Simplified fan models are often used to simulate the effect of axial flow fans in large arrays of air-cooled condensers. The actuator disc method and its shortcomings are discussed and illustrated using computational fluid dynamics. A full 3-dimensional analysis of the fan is also performed at a single operating point to evaluate the flow conditions around the blade. This analysis confirms the results of the actuator disc method at the specific operating point. An adaptation of the actuator disc method, to improve its ability to model fan operation at low flow rates, is proposed. The effectiveness of the adaptation is evaluated by comparing the fan static pressure curve obtained from experimental results to the fan static pressure curve obtained from the simulations. The comparison shows that an analysis using the adapted actuator disc method produces results that correlate well with experimental values.

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