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Proceedings of the 8

th
International Symposium
on Experimental and Computational
Aerothermodynamics of Internal Flows
Lyon, July 2007

http://www.lmfa.ec-lyon.fr/ISAIF8/
Paper reference: ISAIF8-0072
VALIDATION OF 3D ROTOR-STATOR URANS IN AUTOMOTIVE
ENGINE COOLING FAN SYSTEMS
Manuel Henner, Stphane Moreau
Valeo Thermal Systems, La Verriere, BP17 France

Douglas Neal, Jrme de Laborderie
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA
Abstract
A low-speed rotor-stator assembly has been modeled using a full 3-D Navier-Stokes solver with an unsteady in-
terface. The predicted integral performances are first compared to the measurements on the Michigan State Uni-
versity fan test facility. This numerical model has then been evaluated using detailed experimental data collected
using hot-wire anemometry techniques. Two specific probes, a conventional X-probe and a newly developed
double X-probe are used to make detailed measurements in the wake of the rotor-stator assembly. Comparisons
with previous measurements are also shown.
Keywords: fan system, rotor-stator interaction, hot-wire, CFD, unsteady, tonal noise, aeroacoustic

Introduction
In the design process of a new automotive engine
cooling fan system, one important problem Valeo has
now to face is the interaction of the fan with its under-
hood environment. One major unsteady flow interference
is the result of the proximity of the rotating fan with its
fixed support. The latter can have a given number of
thick blunt or squared struts or profiled thin stator blades.
These structural parts usually extend radially outwards
from an inner ring, configuration which is considered
therein. It is well known that such a rotor-stator interac-
tion is unsteady and can have a major influence on both
the aerodynamic and acoustic performances of the fan
systems [1-2]. Most of the swirling kinetic energy created
by the fan can be transformed by the stator into static
pressure rise. Depending on the respective number of
rotor and stator blades and the relative distance to each
other, high noise tones can also be generated [2-3].
Previous measurements and simulations on the se-
lected high efficiency fan system are first summarized.
The new set of measurements collected at Michigan State
University (MSU) is then described. The corresponding
unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (URANS)
are also presented. A preliminary comparison between
the two is then shown.

2 Proceedings of the 8
th
International Symposium on Experimental and Computational Aerothermodynamics of Internal Flows

Nomenclature
B number of rotor blades Greek letters
k specific turbulent kinetic energy a first tuft orientation angle
(r, ?, z) cylindrical coordinate system second tuft orientation angle
R tip blade radius ? tangential angular resolution
V number of diffuser vanes specific turbulent dissipation rate
V
mag
mean velocity magnitude first probe orientation angle
V
r
,V
?
,V
z
mean velocity components F second probe orientation angle
V
r
'
,V
?
'
,V
z
'
RMS velocity components Subscripts
V
i
'
V
j
'
Reynolds stress tensor i, j any cylindrical coordinate

Geometry and Previous Results
The present rotor-stator configuration comes from the
parametric study performed in [4] with a simplified radial
equilibrium approach for a various range of fan diameters
and operating points typical of automotive engine cool-
ing specifications. This analysis showed that the main
geometrical parameter to achieve high efficiency for such
applications was the axial chord length and that, for all
fan diameters, a significant efficiency-increase was
achieved when an axial chord length of at least 40 mm
was used. We focus here on the 320 mm fan diameter
shown in [5] (tip blade radius R=154.5 mm). The fan has
B=9 unequally spaced blades and the associated effi-
ciency support with the above optimal axial chord length
has V=10 equally spaced blades.
Integral performances were first measured at a rota-
tional speed of 3000 RPM on the Valeo-ENSAM test rig
designed according to the ISO DP 5801 international
standard (a reduced plenum with several diaphragms to
modify the flow rate). This led to the pressure rise at the
nominal flow rate (1720 m
3
/h ) shown in Table 1, and to
an efficiency gain of about 10 points compared to the
rotor alone performance. Mean velocity profiles were
also obtained by pressure measurements with five-hole
probes and by 2-color laser Doppler anemometry. These
data were collected 41 mm downstream of the stators in
the far wake (Figs. 10 to 13 in [5]).

