerodynamic noise
generated by coolers has two main components :
- rotation noise ;
-turbulence noise.
The aerodynamic noise constituent is generated
by air impulses blades passing through a certain
location; frequency spectrum has discrete peaks at
fundamental frequency fr=(n.z)/60 and its harmonics,
where z represents number of blades and n is
rotational speed in rpm.
The aerodynamic whirl noise constituent is
produced by the air throbs that appear at the airflow
across fixed obstacles or mobile blades, having an
overall level with 20-30 dB lower than overall
rotational components, in 100 600 Hz frequency
domain. In many electronic systems it is very difficult
to do a passive acoustical alternation in frequency
domain mentioned above and, to these reasons , the
research from technical literature looking for active
systems improving. This is possible because, at low
frequencies, acoustic energy of axial fans spread by
plain waves. Now, active noise control is able to be
applied having in mind new software and hardware
technologies of digital signal processing (D.S.P.).

2.THE ESTIMATION of AXIAL FANS


ACOUSTICAL RADIATION
Acoustical attenuation made by active control
systems of noise generated by a machine, depends by

acoustical field type.One way to characterize the


acoustical field is to establish the supply direction
model.The main reason of an activ noise control
system is to decrease acoustical energy generated by
coolers in far field.
For the calculus of the total sound power level
Lp, of the aerodynamic noise produced by the axial
flow fans, there was settled some equations who has
the maximal error of 10 dB:
p
Q
L p = L p 0 + 10 lg
+ 20 lg
(1)
p 0
Q0
where Lp is the sound power level, dB, Q0 = 1 m3/s
and p0 = 1 Pa reference values, Lp0 is specific sound
power or standard sound power level, dB, having
reference to the air power of the fan, Q is the flow
rate, m3/s, and p a total pressure rise, Pa.
The higher precision estimation of the wide
band sound power level (Lw) produced by the axial
flow fans at low pressure, can be made starting from
the
aerodynamics
and
acoustics
theory:
Lw = k w + 10 lg(2118.88Q ) + 20 lg(0.0040p s )
................................................................................ (2)
where airflow Q is in cubic meters per second and
static pressure rise (ps ) is in pascals. In Eq (2) the
static pressure rise is related to the total pressure rise
(pt) by p s = pt (1 2 )v a2 . The nominal axial

[ (

velocity component is v a Q d 2 4

)] in mps and

[(1 2)v ] is the dynamic pressure associated with


2
a

the airflow. Other variables are fan diameter d (in


meters), fluid density (in kilograms per cubic

THE ANNALS OF UNIVERSITY DUNREA DE JOS OF GALAI


FASCICLE VIII, 2002, ISSN 1221-4590
TRIBOLOGY

meter) and the specific wideband sound power level


for
in decibels (reference= 1 pW ) k W 72D
axial flow fans, where specific fan diameter is
(p )14
t
Ds =
(3)
d .
1
Q 2

The peaks frequency from the rotational noise


frequency spectrum, generated on axial flow fans, can
be computed by relation:
i z n
[Hz]
fi =
(4)
60
where is a coefficient who depends on running
conditions (speed and loading), i is the number of
harmonics, z is the number of rotor blades and n is the
rotational speed in rpm.

77

4.ACTIVE NOISE CONTROL SYSTEM

0.8

Experimental research is focused to establish


active control system by an acoustic field generated
with 180o phase shift comparatively with fan acoustic
field. Monitoring of these two fields interfering is
done by a microphone placed at half distance between
sources. The block diagram of active control system
is shown in figure 4.

3.THE EXPERIMENTAL
DETERMINATION of AXIAL FAN
ACOUSTICAL RADIATION
The efficiency of active noise control system
depends by acoustic field behaviour. To establish
characteristics of acoustical field emitted by tested
axial fan, there are due some measurements of
acoustic field direction. For these reasons it is used a
measurement and analysis channel, so is shown in
figure 1.
To detect acoustic field direction, microphone is
fixed and fan is rotated step by step with 5o,
measuring minimum and maximum acoustic pressure
levels for 5 seconds of every fan position in every 1/3
octave. In figure 2 and 3 are shown experimental
results for rotational frequencies f1 = 225 Hz and
wide band noise, respectively.
From these diagrams result that rotational noise
has maximum amplitude between 0-50o and wide
band noise is not directed. So, it is clear that
rotational noise can be attenuated using only one
supply with 180o noise shift phase. In time domain,
the fan noise has a 5 dB variation for 5 seconds.

Fig.2 Axial flow fan maximum/minimum directivity


measured broad band component (225 Hz).

Fig. 3 Axial flow fan maximum/minimum directly


measured wide band noise.

Fig.1 Experimental set-up for noise measurement and analysis

78

THE ANNALS OF UNIVERSITY DUNREA DE JOS OF GALAI


FASCICLE VIII, 2002, ISSN 1221-4590
TRIBOLOGY

Fig.4 Sketch of experimental set-up

Fig. 5 Block diagram of experimental system.

