Research Paper: Fan Blade Engineering

The Case for Advanced 3D design of Ventilation Fans – Overcoming the Cost of Capital

Professor Glen Snedden (FRAeS PrEng CEng PhD), Air Blow Fans’ Director of Research and Development and Pieter Rossouw (ABF Fan Engineering; Analysis & Vibration Specialist) presented their paper, “The Case for Advanced 3D design of Ventilation Fans – Overcoming the Cost of Capital” at the MVSSA conference in 2021. Their paper was subsequently published in the MVSSA journal Volume 74, number 3 in September 2021.

Professor Snedden is currently Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of KwaZulu Natal’s School of Engineering, having spent 25 years at the CSIR where he was ultimately a Research Group Leader in the Aeronautical Systems Impact Area managing the CFD, NDT and Turbomachinery groups. He also holds a PhD from Durham University in the UK, which was done remotely from Pretoria through one of the well-known names in Turbine Aerodynamics, Doctor David Gregory-Smith, where he looked at improving turbine efficiencies using a design feature known as ‘non-axisymmetric endwall contouring.’

The pair’s paper reveals some of the thinking behind the aerodynamic design of the new series of primary and secondary ABF fans. This range of fans features dedicated blading and tooling, with modern aerospace design features, one of Professor Snedden’s areas of expertise. To achieve this, we have deployed our own proprietary fan design code, and thousands of hours of computational fluid dynamics simulations, finite element simulations and advanced solid modelling. Once we have completed the design of the entire fan range to this exacting standard, the design process will simply shift to a new phase – continuous improvement and development of new technology, quieter and even higher performance fans.

At the 2022 MVSSA conference, held at Emperor’s Palace, Professor Snedden and Rossouw were presented with a certificate for the “Best Paper of the Year.”

Their paper can be downloaded here.

MVSSA Certificate