10th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid dynamics & Thermodynamics
Based on the requirement of energy consumption level and weight and dimension restriction, compact axial machines are highly demanded in many industrial fields. The counter-rotating axial-flow fans could be a promising way to achieve these requirements. Because of the reduction of rotational speed and a better homogenization of the flow downstream of the rear rotor, these machines may have very good aerodynamic performances. However, they are rarely used in subsonic applications, mainly due to poor knowledge of the aerodynamics in the mixing area between the two rotors, where very complex structures are produced by the interaction of highly unsteady flows. The purpose of the present work is to compare the global performances (static pressure rise and static efficiency) and the wall pressure fluctuations downstream of the first rotor for three different stages operating at the same point: a single subsonic axial-flow fan, a conventional rotor-stator stage and a counter-rotating system that have been designed with inhouse tools. The counter-rotating system allows large savings of energy with respect to the other two systems, for lower rotation rates and by adjusting the distance between the two rotors, a solution with comparable wall pressure fluctuations levels for the three systems is found.