Initech Computers Blacksburg, VA March 14, 2012 To: From: CC: Subject: 1.

Summary The PWM and fan speed measuring capabilities of the LabVIEW VI were found to be very reliable. A linearly increasing relationship to the duty cycle was found for the fan pressure, fan speed and fan power. The experimentally determined max air flow rate of .17 m3/min was nowhere near the expected flow rate of .7 m3/min depicted in the manufacturers curves. A max fan pressure of 1.6 mm was also determined experimentally. As compared to the manufacturers given max fan pressure of 2.1 mm which again demonstrates that the given curves are not accurate enough to rely upon. 2. Results and discussion The following sections present verification of the control and measurement software, measurements of the fan speed, flow rate, and a brief dimensional analysis. The LabVIEW VI turned out to be very accurate for the desired measurements. The manufacturer’s curves for air flow and pressure were found to be very inaccurate and dimensional analysis showed a relatively constant pressure rise obeying classical fan laws. 2.1 Verification of the pulse width modulation control & measurement software In order to determine whether the PWM function was working properly, an oscilloscope was connected to the system with the scale set to 10 ⁄ . Using the software, the duty cycle was set to 50% and it was noted that the trace of the signal was high for half the time. With a duty cycle of 75% the signal produced was high for ¾ of the time, demonstrating that the software was capable of producing the desired pulse width. Another look at the trace produced indicated that there were 2.5 high periods for every ten divisions. The modulation frequency must therefore be the intended 25 kHz as shown in equation 1.
equation 1

Osborne Reynolds, Manager Edwin Guerra. Professor Huxtable, Patrick Kite Computer fan characteristics brushless DC axial fan

At this point the fan was connected to the myDAQ/LabVIEW system and powered using a 12 V source. In order to determine if the rpm of the fan was being measured correctly, a time and frequency domain plot of the fan output was generated with the software. The number of peaks in of a second on the time domain plot showed that the frequency was 70 Hz for a 50% duty cycle. This is consistent with the rpm reading of 2130 using the relationship presented in equation 2.
equation 2

1

After having verified the LabVIEW VI was working properly. Pressure Vs.000 10. The Fan speed and power consumed follow similar linear trends as shown in figure 3 and 4.000 0. the frequency plot yields a peak at 70 Hz. a linear voltagepressure calibration was found. 2. Pressure rises linearly with increasing duty cycle.000 2.62 mm and corresponding voltage range of 110V.000 8.000 12.800 0.2 Relationship between fan speed and pressure For the transducer pressure range of 0 to 7.200 0.400 0.8467x . A second peak was present at 60 Hz with corresponds to the electrical noise introduced by powering the fan.000 Transducer voltage Figure 1: By plotting the range of voltages and pressures possible from the tranducer. Linear voltage pressure relationship 10. Voltage readings for specific duty cycles were tabulated in the table 1 in appendix A.000 50 60 70 80 90 100 Duty cycle (%) Figure 2.000 Pressure (mm H2O) y = 0.600 0.8467 R² = 1 2.0. As expected for the given data. Instead of having to count the number of peaks.000 0. our focus turned to the pressure and fan speed relationship. This was used in conjunction with the voltage-pressure equation to determine the pressure present at each duty cycle.000 6.000 4. we see a linearly increasing pressure for an increasing duty cycle.Use of the frequency domain plot to derive the fan output frequency proved to be much easier than the time domain plot. With the results obtained and plotted in figure 2.000 4. a linear pressure voltage calibration curve was generated. This equation can now be used to determine the pressure of the transducer for any specified voltage. Duty cycle Pressure (mm H2O) 0.000 8.000 6. 2 .

