Space constraints in many emerging electronic systems mean that there is a growing demand for heat sinks which are low in profile. As a result, small, low profile fans are necessary. In many instances Radial flow fans are best suited. An understanding of the design and performance of these fans is therefore necessary. For radial flow fans little work has been done to quantify the deviation of aerodynamic performance from that predicted by conventional fan laws. This paper aims to address this situation, by performing measurements of pressure rise, flow rate and power consumption for 3.5mm high radial flow fan rotors ranging in diameter from 20 to 35mm over a range of speeds. Measurements presented show variations of pressure rise and flow rate with Reynolds number to be largely in accordance with trends predicted by high Reynolds number theory, with the exception of flow rates at the lower range of Reynolds numbers which fell below the predicted values. Variations in power consumption show a similar trend to those of flow rate, with power consumption obeying the fan laws for the higher Reynolds numbers investigated, but showing a large increase at the lower Reynolds numbers.

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