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Modeling Fluid Flow

Through a Fan

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Introduction
Instead of physically modeling a fan in CFX,
in some cases it may be sensible to model
the fan by other means
Momentum source
Pressure change across GGI interface
(new for CFX 11.0)
The following will demonstrate how the
pressure drop experienced by a flow across a
fan can be easily modeled using a GGI
interface
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Fan Data

Typically we know the fan performance data in terms of


pressure vs. flow rate

P (Pa)

Volume Flow
Rate (m^3/s)
0

995.68

1.8

1057.91

3.6

1095.248

5.4

1095.248

7.2

1045.464

983.234

10.8

871.22

12.6

721.868

14.4

497.84

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Fan Data
Fan data needs to be defined in CFX-Pre
Can be input as
1D Interpolation Function
Expression

Fan performance
curve often given
as a second or
third order
polynomial

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Fan Data as an Expression


Create an expression for the polynomial in CFX-Pre
Double click Expressions in the Outline Tree
Right-click > New
Enter the Name as PressureRise
PressureRise = (-5.9867*Q^2+53.108*Q+986.3[m^3 s^-1])*1[kg m^-1 s^-1]

Create a new expression for Q, the flow rate


Typically we want to know the flow rate at the domain
interface
Enter the following expression for Q:
Q = massFlow()@Interface 1 Side 1 /
massFlowAve(Density)@Interface 1 Side 1

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Fan Data as 1D User Function


To create a User Function
Click the User Function icon
Name the User Function fandata
Enter the Argument Units as
[m^3 s^-1], and Results Units as [Pa]
Enter the following Coordinate and Value data points
Coordinate = Flow Rate
Value = Pressure

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Fan Data as 1D User Function


Enable the Extend Min and Extend Max toggles
Otherwise the solve will fail for flow rates outside the range
entered

To make use of the User Function create the


expression:
PressureRise = fandata(Q)

Where:
Q = massFlow()@Interface 1 Side 1 /
massFlowAve(Density)@Interface 1 Side 1

2006 ANSYS, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Implementing the Fan Model


We now have a function/expressions in CFX-Pre that
defines the fan performance curve
There are two ways to apply this:
As a pressure rise across a GGI interface
Fan model is applied at an internal 2D region
During Geometry/Meshing must create a 2D region that
can by used for an internal domain interface

As a Momentum Source in a subdomain


Fan model is applied on an internal 3D region
Meshing considerations Ensure a separate volume is
defined inside of the fluid domain

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Fan Model at a GGI Interface


Create a Domain Interface to
represent the fan
Specify the Side 1 and Side 2
Region List as usual
Enable the Mass and
Momentum check-box
Set the Option to Pressure
Change
For the Pressure Change,
enter the name of the
expression created earlier,
PressureRise

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Fan Model at a GGI Interface

It is recommend that a Domain


Interface Target is set on the
Solver Control panel when using a
Pressure Change across a GGI
This is an additional convergence
criteria that checks:
(Pressure Change Old Pressure
Change) / Pressure Change < x%

where x is the Domain Interface


Target
When solving, mass flow on an
interface can be monitored
through the Solver Manager

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Fan Model as Momentum Source


Create a subdomain
Basic Settings
Select 3D region to apply fan model

Sources
Apply a general momentum source
Apply expression to appropriate
directional component representing the
axial direction of the fan
Expression should be:
PressureRise / length

where length is the length of the


subdomain in the axial direction

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Pressure Change at Interface


Setting a Pressure Change across an interface is
useful for other situations
Specifying a pressure drop allows a screen to be modeled
Sign convection: negative Pressure Change is a pressure drop

Used in combination with translational periodicity allows fully


developed flows to be modeled, e.g Tube Bank

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Notes on Mass Flow Rate Option


Can also set Mass Flow Rate at an
interface
Pressure Change is then an implicit part
of the calculation
Pressure Update Multiplier can strongly
affect convergence behaviour
Flow through long channels may benefit
from a larger value, e.g. 20
Flow through a short pipe segment may
need a much smaller value, e.g. 0.01

Convergence Criteria for the Domain


Interface Target is based on mass flow
change rather than pressure change

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Limitations
For the fan model, no swirl component is modeled
User could add this to the momentum source method

Its only a model! If flow field accuracy is a requirement, model the


physical fan (i.e. create the blades)
Mass flow rate condition may have robustness issues for short pipe
segments
Use a very small Pressure Update Multiplier
Or use Pressure Change option and manually adjust it yourself (e.g., Edit
Run in Progress)

Mass flow rate condition assumes that velocity and/or mass flow are not
set elsewhere in the problem
Otherwise not well-posed (over-specified mass flow rate)

Heat transfer remains periodic


No temperature change from side 1 to side 2

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