When upgrading a power plant, or adding additional flue gas cleaning equipment to a plant due to new environmental regulations, the fan(s) driving the air flow through the plant need to be upgraded to account for the increased flow volume and/or pressure drop.

Footprint expansion, i.e. plant ground area for expanding to larger size of fans, is in most cases not available at all why fan manufacturers are challenged to increase the fan capacity without increasing the size.

Selling fans to new powerplants – footprint is as well expensive so together with fan efficiency and fan material costs, fan capacity per install area unit is a key development driver for fan manufacturers.

Following this, Howden Axial Fans in 2011 launched an initiative to grow their market share through development of a new high capacity fan blade. Based on experience from earlier attempts, Howden realized that traditional calculation methods and laboratory testing would not be a possible way forward in the development work.


Based on already positive experiences from using ANSYS Workbench for structural analysis, Howden decided to add ANSYS CFD software and CFD competence into the development group and use the strength of simulation driven product development (SDPD) to develop the new fan blade.

In only one months time, after having had ANSYS CFD software training provided by EDRMedeso, Howden engineers were able to run a parametric CFD study on the influence of 10 different fan parameters and conducted over 300 different simulations to find a new high capacity fan blade design. Following this, a fan prototype was built and laboratory test could immediately reveal a fan performance as predicted by the ANSYS CFD simulations.


Innovation and Time-To-Market- Fan capacity was increased with almost 50%, from one man-month of CFD-analysis.

Reduced Cost – With the new design, weight and thereby material cost was reduced for each fan.

Increased Revenue – Since the new fan was introduced into the market- sales at Howden has increased significantly and Howden has come out as the market leader in power plant fans.

Want to read the complete case study?

Our customers