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Aerodynamic Optimisation

Advanced Industrial Fan Design and Optimisation

In the modern era the importance of energy efficiency has become paramount, with the fan industry being an important contributor. Large, time consuming and expensive experimental setups are typically utilised to develop a fan for a specific application. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) constitutes a new strategic technology, which holds significant potential in generating more efficient fans which are tailored to specific applications. The Industrial CFD Research Group at the University of Cape Town is working with CFW Industries on developing a technology centre which would make this possible. The main technologies which will make this possible are the next generation CFD code Elemental (being developed at UCT) and the state-of-the-art optimisation and experimental facilities at CFW.

The proposed new Advanced Industrial Fan Design Process starts off with an existing fan design, which is modelled with Elemental's specialised fan module. The CFD results will then be compared to experimental data to ensure accuracy. Next, Elemental will be used in conjunction with the optimiser module (optimisation technology being developed) to compute an optimised fan geometry which will meet a specific performance specification. The final step is the prototyping and experimental evaluation of the proposed design. It is anticipated that this process will result in next-generation fan designs with guaranteed operational characteristics in a fast and effective manner.