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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

A Quantitative Evaluation Method for Impeller-Volute Tongue Interaction and Application to Squirrel Cage Fan With Bionic Volute Tongue

[+] Author and Article Information
Ke Wang

Department of Fluid Machinery and Engineering,
School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Xi'an Jiaotong University,
Xi'an 710049, China
e-mail: niceheaven@stu.xjtu.edu.cn

Yaping Ju

Department of Fluid Machinery and Engineering,
School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Xi'an Jiaotong University,
Xi'an 710049, China
e-mail: yapingju@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

Chuhua Zhang

State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration
of Mechanical Structures,
Department of Fluid Machinery and Engineering,
School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Xi'an Jiaotong University,
Xi'an 710049, China
e-mail: chzhang@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 19, 2018; final manuscript received December 9, 2018; published online January 30, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Daniel Livescu.

J. Fluids Eng 141(8), 081104 (Jan 30, 2019) (13 pages) Paper No: FE-18-1485; doi: 10.1115/1.4042372 History: Received July 19, 2018; Revised December 09, 2018

The impeller–volute tongue interaction strongly influences the aerodynamic performance of squirrel cage fan. To quantitatively evaluate the level of impeller–volute tongue interaction, we propose two parameters, i.e., recirculated flow coefficient and reversed flow coefficient based on a careful inspection of flow pattern near the volute tongue of a squirrel cage fan. Inspired by the good aerodynamic characteristics of owl wing, particular effort is made to develop a bionic design of volute tongue to improve the impeller–volute tongue match. The aerodynamic performances of both the squirrel cage fans with original volute tongue (OVT) and bionic volute tongue (BVT) are numerically and experimentally analyzed. The results show that, by employing the bionic design of volute tongue, the squirrel cage fan can achieve higher aerodynamic performance than that with OVT. Better match between impeller and volute tongue is obtained with smaller recirculated flow coefficient and reversed flow coefficient, validating the effectiveness of the proposed parameters to quantitatively evaluate the level of impeller–volute tongue interaction. In addition, the bionic design of volute tongue is beneficial for the improvement of flow quality and for the relief of abrupt pressure variation and axial nonuniformity of flow near the volute tongue. This work is helpful for a deep understanding of complex flow pattern in squirrel cage fan.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Squirrel cage fan configuration

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Fig. 2

Grid sensitivity test

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Fig. 3

Mesh model: (a) inlet pipe, (b) impeller, and (c) volute

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Fig. 4

Total pressure efficiency comparisons between experimental and numerical results

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Fig. 5

Volute tongue flow pattern: (a) streamlines at z/b =0.5 and (b) sketch of flow rate

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Fig. 6

Distribution of normalized radial flow velocity: (a) impeller inlet and (b) impeller outlet. Green and red: positive, blue: negative.

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Fig. 7

Recirculated (a) and reversed (b) flow coefficients of original fan

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Fig. 8

Sketch of BVT: (a) owl-like airfoil at 0.4 wingspan, (b) BVT parameterization, and (c) mesh model of volute with BVT

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Fig. 9

Relative increments of aerodynamic performance versus volute outlet height of scaled OVT and scaled BVT fans: (a) total pressure efficiency relative increment and (b) static pressure relative increment

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Fig. 10

Comparisons of defined flow coefficient between original fan and BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm): (a) recirculated flow coefficient, (b) reversed flow coefficient at impeller inlet, and (c) reversed flow coefficient at impeller outlet

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Fig. 11

Comparisons of streamlines (top), radial velocity (middle) and static pressure (bottom) at z/b =0.5: (a) original fan and (b) BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm)

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Fig. 12

Comparison of circumferential static pressure along volute wall between original fan and BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm): (a) locations of observation lines along volute wall, (b) line in z/b =0.5, and (c) line in z/b =0.25

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Fig. 13

Comparison of axial static pressure along volute wall between original fan and BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm): (a) locations of axial observation lines, (b) L1: 90 deg, (c) L2: P(P′), and (d) L3-O: tangent line to volute tongue

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Fig. 14

Comparison of skin friction coefficient between original fan and BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm): (a) line in z/b =0.5 and (b) line in z/b =0.25

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Fig. 15

Experimental measurement: (a) experimental system schematic diagram, (b) photo of experimental test rig, and (c) photo of BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm)

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Fig. 16

Comparison of aerodynamic performance between original fan and BVT fan (volute outlet height C =185 mm): (a) total pressure efficiency and (b) static pressure rise

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