Table 1 Pressure rise at two flow rates
Configuration 1720 m
3
/h 1980 m
3
/h
ENSAM (Experimental) 255 Pa 191 Pa
MSU (Experimental) 172 Pa 135 Pa
Frozen Rotor (CFD) 154-178 Pa 122-146 Pa
Stage (CFD) 242 Pa 171 Pa
Unsteady (CFD) 212-250 Pa 170-192 Pa

In parallel, the flow around this efficient fan system
was simulated at the nominal conditions. The incom-
pressible, highly rotational and three-dimensional flow
field was described by the 3D turbulent RANS Na-
vier-Stokes equations with a two-equation k- turbulence
model as a closure. The resulting set of conservative
equations was solved with CFX-TASCflow on a
multi-block structured grid using its multi frame of ref-
erence capability around the rotating and stationary
blades. A topological simplification has been made to the
actual fan systems as a 9 rotor blades-9 stator vanes (1-1)
model has been simulated instead of the actual 10 stators
to limit the 3D model size to a single blade passage. As
shown in [5], the induced angular pitch error was ex-
pected to yield some discrepancy in the mean wall pres-
sure distribution of at most 20%. A description of the
resulting numerical model is found below in the numeri-
cal simulation section. In [5] reasonable agreement had
been found between the steady simulations and the
ENSAM experimental data. As shown in Table 1, the
stage (mixed plane) case yielded the closest integral per-
formances and also provided the best agreement with the
measured velocity profiles.
Yet some discrepancies were found in the velocity
profiles between the two different sets of measurements.
Moreover some day-to-day variations were observed in
the five-hole measurements, which suggested some high
level of unsteadiness and/or some installation effect: the
fan system being mounting directly with a board and a
rubber seal on the plenum could trigger some variation in
the tip region geometry. An unsteady simulation with the
previous numerical model was therefore the natural next
step [6]. Good convergence was achieved by monitoring
successively the integrated forces at three spanwise loca-
tions on both the rotor and the stator at each time step.
Ten full cycles were required to converge all the polar
plots (especially at the tip). Increasing the time resolution
up to 64 times steps per blade passing period yielded the
full time convergence. The URANS results suggested
that some significant unsteadiness existed in this fan sys-
tem at the nominal flow rate (10% of the mean values)
and came closer to the measured pressure rise (Table 1).
However, the averaged profiles of the simulated unsteady
velocity components did not improve the comparison
with the measured data significantly. A detailed flow
mapping in several planes downstream of the stator blade
suggested that the grid was already too stretched 40 mm
downstream of the stator and that all unsteadiness had
Manuel HENNER et al. Validation of 3D Rotor-Stator URANS in Automotive Cooling Fan Systems
3

been damped. This triggered the present hot wire survey
closer to the stator trailing edge (10 mm) with a more
controlled test-rig interface. The flow rate was also in-
creased to remove some of the instabilities observed near
the previous nominal condition. In the following survey,
the flow rate will now be 1980 m
3
/h. Another goal of the
present study is to quantify the turbulence of the flow
downstream of such fan systems and assess the accuracy
of the two-equation k- turbulence model used in the
simulation.
Experimental Procedure
Experimental apparatus
The experimental data were collected using the Axial
Fan Research and Development (AFRD) facility at MSU.
The AFRD is a suction side tunnel that is vertically posi-
tioned and uses a unique moment-of-momentum flux
device to measure the mass flow rate through an installed
fan system. This moment-of-momentum flux device has
been previously described in [7]. The AFRD facility has
been additionally equipped with a three-axis traverse, as
shown in Fig. 1, which allows detailed measurements of
velocity, temperature or pressure in the downstream re-
gion of a fan system. An additional probe holder has been
designed and added to the AFRD traverse to allow
multi-wire velocity probes to be aligned with the mean
flow at a particular region. This probe holder has the
ability to be positioned in a range of orientations defined
by two adjustment angles and F. This probe holder
creates a minimal obstruction while still allowing for the
proper alignment of an X or 2X-probe.


Fig. 1 The AFRD test facility.

The global pressure rise of the rotor stator system is
measured using an MKS Baratron pressure transducer
that monitors the pressure between the upper and lower
receiver of the AFRD. The desired operating point is es-
tablished by adjusting the throttle plate, as shown in Fig.
1. The AFRD moment-of-momentum flux devices are
calibrated in a manner described in [7].
A custom-designed optical encoder circuit is used to
measure the relative rotor-to-stator orientation. This op-
tical encoder serves two distinct purposes: (1) it is a
real-time check on the RPM of the rotor, and (2) it out-
puts a signal that can be measured as a time series of the
trigger such that detailed velocity data can be
phase-averaged. The resolution of the trigger is defined
by the sampling rate of the A/D board, which was set at
30 kHz, yielding a ? = 0.6.