Fan Speed Vs.000 3100. Higher duty cycle means higher fan speed at the cost of consuming more power. Duty cycle Power fan (w) 1.000 2100.500 0. This nonetheless proves that the manufacturer 3 . Dividing the total volume by the fill time of 17 seconds.7 m3/min at atmospheric pressure and a maximum pressure of 2. Power consumed Vs. This linearity is exactly what we would expect to see for increasing duty cycle. In order to determine whether the manufacturers air flow-pressure curves are accurate. Duty cycle Fan Speed (RPM) 3600. several more measurements are now taken.700 0.900 0. an air flow rate of .1 mm at 0 air flow rate.17 m3/min was obtained. A maximum pressure of 1.0492 m3). pressure produced. the fan consumes more power for a higher duty cycle.6 mm was also determined experimentally by blocking the air flow of the fan. Thus the given curve does not reflect an accurate portrayal of the max air flow rate for our given conditions.100 0. This is mainly due to having a heat sink impeding the air flow coming from the fan. The max air flow rate of the fan was experimentally determined by timing the time it took to fill a 13 gallon bag (. 2.000 2600.3 Volumetric flow rate and pressure of the fan Using the manufacturer given curve corresponding to 3300 rpm for air flow rate vs.000 50 60 70 80 90 100 Duty Cycle (%) Figure 3: Fan speed increases linearly for an increasing duty cycle. The discrepancy between the actual and theoretical maximum pressures is probably due to an inefficient method of impeding air flow. we would expect to see an air flow rate of approximately .300 50 60 70 80 90 100 Duty cycle (%) Figure 4: As expected.

and D is fan impeller diameter. Here we will use an assumed fluid density of 1.09E-06 1. This proves that the manufacturer curves given are not reliable to determine air flow and pressure due to our given conditions. a larger fan may operate at a lower speed while still achieving a greater pressure rise than a smaller fan at higher operating speeds. We will next look at a very useful metric used to compare the performance of different fans operating at different speeds.07E-06 1. is fluid density in kg/m3.03E-06 200 250 300 350 400 Fan speed (rad/s) Series1 Figure 5: The dimensionless number seems to remain relatively constant with increasing fan speed. Finally. A linear pressure-voltage relationship was found for the transducer which allowed us to determine the pressure reading of the transducer for a given duty cycle.06E-06 1. this number can be used and will be extremely useful in comparing the performance characteristics of other fans. fan speed Dimensionless pressure rise 0. Pressure rise Vs. equation 3 Where P is the air pressure in N/m2.0000011 1. all of the fundamental units present in the experiment can be used in order to create a single. This equation can now be used to generate figure 5. it was determined that the PWM modulation and fan speed measurement using the LabVIEW VI was very accurate. 4 . a dimensionless pressure rise was derived for the given fan.4 Dimensional analysis and fan laws Through use of dimensional analysis. Mainly. Conclusions With the help of an attached oscilloscope. Because it remains relatively constant. Note that the parameter remains relatively constant at 1. This dimensionless pressure rise will be extremely useful in comparing the performance of different sized fans operating at different speeds.87E-08.04E-06 1. 3. This dimensionless pressure rise will allow us to compare each of these fans subjectively to one another.given curves are not accurate for our given conditions. Both the max air flow rate and max pressure given by the manufacturers curves were determined to be off. mainly due to the fact that there is a heat sink attached to our fan.067 m as given by the fan specifications sheet. dimensionless number.08E-06 1. 2.07E-06 with a standard deviation of only 1. This dimensionless number will yield the pressure rise given in equation 3. is rotation speed in rad/s of the fan.05E-06 1.18 kg/m3 for air and a fan impeller diameter of .

600 0.078 0.279 0.720 1.000 12.000 12.029 0.Appendix A: Supporting Data and Figures Duty Cycle (%) 50 60 70 80 90 99 Pressure (V) 1.000 12.000 3328.000 12.804 0.000 2372.610 0.936 0.415 0.000 2830.984 Speed (RPM) 2130.650 0.348 0.676 0.680 0.356 0.420 1.000 12.684 0.660 0.050 0.082 Fan Power (Watts) 0.000 Table 1: Results obtained from LabVIEW VI by varying the duty cycle of the fan 5 .490 1.000 2621.508 0.600 1.057 0.067 0.810 Pressure (mm H2O) 0.645 Fan Input Voltage (V) 12.000 Fan Input Current (A) 0.330 1.670 0.000 3160.686 Fan Output (V) 0.

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