Nowadays, design processes need of agile and flexible tools and methods to meet market needs and Ecodesign directive in the industry of household appliances. Virtual prototyping techniques are widespread in design processes and practices, in order to reduce the project development lead-time and the cost related to any real physical prototyping. The aim of this paper is the study of a generic modular approach to support the optimization process of simple mechanical parts using virtual prototyping tools and a multi-DOE solving analysis based on virtual experiments. The target is to increase flexibility in design phases. The research context regards the optimization of a blower for cooker hood applications, in order to improve the fluid dynamic efficacy indicator in accordance with EU Ecodesign directive regarding ventilation fans. The increasing of fluid dynamic efficiency is a way to reduce electrical energy consumption during blower operation. Particularly, this paper focuses on the design optimization of an impeller for kitchen hood. The research-work takes into account the optimization of the blade profile. Inlet and outlet fluid-blade angles have been analyzed and discussed. The methodology proposes the study of a set of geometrical parameters through an analysis based on DOE scheduling with virtual experiments. The proposed test case provides a study of two different fan wheel models for the same hood application. Three geometrical parameters have been considered. The DOE objective function fits the maximization of the fluid dynamic efficiency indicator, in order to reduce energy consumptions. A multi-DOE approach has been used to evaluate the best configuration set. Several CFD simulations have been conducted and the resultant impeller configuration has been also validated through physical tests.
Cicconi, P., Landi, D., Germani, M. (2014). A modular optimization method based on a multi-DOE approach proposed for a centrifugal impeller. In ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) [10.1115/IMECE2014-38056].