INCREASE THE VENTILATION CAPACITY OF A RADIAL FAN

The customer has been investigating how to increase the operational efficiency of the main fans drawing the hot gases out of aluminum smelters. By improving the efficiency of these fans, the customer hoped to increase the ventilation capacity of their gas processing center. The benefits of doing so would be twofold: not only would this yield more production capability; it would also lead to reduced environmental emissions due to improved oxidation of gaseous contaminants.

THE MANDATE

As part of this project, Optis achieved the following tasks:

  • Field measurements and mapping of the fan’s performance under various operating conditions;
  • Reverse engineering of a radial fan based on geometry and operating conditions;
  • Using a numerical model of the fan, explore potential performance improvements by varying:
    • Operational parameters;
    • Geometric features (blade shape, blade angle, wheel width, diameter, etc;
    • Ventilation system characteristics.
  • Developments of an interactive tool enabling engineers to perform real-time tradeoffs and identify the most promising solution for the lowest cost.

During this project, Optis worked as an extension of the client’s engineering team, providing fields support and viable solutions, to bring the project to fruition.

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