Flow-induced vibrations and failure of axial fan blades in electric generators

The outcome of the study will be used to improve the design tools for the fan blades in order to reduce the risk of unsteady flow characteristics that cause the vibration problems. The results can also be used to prevent this type of damages by identify existing fan blades which are within the critical range during the regular inspections.

The purpose of the project is to reduce the risk of generator break-down due to axial fan blade failure, and the corresponding enormous economical costs in terms of repair and loss of production. Depending on the size of the machine the cost for replacing the damaged hardware can be more than 40 MSEK and the loss of production can be up to 3 MSEK per day, and the delivery time to restore a damaged generator can be up to 12 months. The project will also provide knowledge for improved fan blade design when refurbishing and/or constructing new machines.

For the academy this project will develop knowledge in the physics of turbulent flow, as well as experimental and numerical techniques, methods and models for the future.

Om projektet


Håkan Nilsson, Chalmers


Valery Chernoray, Chalmers
Lars Davidson, Chalmers
Tomas Grönstedt, Chalmers
Niklas Andersson, Chalmers
Saber Mohammadi, Chalmers (post-doc)


P. Cardiff, H. Nilsson, och S. Mohammadi, Fluid-structure interaction on a fixed fan blade


oktober 2018 - september 2020