Multiple fans are sometimes used in an array configuration to cool various types of electronic equipment. In addition to adding another noise source, using two fans with closely spaced blade passage frequencies (BPF) can create an annoying beat frequency. A two fan array with each fan having a different BPF was considered. The fans were theoretically modeled at the BPF and first harmonics. Each fan has two acoustic paths to the far field. Thus, each fan was modeled as a two source array. The first control configuration consisted of one control filter using six control sources and six error sensors in a fully coupled control system designed to control both fans simultaneously. The second configuration used two independent controllers with three control sources and three error sensors, one controller per fan. Experimentally, the averaged narrow band reduction of the BPFs and the second harmonic of the two independent controllers were 15.6 and 7.4 dB respectively, compared to a reduction of 14.4 and 5.7 dB at the two frequencies using a single control loop. The results suggest that independent controllers perform better than the single control loop for the fan array studied. Optimization of active noise control systems has increased performance but sometimes with decreased robustness. Two control source configurations for the sound power reduction of a simple source were analyzed by modeling the control systems. The two control source configurations were four symmetric control sources surrounding the noise source and an optimized linear array of four control sources. Simulation results show the linear array control source configuration is more sensitive to microphone placement errors, with a 20-33 dB reduction in attenuation for a microphone placement error of 2 mm compared to a 0.8 dB drop in attenuation for the symmetric case. The linear array configuration was found to be more sensitive to the microphone placement errors compared to the symmetric configuration. A 2.5 mm change in one microphone position causes an average of 6 dB loss in attenuation for the linear array configuration compared to a 0.6 dB loss for the symmetric configuration.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Ryan Rust, active noise control, sensitivity, axial cooling fan, system modeling