DUNEpro EC Plug Fan Development Story

Tanmoy Choudhury
6 min readAug 13, 2022

Nature has been researching and developing for over 3 billion years, which has helped life solve many complex problems that engineers still face today. It’s easy to see that looking at nature will show simple, elegant solutions that are biofriendly and don’t make the environment worse. The United Arab Emirates has set a goal to reduce its energy consumption by 40 percent by the year 2050 (uae-energy-strategy-2050, 2021). In order to meet this goal, envents® has developed a new bio-inspired mixed flow fan DUNEpro based on the first engineering principles.

A large number of researchers turned to passive flow control systems in the hope of boosting the overall performance of turbomachines. Techniques of passive control are those that don’t need any auxiliary power and don’t have any kind of control loop. Sand Dune formations known as barchan dunes are typical in desert environments. They have a streamlined shape on both the windward (convex face) and leeward side (concave face) along the incoming flow direction, and they are distinguished by a crescentic platform with two horns that grow progressively as they point downstream. In its aftermath, a pair of symmetrical vortices would be created whenever an air stream passed over the dune in question. The arched shape of a Barchan dune allows the formed vortex pair to generate a steady suction along the axis of horns, which results in a wake flow that is described as being “silent” behind the dune. As a consequence of this, sand grains might fall to the ground behind the dune, rather than being carried away by the wind that is coming from the direction of the dune. It is also important to point out that it was discovered that the streamline-shaped Barchan dune was able to decrease the aerodynamic losses that occurred when airstreams flowed over the dune. In today’s world, individuals are coming to see the worth of the techniques that nature utilises more and more. These biomimetic concepts have been a source of motivation for researchers, and they are currently being utilised in the design of airfoils, propellers, and even rudders.

The mixed flow fan is a type of centrifugal pump or turbomachine that has been refined over the course of several centuries. It finds widespread application in the industrial sector for the purpose of ventilation. Its specific speed runs from 300 to 800, which covers the range between the radial pump and the axial flow pump. As a consequence, it generates a greater pressure output throughout a wider range of flow rates.

In general, industrial flow fans have room for development in terms of their fluid dynamic performance as well as the operational stability that is connected with the vibrations, noise, and unnecessary forces. In order to achieve this goal, recent research on industrial pumps has mostly emphasized on the effects that the traditional design parameters of the pump have on the fluid dynamic output or pressure variations. For instance, the spanwise twist modification may result in a 0.8% gain in efficiency but will create a higher-pressure fluctuation amplitude. Variations in the tip clearance (TC), even if they are just within 0.5 mm, can result in considerable changes in efficiency and pressure fluctuation. As a consequence of the research that were done in the past, the performance of the present mixed-flow fans is optimal in the traditional design area. Therefore, a fresh approach to the design idea in order to achieve the desired level of performance improvement lead to the invention of DUNEpro.

As a result, with the intention of developing a biomimetic fan design that is capable of achieving better aeroacoustics performance through passive flow control, envents® carried out a systematic analysis to develop the bio-inspired Barchan dune design over the impeller of a mixed flow fan on the aerodynamic and the aeroacoustics performance. Our ultimate goal was to explore a biomimetic fan design that could accomplish this. The computer models were validated in a roundabout way through the comparison with the results of our earlier experiments. In order to achieve optimal performance, EnFluid, Our R&D team, investigated both the overall pressure efficiency and the turbulent kinetic energy, in addition to the design parameters. The fan design does show potential in reducing noise however with negligible aerodynamic loss, and that the biomimetic design might give a valuable and practical technique to improve the aeroacoustic performance of mixed flow fans.

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Tanmoy Choudhury

Extremely passionate about ventilation product development, started www.en-vents.com to see where we can save energy.