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New Book Aids Advances in Industrial Fan Technology

Geoff Sheard, Fläkt Woods’ vice-president of fan technology, has written a new book, Advances in Industrial Technology, a mechanical digest aimed at providing information into the reality of what is needed to drive technological developments within the industrial fan industry.

In recent years there have been some major breakthroughs in industrial fan technology.

This book, written by engineers who work in this field and the organisations that facilitate development of the technology, reflects the latest examples and their applications to significantly aid engineering problems.

It evolved from discussions around eight conference papers, two journal papers and one patent, which together comprise the eleven chapters. The chapters broadly relate to one of four separate but complementary current technical areas of interest within the industrial fan community, namely, noise control, fan aerodynamics, blade erosion and smoke control.

Noise control and noise control systems remain an important technical area for the industrial fan community. In some applications fan noise is more important then fan aerodynamic efficiency, and therefore, the industry shows continued interest in the reduction of fan acoustic emissions.

Running an axial fan in aerodynamic stall will result in a relatively rapid in service mechanical failure. Differing and demanding applications for large industrial fans result in problems predicting an installed fan’s performance and the risk of aerodynamic stall. Accordingly, the industry is continually working on the development of computational methods to better predict fan performance, and technology that assists the development of new stall detection systems.

Although only significant in a minority of applications, erosion can drastically degrade industrial fan performance. As a result, the industry is keen to join in the modelling of erosive processes, to both predict the effect of erosion on fan performance and provide a design approach that will influence fan designs that are intrinsically less vulnerable to the effects of erosion.

The growth of new mass transit systems eases congestion in busy urban areas and provides the population with a clean and efficient means of transport. The design of ventilation systems that will remove hot gas and smoke, providing those trapped underground with a safe escape route in the event of a fire, therefore, continues to be an area of interest within the fan industries’ technical community.

Geoff has a broad technical understanding and perspective on the industrial fan industry and is the Fläkt Woods ultimate technical authority on all matters concerning rotating equipment. His background is in turbomachinery engineering. He progressed at Rolls Royce from apprentice, through university, earning a B.Eng. from Liverpool University and a technical doctorate from Oxford University.

He earned an MBA from Cranfield University School of Management before becoming chief of turbomachinery engineering within the Company, based at its Ansty site developing industrial variants of its gas turbines. Since joining Fläkt Woods, he has received a further PhD from the University of Northampton. He has been appointed a visiting fellow at Northampton University and an external examiner at Cranfield University and has lectured on both technical and management subjects at universities in the UK and overseas.


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