Fig. 2 The double X-probe: top view (left), side view (right).

Detailed velocity-measurements are carried out using
hot-wire anemometry with both a standard X-probe and
also a double X-probe. The double X-probe, as shown in
Fig. 2, has been custom-designed and fabricated by the
Turbulent Shear Flows Laboratory (TSFL) of MSU. This
double X-probe has a compact measurement area,
(nominally 0.71 mm x 0.71 mm), which yields a point
measurement with small spatial averaging. This probe is
capable of measuring time-resolved three components of
velocity. It also has the unique feature of having a re-
dundant component of velocity between the two X-arrays,
which provides a check on the quality of the measured
data. These time-resolved three components can be
transposed into mean and fluctuating components, yield-
ing the full Reynolds stress tensor in polar form [V
r
'
V
r
'
,
V
r
'
V
?
'
, etc].

Experimental data collection
An initial flow visualization is achieved using a tuft
probe in the same locations where velocity data are de-
sired [8]. This tuft probe is photographed using a digital
camera from two orthogonal directions. The exposure on
the camera is set to approximately 3-4 seconds, so the
time elapsed excursion of the tuft is recorded. The re-
corded tuft image is blurred, but it shows the angular
path of the tuft and is also an indicator of the local un-
steadiness of the flow. These digital image pairs are ana-
lyzed for each measurement location and a set of angles,
a and , are assigned to each measurement location. The
tuft angles (a and ) are later converted into the angles
4 Proceedings of the 8
th
International Symposium on Experimental and Computational Aerothermodynamics of Internal Flows

( and F) that defined the probe orientation.
Each measure ment location is defined by the cylindri-
cal coordinate system (r, ?, z) and also by the probe ori-
entation ( and F). During the data collection, a fast
feedback program is used to analyze a truncated histo-
gram of the measured angles for each of the two X-arrays
in the double X-probe. This allowed for adjustments to
be made during the measurement process, therefore re-
ducing the need for data to be recollected because of
misaligned X-probes.
Time series data of each of the four channels of the
HWA are collected simultaneously with a time series of
the trigger from the optical encoder. The time series from
the opt ical encoder gives a measure of the rotational
speed and also provides information on the relative rotor
to stator position for phase-averaging. Data were col-
lected at 30 kHz with a fan rotational speed of 3000 RPM,
which yielded a measurement resolution for the trigger of
0.6. Additionally, time series of pressure, temperature,
mass flow rate are stored at each location.
Four different regions directly downstream of the sta-
tors were interrogated, as shown in Fig. 3. Region #1 is
a radial traverse directly downstream of one of the stators,
along a line from the innermost edge of the stator at r/R =
0.425 out to the outermost edge at r/R = 1.0. Regions
#2-4 are surveys along radial arcs at r/R = 0.885, 0.721,
and 0.605, respectively. Regions #2-4 are along one
complete stator passage (36) and provide a good over-
view of the flow distribution in the blade passage. Region
#2 is closer to the tip, region #3 near midspan and region
#4 closer to the hub.


Fig. 3 Measurement regions behind the stator vanes

Experimental data processing
The velocity data were processed using a standard
speed-angle calibration for each of the two X-arrays.
These were accomplished by changing the pitch angle to
calibrate the horizontally-mounted array from 36, and
then by changing the yaw angle to calibrate the vert i-
cally-mounted array from 36. A study of the accuracy
of this technique for use with double X-probe was con-
ducted at the TSFL. These results showed that suffi-
ciently accurate results (1.5) were obtained for angles
within the domain defined by Fig. 4. This dia-
mond-shaped calibration domain allows for a 30 cali-
bration angle range along the lines defined by 0-pitch
(the vertical axis) and 0-yaw (the horizontal axis), with a
straight line boundary connecting these points in each of
the four quadrants. When the data are processed, the
points which exist inside this calibration domain are kept
and those that lie on the outside are discarded. There are
1.5 million points out of 1.8 million total kept for a typi-
cal time series. Also, an average of 2400 out of 3000
possible points was kept for each phase-averaged series.

Fig. 4 Validity domain for speed-angle calibration

Figure 5 shows an example of the phase-averaged data
axial velocity vs. phase angle (i.e. relative rotor-to-stator
orientation) for r/R=0.77. These data show the
blade-to-blade variation of axial velocity that exists at a
particular location in the fan system. This variation is
partially the result of a non-uniform blade spacing that
exists in the production fan. The wakes of the 9 blades
are visible throughout the complete revolution.

