The performance of an industrial fan was simulated using CFD and results were compared with the experimental data. The fan is used to cool a row of resistor networks which dissipate excess energy generated by regenerative power in an inverter application. It has a diameter of 24 inches (0.6096m) and rotates at different speeds ranging from 2500 to 3900 RPM depending on the requirements. CFD simulation results were also verified by simulating performance of the same fan at different speeds and comparing the results with what was expected from fan affinity laws. The CFD results matched almost exactly (with ∼0.2% difference for pressure at a given flow rate) with the performance being predicted by the affinity laws. The effect of variation of different parameters such as the blade length, number of blades, and blade chord length was studied. Increasing the blade length at the same RPM increased the mass flow rate (by ∼17%) for the same pressure. Increasing the chord length while keeping the same number of blades, at a given RPM, made the performance curve (pressure versus flow rate, i.e. PV curve) steeper and blades stalled at a higher mass flow rate (8.77 kg/sec compared to the previous 8.44 kg/sec). For the same total blade surface area, less number of blades with longer chords stalled at lower mass flow rates (9.22 kg/sec for a 33% shorter chord and 36 blades compared to 8.3 kg/sec for the original rotor which had 24 blades).

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