Volume Flow-Rate Measurements and Scaling Laws for a Transverse-Inlet Multiple-Disk Fan

[+] Author and Article Information
M. G. Schlutt

Whirlpool Research and Engineering, Monte Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

D. R. Dowling

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

J. Fluids Eng 118(4), 857-860 (Dec 01, 1996) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2835520 History: Received January 15, 1996; Revised August 21, 1996; Online January 22, 2008


The air moving capacity of a transverse-inlet multiple-disk fan has been measured experimentally and the results successfully collapsed with a simple scaling law. The disk fan studied was an array of several hundred closely spaced plastic disks that rotated about a common axis inside an approximately semicylindrical housing. A splitter plate lying parallel to the axis of rotation and tangent to the disks separated the inflow and outflow streams. The volume flow rate of air per unit length along the axis of rotation was measured using standard LDV techniques. For disk spacings greater than 1 mm, the volume flow rate was found to be essentially proportional to ωhR3, where ω = radian rotation rate of the disks, h = disk spacing, and R = disk radius. This scaling law was derived from a simple force balance for a small fluid element moving between rotating disks. The Reynolds number of the experiments, ωh3R/ν, was varied from 2 × 102 to 103 . In addition, the air-moving capability of the disk fan was found to be nearly independent of the geometrical placement of the rotating disks within the fan housing.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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