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Effect of fan and shroud configurations on underhood flow characteristics of an agricultural tractor

Ozturk, Ilhan
Cetin, Cenk
Yavuz, Mehmet Metin
In the current study, effects of two different underhood geometry modifications namely; fan position relative to shroud and fan tip clearance, on airflow through an agricultural tractor engine cooling system are investigated by utilizing CFD modeling. For the characterization of each modification, the underhood components are reduced to a domain of cooling systems including only fan, shroud, and radiator that allows saving in computational time and cost. The models are validated using a custom designed underhood flow setup, where hotwire velocity measurements at proximity to the radiator are conducted. The mass flow rate and the uniformity of the airflow through the radiator are quantified as performance parameters. For the former modification, position of fan relative to shroud, the computations are performed for the percentages of fan projection into shroud (FPiS) varying from 78% to 0% at fan rotational speeds of 2060 and 2800 rpm. The optimum fan location is found to be around 56-60% for both rotational speeds that leads 8% increase in mass flow rate compared with the pre-design location of 74%. In addition, a noticeable reduction in the relative magnitude of the RMS velocity through the radiator is obtained for the moderate FPiS values. For the latter modification, fan tip clearance, the computations are performed for the tip clearance values varying from 5.25to 12 mm at a fan rotational speed of 2060 rpm. As the tip clearance decreases up to 6 mm, air mass flow rate can be improved by 7%. However, further reduction in tip clearance does not improve the air mass flow rate instead it decreases, suggesting an optimum tip clearance value. The results suggest that the proper geometrical modifications in engine cooling systems might induce significant improvement in the aforementioned performance indicators.