This work deals with the application of the open source CFD code MULTALL to the analysis of tube-axial-fans. The code has been widely validated in the literature for high-speed turbomachine flows but not applied yet to low speed tutbomachines. The aim of this work is to assess the degree of reliability of MULTALL as a tool for simulating the internal flow in industrial axial-flow fan rotors. To this end, the predictions of the steady-state air flow field in the annular sector of a 315mm tube-axial fan obtained by MULTALL 18.3 are compared with those obtained by two state-of-the-art CFD codes and experimental data of the global aerodynamic performance of the fan and the pitch-wise averaged velocity distribution downstream of the rotor. All the steady-state RANS calculations were performed on either fully structured hexahedron or hexa-dominant grids using classical formulations of algebraic turbulence models. The pressure curve and the trend of the aeraulic efficiency in the stable operation range of the fan predicted by MULTALL show very good agreement with both the experimental data and the other CFD results. Although the estimation of the fan efficiency predicted by MULTALL can be noticeably improved by the more sophisticated state-of-the-art CFD codes, the analysis of the velocity distribution at the rotor exit supports the use of MULTALL as a reliable CFD analysis tool for designers of low-speed axial fans.

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