Large centrifugal fans in cement factories operate in an aggressive environment, as the cement particles dispersed in the flow are responsible for strong blade surface erosion that leads to performance degradation.
This paper reports on the simulation of the flow field in a large centrifugal fan designed for process industry applications. The aerodynamic investigation, at a preliminary level, highlights the critical regions inside the device and suggests possible modification to increase its duty life.
This paper reports on the simulation of the flow field in a large centrifugal fan designed for process industry applications. The aerodynamic investigation, at a preliminary level, serves the aim of highlighting the critical regions inside the device and suggest possible modification to increase its duty life.
In the paper we show the results of numerical computations carried out with the finite volume open-source code OpenFOAM using Multiple Reference Frame methodology. Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations for incompressible flow were solved with standard eddy-viscosity k-ε model in order to explore the aerodynamic behaviour of the fan in near-design operations. The incompressible flow hypothesis was adopted even if locally Mach number can exceed 0.5. In fact in this case the pressure-rise does not lead to a variation of the density able to affect the velocity field divergence.
Given the high performance of the investigated impeller, the present work has a twofold objective. First, we seek to define an accurate numerical methodology to investigate high-pressure radial fans. Second, we provide detailed analysis of the inlet ring-impeller-volute assembly inner workings under realistic distorted inflow conditions.
The results provide the evolution of the pressure field in order to validate the accuracy of the simulation in reproducing the motion inside the fan that was fundamental for credible particle dispersion reproduction. We then investigate the three-dimensional flow field through the impeller in order to provide details about the secondary flow structures that develop within the blade vanes.