5.5
6.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
angle rotor/stator ()
V
z
(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Postcal

Fig. 5 Phase-averaged axial velocity at r/R = 0.77

-40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40
-40
-30
-20
-10
0
10
20
30
40
Horizontal Angle ()
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l

A
n
g
l
e

(

)

Measured
Actual
Region #1
Region #2
Region #4
Region #3
Manuel HENNER et al. Validation of 3D Rotor-Stator URANS in Automotive Cooling Fan Systems
5

In regions #2-4, the data can also be sorted by its
phase position. 6. In these zones, the velocities are now
plotted as a function of the local arc lengths r?. The ori-
gin is taken above the stator vane trailing edge. Fig. 6
shows the radial velocity vs. r? at r/R = 0.885 for ro-
tor-to-stator orientations of 0 and 20. These orienta-
tions correspond to an interval of one-half of a blade
passing. Fig. 6 shows that for positions that lie outside of
the stator wake, the passing rotor blade imparts signifi-
cant unsteadiness into the radial component of the flow at
this downstream location. Conversely, for regions inside
the stator wake, the radial velocity is not affected by the
passing rotor blade. These data can be important for
identifying regions of unsteadiness from the interaction
of the rotor and stator throughout the stator passage.

Vr
-4.5
-4.0
-3.5
-3.0
-2.5
-2.0
-1.5
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
-70.0 -60.0 -50.0 -40.0 -30.0 -20.0 -10.0 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0
r? (mm)
<
V
r
>

(
m
/
s
)
Precal 0
Poscal 0
Precal 20
Poscal 20

Fig. 6 Phase-averaged radial data at r/R = 0.885

Numerical Simulation Procedure
Grid and boundary conditions
The simulation topology closely follows the
wall-mounted test-rig configuration. The boundary con-
ditions involve a no-slip condition in the proper reference
frame at the solid walls, a specified mass flow rate inlet
and a constant pressure outlet. Wall functions have been
used with the k- turbulence model to further reduce the
number of grid nodes at the solid walls. Finally two types
of steady boundary conditions, besides the sliding mesh
feature of the unsteady runs, have also been used at the
rotor-stator interface: either a frozen-rotor GGI at various
relative positions of the rotor with respect to the stator or
a stage (mixed plane) condition. With the above simpli-
fications, the resulting grid size is kept below 1 million
grid nodes and is shown in Fig. 7 in a meridional plane.


Fig. 7 Grid and fan system topology system.

Convergence assessment
Similar to the previous simulation at the nominal flow
rate (1720 m
3
/h) in [6], the convergence of the unsteady
simulations has been checked by monitoring the inte-
grated forces at three spanwise locations on both the ro-
tor and the stator at each time step. These forces are ob-
tained by integrating the wall pressure distribution over a
small radial slab in the rotating reference frame, at the
blade foot and tip and at midspan. Figures 8 and 9 repre-
sent two components of the rotor and stator forces re-
spectively, divided by the total blade surface, over sev-
eral blade passing periods (BPP). As in [6], the rotor flow
has first settled down at midspan after three cycles (Fig.
8). Another seven additional complete cycles are needed
for the stator at the tip (Fig. 9) and on the hub. All polar
plots exhibit a converged periodic behavior after ten cy-
cles.
-0,22
-0,215
-0,21
-0,205
-0,2
-0,195
-0,078 -0,076 -0,074 -0,072 -0,07 -0,068
Cx
C
y
BPP 1
BPP 2
BPP 3
BPP 4
BPP 5
BPP 6
BPP 7
BPP 8
BPP 9
BPP 10

Fig. 8 Rotor polar plot at midspan.
6 Proceedings of the 8
th
International Symposium on Experimental and Computational Aerothermodynamics of Internal Flows

-0,026
-0,025
-0,024
-0,023
-0,022
-0,021
-0,02
-0,019
-0,018
0,027 0,028 0,029 0,03 0,031 0,032 0,033 0,034 0,035 0,036
Cx
C
y
BPP 1
BPP 2
BPP 3
BPP 4
BPP 5
BPP 6
BPP 7
BPP 8
BPP 9
BPP 10

Fig. 9 Stator polar plot at tip.
Results
The integral performances are first compared to the
previous experimental data and to the two simulations at
the two flow rates shown in Table 1. The pressure rise is
noticeably lower than the measurement at ENSAM. The
maximum efficiency gain reached by the long stators is
now reduced to 5-6 %. Additional measurements with a
symmetric aluminum mock-up and the same nylon fan
prototype used at ENSAM did not recover the discrep-
ancy. The remaining difference between the two experi-
mental set-ups is the way the fan system is mounted on
the plenums.

