CFD Predictions and Experimental Comparisons of Pressure Drop Effects of Turning Vanes in 90° Duct Elbows

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Energy Engineering





First page number:


Last page number:



This paper presents new results for numerical predictions of air flow and pressure distribution in two commonly used elbows: (1) 90° mitered duct elbows with turning vanes having 0.05 m radius, 0.038 m vane spacing and (2) 90° mitered duct elbows without turning vanes, in 0.2×0.2 m (8 in.×8 in.) duct cross section using the STAR-CD computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. A k-ε turbulence model for high Reynolds number and k-ε Chen model were used for that purpose for comparative purposes. The simulation used 13 different Reynolds numbers chosen between the range of 1×105 and 2×106 . To validate the CFD results, the results of two experimental papers using guided vanes were compared with simulated vane runs under the same condition. The first experimental study used a 0.6×0.6 m (24 in.×24 in.) square elbow with 0.05 m radius, 0.038 m vane spacing and air velocities at 2.54 m/s (500 fpm) and 25.4 m/s (5,000 fpm), the second experiment used a 0.81×0.2 m (32 in.×8 in.) rectangular elbow geometry with 0.05 m radius, 0.038 m vane spacing with air velocities from 10.16 m/s (2,000 fpm) to 13.97 m/s (2,750 fpm). For Reynolds numbers (1.00–2.00)×105 the pressure drop difference between vaned and unvaned elbows was found to be 35 Pa as compared to 145 Pa. The simulations also agreed reasonably well with published experimental results. For the 0.6×0.6 m (24 in.×24 in.) square elbow and 0.81×0.2 m (32 in.×8 in.) rectangular elbow with vanes, the difference in pressure drop was 3.9 and 4.1% respectively and indicates that CFD models can be used for predictive purposes in this important HVAC applications area.


Air ducts – Aerodynamics; Air flow; Air pressure; Computational fluid dynamics


Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering




Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

UNLV article access

Search your library