Rotating fans are widely utilized in thermal management applications and their accurate characterization has recently become even a more critical issue for thermofluids engineers. The present study investigates the characterization of an axial fan computationally and experimentally. Using the three-dimensional CAD models of the fan, a series of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed to determine the flow and pressure fields produced by the axial mover over a range of flow rates. In order to validate the computational model findings, experiments were conducted to obtain the pressure drop values at different flow rates in an AMCA (Air Movement and Control Association) standard 210-99, 1999 wind tunnel. These data sets were also compared with the fan vendor’s published testing data. A reasonably good agreement was obtained among the data from these three separate sources. Furthermore, an attempt was made to understand the overall fan efficiency as a function of the volumetric flow rate. It was determined that the maximum overall fan efficiency was less than 27% correlating well with the computational results.

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