Simulation of Rotor-Rotor Interaction and Noise of an Axial Counter-Rotating Fan

Document Type : Regular Article


1 Energy Department, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Mohamed Boudiaf, BP 1505, Bir-El-Djir, 31000 Oran, Algeria

2 Laboratory of Energy Conversion Systems, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Process Engineering, University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene, BP32 El-Alia Bab-Ezzouar, 16111, Algiers, Algeria

3 Department of Marine Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. University of Science and Technology Mohamed Boudiaf, BP 1505, Bir-El-Djir, 31000 Oran, Algeria



The Counter-Rotating Fan (CRF) offers higher aerodynamic performance, in terms of pressure head and aerodynamic efficiency, compared to the single rotor fan, thus making it an attractive solution for equipment cooling and ventilation of mines and tunnels. Nevertheless, further investigations are required to understand the flow interactions between the front rotor (FR) and the rear rotor (RR), as these interactions are sources of noise emission. This numerical study used the Unsteady Reynolds Average Navier-Stokes (URANS) flow simulations and the Fast Fourier transformation (FFT) to analyse the rotor-rotor interactions and consequences on the aero-acoustic performance. The static pressure fluctuations were recorded at several locations and analysed by FFT to reveal the mechanisms of flow interactions and the effects of axial inter-distance between the two rotors. The inter-distance seems to influence the aerodynamic loading of RR more than that of FR and the total-to-static isentropic efficiency tends to drop. Over one chord distance, the noise level decreases but at the expense of isentropic efficiency. The balanced performance does not seem to improve for an inter-distance greater than 1.5 chords, considered the optimum distance in this study. Finally, a graphical correlation which can be used to estimate the Sound Pressure Level (SPL) is developed for this category of CRF.


ANSYS CFX-Solver Modeling Guide, Release 15.0, November 2013, ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, PA15317##
Binder, A., T. Schröder and J. T. Hourmouziadis (1989). Turbulence measurements in a low-pressure turbine. ASME Journal of Turbomachinery 111, 153-161.##
Brailko, I. A., V. I. Mileshin, M. A. Nyukhtikov and S.V. Pankov (2004, July). Computational and experimental investigation of unsteady and acoustic characteristics of counter-rotating fans. In Heat Transfer Summer Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA##
Christophe, J., M. Sanjose, S. Moreau, J. A. Witteveen, and G. Iaccarino (2013). Uncertainty quantification of low-speed fan noise. In 19 th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference.##
Dring, R. P., H. D. Joslyn, L. W. Hardin and J. H. Wagner (1982). Turbine rotor-stator interaction. ASME Journal of Engineering for Power 104, 729, 1982b.##
Ffowcs Williams, J. E. and D. L. Hawkings (1969). Sound generated by turbulence and surfaces in arbitrary motion. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A264, 321-342.##
Fukano, T., Y. Kodama and Y. Senoo (1977). Noise generated by low pressure axial flow fans, I: Modeling of the turbulent noise. Journal of Sound and Vibration 50(1), 63-88.##
Gao, L. M., F. Miao, R. Y. Li and B. Liu (2014). Effect of rotor/rotor interactions on blades unsteady loading. Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica 35(7), 1874-1881.##
Ghenaiet, A. and I. Beldjilali (2020). Influence of staggering and inter-distance on performance of a low-speed counterrotating axial fan. Journal of Aerospace Engineering 33(1), 04019109.##
Gröwoldt Hesse, H. and A. G. Sohn (2012). Stall and parallel operation. In 6th International Conference ‘Tunnel Safety and Ventilation, Gratz.##
Holste, F. and W. Neise (1997). Noise source identification in aPropfan model by means of acoustical near field measurements. Journal of Sound and Vibration 203(4), 641-665.##
Jiang, C. L., J. P. Chen, Z. J. Chen, J. Tian, H. Ou Yang and Z. H. Du (2007). Experimental and numerical study on aeroacoustic sound of axial flow fan in room air conditioner. Applied acoustics 68(4), 458-472.##
Luan, H., L. Weng and Y. Luan (2018). Numerical simulation of unsteady aerodynamic interactions of contra-rotating axial fan. Plos One 13(7), e0200510.##
Luan, H., L. Weng, Y. Luan, Y. Zhang and P. Chen (2016). Numerical study on aerodynamic noise performances of axial spacing in a contra-rotating axial fan. Journal of Vibroengineering 18(8), 5605-5618.##
Lynam, F. C. and S. P. Hawes (1946) Contra Rotating Axial Flow Fans. The Engineers.##
Macgregor, J. D. (1990). Three Dimensional Viscous Flow Model of Stator/Rotor Interaction in Turbomachines, Ph.D. thesis, Texas A&M University.##
Meyer, R. X. (1958). The effect of wakes on the transient pressure and velocity distribution in turbomachines. ASME Journal of Basic Engineering 80, 1544-1552.##
Mistry, C. and A. M. Pradeep (2013). Effect of variation in axial spacing and rotor speed combinations on the performance of a high aspect ratio contra-rotating axial fan stage. In Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 227, 2.##
Moreau, S., M. Henner, D. Casalino, J. Gullbrand, G. Iaccarino and M. Wang (2006). Toward the prediction of low-speed fan noise. In Proceedings of the summer program (Vol. 9), Center for Turbulence Research.##
Parker, R. and J. F. Watson (1972). Interaction effects between blade rows in turbomachines. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 186, 331-340.##
Parry, A. B. (1988). Theoretical Prediction of Counter-Rotating Propeller Noise. PhD Thesis, University ofLeeds.##
Polacsek, C. and R. Barrier (2007). Numerical simulation of counter-rotating fan aeroacoustics. In 13th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference (28th AIAA Aeroacoustics Conference).##
Polacsek, C., S. Burguburu, S. Redonnet and M. Terracol (2006). Numerical simulations of fan interaction noise using a hybrid approach. AIAAjournal 44(6), 1188-1196.##
Romik, D. and I. Czajka (2022). Numerical investigation of the sensitivity of the acoustic power level to changes in selected design parameters of an axial fan. Energies 15(4), 1357.##
Roy, B., K. Ravibabu, P. S. Rao, S. Basu, A. Raju and P. N. Murthy (1992). Flow studies in ducted twin-rotor contra-rotating axial flow fans. In Turbo Expo: Power for Land, Sea, and Air. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.##
Schnell, R., J. Yin, C. Voss and E. Nicke (2012). Assessment and optimization of the aerodynamic and acoustic characteristics of a counter rotating open rotor. Journal of Turbomachinery 134(6), 061016.##
Touil, K. and A. Ghenaiet (2019). Simulation and analysis of vane-blade interaction in a two-stage high-pressure axial turbine. Energy 172, 1291-1311.##
Wu, C. and Z. Yi (2021). Research on aerodynamic noise of tandem double cylinders based on k-fwhsound comparison method. Journal of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2021, 47(10).##
Wu, J., Z. Kou and J. Liu (2018). The acoustical behavior of contra-rotating fan. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, ID 3739067.##
Younsi, M., B. Hutchinson, F. Ravelet, S. Khelladi, and F. Bakir (2016). Numerical simulation of the unsteady aerodynamics in an axial counter-rotating fan stage. In 12th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics.##