0,0
2,0
4,0
6,0
8,0
10,0
12,0
14,0
0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0 1,2
r/R
V
m
a
g

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 10 Mean velocity magnitude in region #1 (?=0).

As explained above, a radial survey has been per-
formed behind the stator trailing edge (region #1). Fig.
10 shows the velocity magnitude of the two simulations
and the measurement using the pre- and post-calibrations,
as a function of normalized radius r/R. First, a good
pre-to-post-calibration agreement is again checked, a sign
of no significant hot wire or temperature drift. The simu-
lation at the higher flow rate matches the measured data
closer near the hub whereas the simulation and the ex-
periment agree better at the lower flow rate in the tip
region. Sensitivity to the extraction line has been checked
in the simulation at 1980 m
3
/h. It did not improve the
comparison. It should be noted that a similar trend had
been obtained in the ENSAM survey further downstream:
the experimental data have a flatter profile with more
flow at the tip than at the hub. This behavior was ex-
plained by the flow entrainment through the back plate of
the electrical motor as shown by the tuft visualization of
Fig. 5 in [5]. This induced radial flow is not modeled in
the URANS that assume a slip condition on the motor
case.

0,0
2,0
4,0
6,0
8,0
10,0
12,0
-80,0 -60,0 -40,0 -20,0 0,0 20,0 40,0
r*? (mm)
V
m
a
g

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 11 Mean velocity magnitude in region #2 (r/R=0.885).

Figs. 11 to 13 compare the mean velocity magnitude
of the two unsteady runs with the measured pre- and
post-calibration data across the blade passage, in regions
#2-4. The region -10 < r? < 0 is the suction side of the
stator, and the region r? > 0 the pressure side. The region
outside (r? < -10) corresponds to the inviscid core. The
simu lation at the higher flow rate agrees better with the
measured data in all regions. Yet, two noticeable differ-
ences can be seen in all plots: the levels of the simula-
tions are systematically lower and the wake thickness in
the MSU experiment is always wider than in the numeri-
cal results. The latter is hardly noticeable in Fig. 11 in the
tip region. But at midspan (Fig.12) and closer to the hub
(Fig. 13) a second hump appears in the experimental pro-
files on the pressure side (r? > 5), significantly widening
the wake deficit region. It could be assumed that the pla-
teau and the additional velocity deficit seen on the ex-
perimental pressure side in regions #3-4 could come from
a large flow recirculation upstream or a large vortical
structure convected downstream in the stator passage. A
flow separation on the blade pressure side already exists
in the unsteady simulation but stays localized close to the
leading edge region. It is a sign of a negative incidence at
this relatively high flow rate (1980 m
3
/h). At the nominal
flow rate (1720 m
3
/h), the URANS show a well-behaved
flow with a clear inviscid core, no flow separation on the
pressure side and thin wakes in the blade passage.

Manuel HENNER et al. Validation of 3D Rotor-Stator URANS in Automotive Cooling Fan Systems
7

0,0
2,0
4,0
6,0
8,0
10,0
12,0
14,0
16,0
18,0
-60,0 -50,0 -40,0 -30,0 -20,0 -10,0 0,0 10,0 20,0 30,0
r*? (mm)
V
m
a
g

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 12 Mean velocity magnitude in region #3 (r/R=0.721).
0,0
2,0
4,0
6,0
8,0
10,0
12,0
14,0
16,0
18,0
20,0
-50,0 -40,0 -30,0 -20,0 -10,0 0,0 10,0 20,0 30,0
r*? (mm)
V
m
a
g

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 13 Mean velocity magnitude in region #4 (r/R=0.605).

