A Simple Fan Model for Underhood Thermal Management Analyses 2002-01-1025
This work presents a simple fan model that is based on the actuator disk approximation, and the blade element and vortex theory of a propeller. A set of equations are derived that require as input the rotational speed of the fan, geometric fan data, and the lift and drag coefficients of the blades. These equations are solved iteratively to obtain the body forces generated by the fan in the axial and circumferential directions. These forces are used as momentum sources in a CFD code to simulate the effect of the fan in an underhood thermal management simulation. To validate this fan model, a fan experiment was simulated. The model was incorporated into the CFD code STAR-CD and predictions were generated for axial and circumferential air velocities at different radial positions and at different planes downstream of the fan. The agreement between experimental measurements and predictions is good. Comparisons with predictions of a rotating reference frame model show that the accuracy of the simple model is comparable to that of the rotating-reference frame model.