Table of Contents
ISRN Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 526192, 18 pages
Review Article

A Critical Review of Stall Control Techniques in Industrial Fans

1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale, Sapienza Università di Roma, Via Eudossiana 18, Rome, Italy
2Fläkt Woods Limited, Axial Way, Colchester, Essex CO4 5ZD, UK

Received 30 March 2013; Accepted 24 April 2013

Academic Editors: J. Clayton, J. Hu, J.-I. Jang, J. Seok, and D. Zhou

Copyright © 2013 Stefano Bianchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reviews modelling and interpretation advances of industrial fan stall phenomena, related stall detection methods, and control technologies. Competing theories have helped engineers refine fan stability and control technology. With the development of these theories, three major issues have emerged. In this paper, we first consider the interplay between aerodynamic perturbations and instability inception. An understanding of the key physical phenomena that occurs with stall inception is critical to alleviate stall by design or through active or passive control methods. We then review the use of passive and active control strategies to improve fan stability. Whilst historically compressor design engineers have used passive control techniques, recent technologies have prompted them to install high-response stall detection and control systems that provide industrial fan designers with new insight into how they may detect and control stall. Finally, the paper reviews the methods and prospects for early stall detection to complement control systems with a warning capability. Engineers may use an effective real-time stall warning system to extend a fan’s operating range by allowing it to operate safely at a reduced stall margin. This may also enable the fan to operate in service at a more efficient point on its characteristic.