To gain further insight, the velocity components of the
two unsteady runs and the measured pre- and
post-calibration data in region #2 (r/R = 0.885) are plot-
ted in Figs. 14 to 16. All experimental components show
a good pre-to-post calibration match. The mean axial
speed in Fig. 14 is the dominant velocity component and
bears the same characteristics as the velocity magnitude:
lower levels in the inviscid core and a thinner wake in
both URANS. The tangential velocity in Fig. 15 shows
more similarity between the experimental and numerical
profiles. The levels on the blade suction side are however
underestimated in the simulations. A similar trend is
found in region #3. The levels obtained close to the hub
in region #4 are almost identical to those in region #3 on
the pressure side (a large and wide velocity deficit similar
to what was seen for the velocity magnitude in Figs. 12
and 13). These higher experimental data also suggest
more swirl, less flow straightening and consequently a
lower pressure rise as observed. All radial speed profiles
in Fig. 16 are similar, close to zero, in the inviscid core
up to r? -10. Then the experimental data show a sharp
decrease of the radial comp onent with a peak value above
the blade trailing edge. This variation is not observed in
the nominal flow simulation but is initiated in the high
flow rate result. Yet the peak value is four times higher in
the experiment, suggesting a larger centripetal flow in the
MSU experiment.

0,0
2,0
4,0
6,0
8,0
10,0
12,0
-80,0 -60,0 -40,0 -20,0 0,0 20,0 40,0
r*? (mm)
V
z

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 14 Mean axial velocity in region #2 (r/R = 0.885).
0,0
0,5
1,0
1,5
2,0
2,5
3,0
3,5
4,0
4,5
-80,0 -60,0 -40,0 -20,0 0,0 20,0 40,0
r*? (mm)
V


(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 15 Mean t angential velocity in region #2 (r/R=0.885).
-5,0
-4,0
-3,0
-2,0
-1,0
0,0
1,0
2,0
-80,0 -60,0 -40,0 -20,0 0,0 20,0 40,0
r*? (mm)
V
r

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 16 Mean radial velocity in region #2 (r/R=0.885).

To estimate the level of unsteadiness in the experiment,
the RMS velocities found in region #1 are normalized by
the mean free stream velocity, computed from the fan
annulus section and the known mass flow rate. Fig. 17
shows that two distinct zones can be distinguished: below
r/R 0.7, a high level of fluctuations is found up to 30%
of the mean flow with an equal contribution from all ve-
8 Proceedings of the 8
th
International Symposium on Experimental and Computational Aerothermodynamics of Internal Flows

locity components; beyond r/R 0.8, the RMS levels are
much lower; here they are around 15% of the mean flow.
In between, a transitional zone has a sharp increase of all
velocity components. In the present simulations, the level
of unsteadiness in this region never exceeds 5% of the
local mean value. This may be due to the grid coarseness
and to a too large damping at the rotor-stator interface.

0,00
0,05
0,10
0,15
0,20
0,25
0,30
0,35
0,40 0,50 0,60 0,70 0,80 0,90 1,00 1,10
r/R


N
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d

R
M
S

v
e
l
o
c
i
t
i
e
s
Vmag Precal
Vmag Poscal
Vz Precal
Vz Poscal
Vt Precal
Vt Poscal
Vr Precal
Vr Poscal

Fig. 17 RMS velocities in region #1.

Fig. 18 shows the complete Reynolds stress tensor in
region #1. The two separate zones found in Fig.17 can be
seen again. For r/R > 0.8, the cross terms V
r
'
V
?
'
, V
r
'
V
z
'
,
and V
?
'
V
z
'
are almost zero and the diagonal stresses V
r
' 2
,
V
z
' 2
, and V
?
' 2
are dominant and have almost the similar
level. For r/R < 0.7, the latter are three times larger and
the former are no longer zero, the Reynolds stress V
?
'
V
z
'

being the largest with similar variations. The other two
stresses V
r
'
V
?
'
and V
r
'
V
z
'
have opposite signs and half the
magnitude.

-2,00
-1,00
0,00
1,00
2,00
3,00
4,00
5,00
6,00
7,00
0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1 1,1
r/R
R
e
y
n
o
l
d
s

S
t
r
e
s
s

T
e
n
s
o
r

(
m

/
s

)
Vr'2
Vt'2
Vz'2
Vr'Vt'
Vr'Vz'
Vt'Vz'

Fig. 18 Reynolds stress tensor in region #1.
Discussion
The trend in the radial velocity component observed in
Fig. 16 in region #2 is even larger at midspan and closer
to the hub in regions #3-4 (Fig. 19). This systematic in-
crease of radial flow towards the hub is qualit atively
captured by the URANS. The radial survey of Fig. 20
also stresses that this radial flow is larger at the hub for
both measurements and simulations. Yet the measure-
ments show much larger radial flow at midspan. This
could be again a consequence of the flow suction through
the electrical motor not simulated in the URANS.

