This paper describes an active noise control method to suppress the blade tones of centrifugal fans. Two secondary sound sources are mounted into the cutoff region of the fan casing. These sources are driven with electrical signals that are synchronized with the rotation of the impeller, and their amplitudes and phase are adjusted to give maximum reduction for the blade tone levels in the inlet and outlet duct of the fan. With this design, the sound emitted by the secondary sources is introduced into the interior of the casing near the source region where the blade tone is generated, i.e., the cutoff. The present experiments were concentrated on the reduction of the fundamental of the blade tone for centrifugal fan with impeller diameters between 280 mm (11 in.) and 710 mm (28 in.). Two different designs of secondary sources were investigated. In the first, two loudspeakers are contained within an enclosure which has an open end made of a curved perforated plate which replaces part of the original cutoff. The second design incorporates two vibrating plates which replace portions of the outlet duct side and the volute side of the cutoff. Reductions in tone sound pressure level of up to 23 dB have been observed for a variety of aerodynamic loading conditions and fan inlet geometries. To obtain a better understanding of the physical mechanism of this active noise control method, sound pressure measurements were also made on the inner surface of the fan casing along the volute. Both amplitude and phase of the blade passing frequency component were measured relative to a reference signal derived from the impeller rotation. The result of this experiment is that the sound field inside the casing is dominated by the pressure pattern rotating together with the impeller. Since the impeller tip Mach number is well below sonic speed, however, the radiation efficiency of the rotating pressures is very low. The blade tone noise measured in the far-field is generated by the unsteady pressures at the cutoff which in turn are produced by the flow leaving the impeller. This aerodynamic noise generating mechanism is modified by the active sources located in the cutoff.

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