Two-step computational aeroacoustics approach for underhood cooling fan application



Aeroacoustic noise is one of the important characteristics of the fan design. Computational Aeroacoustics (CAA) can provide better design options without relying on physical prototypes and reduce the development time and cost. There are two ways of performing CAA analysis; one-step and two-step approach. In one-step CAA, air flow and acoustic analysis are carried out in a single software. In two-step approach, air flow and acoustic analysis are carried out in separate software. Two-step CAA approach can expedite the calculation process and can be implemented in larger and complex domain problems. For the work presented in this paper, a mockup of an underhood cooling fan was designed. The sound pressure levels were measured for different installation configurations. The sound pressure level for one of the configurations was calculated with two-step approach and compared with test data. The compressible fluid flow field was first computed in a commercially available computational fluid dynamics software. This flow field was imported in a separate software where fan noise sources were computed and further used to predict the sound pressure levels at various microphone locations. The results show an excellent correlation between test and simulation for both tonal and broadband components of the fan noise.