5. COMPUTER SIMULATION
To test low frequency noise active control
system, are realised some experimental and
simulation tests with block diagram shown in figure
5.
Input noise x(n) is measured by microphone M1
near noise supply and noise error is measured by
microphone M2.Adaptiv filter AF input signal from
M1 is a reference one to generate secondary signal
(antinoise).
The error measured by M2 is used to adjust
adaptive filter coefficients to minimise mean square
error.

6. PREDICTION ALGORITHM FOR


PRIMARY NOISE SIGNAL
The signal x (n ) from the microphone is not
available because it is combined with the anti-noise
signal y (n ) . If the error-path transfer function can be
accurately measured in advance and if the matrix
representation can be inverted, except for a
propagation delay between the loudspeaker and the
microphone, then the essential problem becomes one
of predicting the primary noise signal d (n ) .
The basic requirement of the primary-noisesignal prediction algorithm is to estimate the primary

79

THE ANNALS OF UNIVERSITY DUNREA DE JOS OF GALAI


FASCICLE VIII, 2002, ISSN 1221-4590
TRIBOLOGY

noise signal d (n ) and the use the prediction as e

reference input for the adaptive filter W (z ) . After


taking the z-transform of the signals we have:
D(z ) = E (z ) H e (z ) Y (z )
(5)

L(dB)

If the transfer function of the error path H e (z ) is


approximated by C (z ) , i.e., C (z ) H e (z ) , is
obtained:
(6)
D(z ) = E (z ) C (z ) Y (z )

Frequency (H)

The primary signal x (n ) is estimated from:

x(n ) = e(n )

M 1

ci y (n i )

Fig. 7 Frequency spectrum of fan noise


L(dB)

(7)

i =0
Here ci = 0,1,....,M-1 are the coefficients of the error-

path estimation filter C (z ) and M is the order of the

finite impulse-response (FIR) filter C (z ) , which

yields the modified primary noise signal x(n ) .

Frequency (Hz)
Fig. 8 Normalised noise spectrum

8. CONCLUSIONS
Fig.6 Block diagram of equivalent digital
representation of system from fig. 5
In fig 6 is shown block diagram of equivalent
digital representation of system noise control where:
v(n ) = signal from the noise source;

Experimental
research
demonstrate
the
efficiency of active noise control system to reduce
fundamental spectral component of rotational noise
and its harmonics a single noise source.
Is not yet clear if active control technique can
be used to reject wide band noise generated by fans.

d (n ) = signal from error-sensing microphone;

REFERENCES

e(n ) = residual noise signal from the microphone;

y (n ) = anti-noise signal from the feedback noise


control system;
(
)
P z = representation of the main acoustical path
from noise source to microphone;
W (z ) = transfer function of adaptive digital filter;
H e (z ) = representation of the error signal path;

7. ACTIVE CONTROL SYSTEM


TEST
In figure 7 is shown frequency spectrum of fan
noise, where can be seen rotational noise spectral
component (225 Hz), its level is about 15 dB bigger
than random spectral components of whirl noise.
In figure 8 is shown normalised noise spectrum
when active control system is running. So, attenuation
is bigger that 10 dB for fundamental spectral
component of rotational noise and than 7 dB for the
second component. In the same time, overall noise
level decrease from 62 dB(A) to 60 dB(A).

1.

Akaike, S., Kikuyama, K., Kitada, M., Kuwayama, K.,


1996,Study of Rotational Noise Reduction for Axial Flow Fan,
JSME International Journal, series B, vol. 39, no. 3, 590-596,.

2.

udina, M., 1992,Noise Generated by a Vane-Axial fan with


Inlet Guide Vanes, Noise Control Eng. J., 21-30.

3.

udina, M., 2000,Noise Generation by Rotating Stall and


Surge in Vane-Axial Fans, Noise Control Eng. J, 77-84.

4.

Quinlan, D.,A., 1992, Application of Active Control to Axial


Flow Fans, Noise Control Eng. J, 95-101.

5.

Wright,T., 1995,The Search for Simple Models to Predict


Fan Performance and Noise, Noise Control Eng. J, 43 (4), 8589.

6.

Neise, W., Holste, F., Miranda, L.,Hermann, M.,


1995,Free-field Sound Power Levels of Open-Inlet / OpenOutlet Fans and Comparison with in-Duct Measurements,
Noise Control Eng. J, 43 (4), 129-143.

7.

Kuo, S., Wang, M., Chen, K.,1992,Active noise control


system with parallel on-line path modeling algorithm,
Noise Control Eng. J,119 127.

8.

Kuo, S. M., Vijayau, D., 1994, Adaptive Algorithms and


Experimental Verification of feedback Active Noise Control
System, Noise Control Eng. J, 42(2), 37 46