-8,0
-7,0
-6,0
-5,0
-4,0
-3,0
-2,0
-1,0
0,0
-50,0 -40,0 -30,0 -20,0 -10,0 0,0 10,0 20,0 30,0
r*? (mm)
V
r

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 19 Mean radial velocity in region #4 (r/R=0.605).
-8,0
-6,0
-4,0
-2,0
0,0
2,0
4,0
0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0 1,2
r/R
V
r

(
m
/
s
)
Precal
Poscal
URANS (1980)
URANS (1720)

Fig. 20 Mean radial velocity in region #1.

The shallower slopes of the mean velocity magnitude
on the pressure side of both simulations and hot -wire
measurements seen in regions #3 and #4 (r? > 0 in Figs.
12 and 13) could be traced to a large vortical structure
born at the stator leading edge near the blade tip (at r/R).
Fig. 21, which is a plot of the instantaneous streak lines,
shows that this vortex then separates from the blade pres-
sure side and moves downwards toward the hub. Its
radius also increases toward the hub explaining the
thickening of the blade wake observed above. Yet the
differences in the wake thickness observed in Figs. 12
and 13 might be attributed to a larger and stronger vortex
in the experiment. Below r/R=0.605, this vortex merges
with the flow separation caused by the hub corner and
becomes more axial and stronger. This may explain the
high unsteadiness observed experimentally in the tuft
survey below this normalized radius.
Manuel HENNER et al. Validation of 3D Rotor-Stator URANS in Automotive Cooling Fan Systems
9



Fig. 21 Streak lines colored by the velocity magnitude in
the stator passage (pressure side view).

The experimental RMS velocities in region #3 are
shown in Fig. 22. Again excellent pre-to-post-calibrations
are observed for this set of data. The RMS velocity mag-
nitude and the corresponding components confirm the
above assumption on the two features making up the
wake structure. The left-hand side of the figure (r? = -10)
shows the lowest RMS levels across this arc length. This
region is outside of the wake region of the stator and its
only source of sheared fluid is from the passing rotor.
Then within the wake (r? > -10), two separate regions
with distinct peaks are found in the RMS velocities. On
the one hand, the suction side of the stator (-10 < r? < 0)
shows characteristically higher RMS levels for all com-
ponents, with the streamwise component, V
z
, exhibiting
the highest overall levels as expected from a classical
airfoil wake. This feature is also found in regions #2 and
#4 from hub to tip. On the other hand, the pressure side
(r? > 0) shows a surprisingly high RMS level over a wide
arc length ( 20 mm) with all velocity components
yielding about the same peak levels . These peak values
are higher than the suction side ones except for the
streamwise component, V
z
, which shows comparable
levels on either side. These similar levels are exa mined
further in Fig. 23, which shows the streamwise velocity
spectra for the peak RMS velocity locations on the suc-
tion (point A) and pressure sides (point B). This large
region of low speed highly turbulent fluid will in turn
reduce the stator-vane channel through which most of the
flow rate goes and could explain the systematic larger
experimental velocities observed from hub to tip in Figs
11 to 13. It should be stressed that the RMS variations for
all components are similar in the other investigated re-
gions. The levels , however, are only alike in region #4
close to the hub, but they are twice smaller at the tip in
region #2 (consistently with Fig. 17).

0,0
0,5
1,0
1,5
2,0
2,5
3,0
3,5
-60,0 -50,0 -40,0 -30,0 -20,0 -10,0 0,0 10,0 20,0 30,0
r*? (mm)
R
M
S

v
e
l
o
c
i
t
i
e
s

(
m
/
s
)
Vmag (Precal)
Vmag (Poscal)
Vz (Precal)
Vz (Poscal)
Vt (Precal)
Vt (Poscal)
Vr (Precal)
Vr (Poscal)

Fig. 22 RMS velocities in region #3 (r/R=0.721).

Figure 23 shows that the comparable RMS levels for
V
z
on both the suction and pressure side (points A and B
in Fig. 22) have significantly different spectral content.
The suction side peak V
z
RMS location (A) shows a fre-
quency spike at approximately 550 Hz. This spike ap-
pears to be evidence of a suction side vortex shedding: a
Strouhal number of 0.2 yields a characteristic thickness at
the trailing edge of about 3 mm, consistent with the local
wake thickness on this rotor-assembly at these flow con-
ditions. However, the pressure side (B) has higher RMS
levels for frequencies below 400 Hz, with a constant 3
dB diffe rence below 300 Hz. These higher levels below
400 Hz could come from either a low frequency
interaction between the rotor and the pressure side of the
stator or a separated condition with a flow recirculation
near the trailing edge of the stator. The pressure side
spectrum consistently shows lower levels than those of
the suction side for frequencies above 400 Hz and on up
to the Nyquist cut -off at 15 kHz.

