Geometric optimisation of piezoelectric fan arrays for low energy cooling

Alastair Hales*, Xi Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A numerical model of a typical piezoelectric fan blade is derived and validated against experimental data. Numerical error is found to be 5.4% and 9.8% using two data comparison methods. The model is used to explore the variation of pitch as a function of amplitude, A, for a confined two-blade piezoelectric fan array in face-to-face orientation, with the blades oscillating both in-phase and counter-phase. It has been reported that in-phase oscillation is optimal for generating maximum downstream velocity and flow rate in unconfined conditions, due at least in part to the beneficial coupling between the adjacent blades that leads to an increased oscillation amplitude. The present model demonstrates that confinement has a significant detrimental effect on in-phase oscillation. Even at low pitch, counter-phase oscillation produces enhanced downstream air velocities and flow rates. Downstream air velocity from counter-phase oscillation can be maximally enhanced, relative to that generated from a single blade, by 17.7% at P=8A. Flow rate enhancement at the same pitch is found to be 18.6%. By comparison, in-phase oscillation at the same pitch outputs 23.9% and 24.8% reductions in peak downstream air velocity and flow rate, relative to that generated from a single blade. This optimal pitch, equivalent to those reported in the literature, suggests that counter-phase oscillation is less affected by confinement. The optimal pitch for generating bulk airflow from counter-phase oscillation is large, P>16A, due to the small but significant downstream velocity across the span between adjacent blades. However, by considering design in a confined space, counter-phase pitch should be minimised to maximise the bulk airflow generated from a certain cross-sectional area within a channel flow application. Quantitative values are found to deviate to a small degree as other geometric and operational parameters are varied, but the established relationships are maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Volume137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the project grant EP/P030157/1 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Low energy cooling
  • Piezoelectric fans
  • Power electronics

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