10
3
10
4
-60
-55
-50
-45
-40
-35
-30
-25
-20
f (Hz)
1
0
L
o
g
1
0

V
V


Pressure Side, V
z
Suction Side, V
z

Fig. 23 Spectra for the peak V
rms
velocity locations on the
pressure and suction side of the stator in region #3.
B
A
10 Proceedings of the 8
th
International Symposium on Experimental and Computational Aerothermodynamics of Internal Flows

Concluding Remarks
Detailed hot-wire measurements have been performed
downstream of a typical Valeo automotive engine cooling
fan system assembly with long efficient stators , in the
Axial Fan Research and Development facility at MSU.
The data collected with two specific probes, a conven-
tional X-probe and a newly developed double X-probe
are meant to validate full numerical simulations of such
low speed fan systems. The double X-probe not only
yields the entire mean and RMS velocity components but
also the complete local Reynolds stress tensor in the
wake of the rotor-stator assembly. The experimental in-
vestigation shows excellent day-to-day repeatability and
consistent pre- to post-calibration results providing a
high level of confidence in the measurements.
By comparing with previous measurements on the
same assembly, significant differences are found on the
overall performances. The static efficiency gain is halved
over the whole flow rate range. Comparisons with simu l-
taneous URANS simulations, which match the overall
performances of the previous experiments more closely,
help clarify the observed differences. A new numerical
simulation has been performed at the higher flow rate of
the present hot-wire survey, on the same grid as the one
used at design conditions previously. It has been again
fully converged in time.
Comparisons of the numerical and experimental mean
velocity components along a radial line behind the stator
trailing edge and three blade-to-blade arcs from hub to
tip suggest two main differences. On the one hand, the
centripetal radial flow in the measurements is much lar-
ger, particularly at midspan and near the hub. This could
be attributed to the large flow aspiration through the
electrical motor present in the experiment, and not mo d-
eled in the current simulations. On the other hand, the
unsteady vortical structure born at the rotor blade tip evi-
denced in the simulations is much larger and stronger in
the present experiment. It moves from hub to tip above
the stator pressure side and merges below midspan with
the secondary flow induced by the sharp fan hub corner
upstream. Its large unsteadiness is further evidenced by
looking at the RMS levels, which confirms the presence
in the blade passage of an additional large highly turbu-
lent vortical structure merging with the stator wakes
downstream of the vanes. These larger secondary flows
also increase the experimental axial velocity in the po-
tential zone of the blade passage. Moreover, the higher
experimental swirl at all radii also explains the reduced
overall performances of the stator in the MSU set-up.
Finally, the discrepancies observed between the dif-
ferent experimental integral measurements also suggest
that some significant modifications of the flow field
could occur if the interface with the test rig could not be
matched exactly and that the tip clearance geometry
could not be controlled (only remaining differences iden-
tified between the ENSAM and MSU set-ups). This in
turn may significantly affect the way the tip vortex ini-
tially develops and grows in the blade passage. This also
stresses the sensitivity of the design to the tip clearance
geometry and the industrial tolerances.
Acknowledgement
Special thanks to the students and staff of MSU that
helped collecting the experimental data, and to Professor
Foss for his support and technical advice.
References
[1] Lakshminarayana, B., Fluid Dynamics and Heat
Transfer of Turbomachinery, Wiley Interscience,
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[2] Noise in Turbomachines, VKI Lectures Series,
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[3] Fournier, F., and Roger, M., Prdiction du bruit
d'interactions potentielles dans les machines tour-
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Acad. Sci. Paris, 308, Srie II, (1989).
[4] Bakir, F., Rey, R., and Moreau, S., Latest Devel-
opments in Automotive Engine Cooling Fan Systems
Rotor-Stator Interactions, FEDSM99-7331, San
Francis co, July 1999.
[5] Moreau, S., and Bakir, F., Detailed Study of an Ef-
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2003.
[6] Moreau, S., Henner, M., and Neal, D., 3D Ro-
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th
European Turbomachinery Con-
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[8] Neal, D.R., Moreau, S. , Henner, M., and Foss, J.F.,
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th
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