Operating in harsh conditions can present serious challenges for companies across various industries, but deadlines must be met no matter how extreme the environment. Severe weather, in particular, can affect all types of industrial processes and equipment.
While most of us understand the basics of satellite communications such as a TV signal sent from space, it can be hard to envision the satellite itself as a piece of working machinery. For one, most of the general public has never actually seen a large mobile satellite hub. Second, space can be a difficult working area to comprehend.
Satellite equipment features an intricate layout of electrical components that function just as they would in a manufacturing environment, computer server room, or similar set up. This means that satellite technologies heat up just like other equipment, and so the need for cooling measures is critical for a few reasons:
• Satellites that malfunction or shut down could cripple networks that are essential for communication and safety.
• There is little to no capabilities to send support technicians to work on inoperable satellites.
• The environment that mobile satellite communications operate in is rugged and unpredictable.
Since the reliability of these mobile satellite communications is so essential, companies that operate in this industry must use innovative and dependable ways to keep their equipment functional. Pelonis was recently faced with this issue when a customer needed a blower that could cool a number of on-board system components.
Axial vs Centrifugal Fans
There are two primary varieties of fan, axial fans and centrifugal fans. Pelonis Technologies, Inc. (PTI), a global leader in fan technology for more than 25 years, manufactures both axial and centrifugal fans.
The design and function of a centrifugal fan is very different from those of an axial fan. Their differences make them each suited for different applications and customers are sometimes unclear as to which fan type will best suit their needs.
To help clear up that confusion, here is a breakdown of the fan types, their benefits, and their uses.
Squirrel cage fans have a wheel with a number of fan blades that are all mounted around a central hub and they are also known as tangential or cross flow fans. Usually connected to the housing with a motor drive, the squirrel cage fan achieves air movement when the hub turns.
Air moves through the fan wheel, and then flows over the fan blades, exiting the fan. Its long history of use and simple design have made the squirrel cage fan one of the most reliable and frequently used fan types on the market today.
The question of how to provide the best cooling for industrial applications has been around since the earliest days of the industrial revolution. When equipment is functioning at a high level, it often produces heat that needs to be dissipated, and today, facilities are using systems that are more advanced than ever.
With the advances in technology that are so commonplace in today’s industrial landscape, many systems are being designed to provide the greatest power possible in the smallest possible space. These systems can run the risk of overheating if they are not designed with an appropriate cooling mechanism.
Overheated equipment can pose many risks, including poor performance of equipment, early component and lubricant deterioration, overall system malfunction, and ultimately the possibility of fire and other safety risks for users and operating personnel.
Are you looking for a cooling fan for your industrial operation? We’re in the business of helping to answer the numerous questions that develop when it comes time to choose a new fan or blower. Here are a few of the most common questions we get from people at this point in the decision making process.
How much heat am I generating?
In order to determine the airflow that is needed to cool the system you must conduct a thermal analysis. The origin and amount of heat generated inside a piece of equipment or during a process is measured by using one or a combination of six different types of sensors and other devices.
Data delivered from these sensors can indicate where heat problems exist while helping to map the necessary airflow to provide cooling. Once the amount of airflow is determined, the cooling air path is mapped using sensors and software to ensure that all major sources of heat receive the air required to adequately cool them.
Ball bearings and sleeve bearings are used extensively in DC fan manufacturing to provide effective cooling solutions. Both have advantages and disadvantages all of which should be considered in the design application phase.
Comparative Characteristics of Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearings
Most ball bearing fans operate for approximately 50,000 hours or more. A conventional sleeve fan will operate for more than 30,000 hours. There are a variety of factors that determine the overall life of a fan such as ambient temperature, fan mounting position, amount of friction, and bearing lubrication used.
Under some conditions ball bearing fans and sleeve bearing fans have comparable life spans. However, when ambient temperatures or friction increase, or when mounted in a non-vertical position, the life of sleeve bearing fans decreases significantly. Sleeve bearings have broad line-contact between the shaft and bearing during the back-and-forth sliding motion which generates more friction than the point contact of ball bearings.
The biggest factor facing the longevity and efficiency of cooling fan motors inevitably concerns the ability of equipment to handle demands of friction and heat stress. A cooling dc fan motor could theoretically be in operation around the clock and in place for a longer overall lifespan than most other industrial equipment.
Finding the right balance of power and cooling ability, counterpoised by energy efficiency and maintenance cost are key. It can be a daunting task, especially if the fan is responsible for cooling critical equipment. But, by following the steps below, you can be confident that you’ve made the right choice.
As in the U.S., the European manufacturing industry suffered deep consequences as a result of the recession of 2008.
Construction projects slowed or came to a complete halt, which hurt all sectors of the industry, including the market for fans, blowers, and heating elements.
According to some reports, however, the fan and blower industry seems poised for a comeback, which is welcome news for workers, manufacturers and customers in Europe and beyond.
Though 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, the process has only just begun to enter mainstream society. A 3D printer works by depositing material, such as PLA thermoplastics, in layers until it has built up a physical object based on a digital file. In the past, these printers have been used to create jewelry, prototypes, industrial parts and more. As an increasing number of manufacturers, hobbyists and companies experiment with the potentials of this process, they’ve also developed new methods to improve the quality of the end product. One of those methods is to use a cooling fan to improve bridging and overhang performance.
A cooling fan is crucial for good overhang performance on a PLA 3D printed product. It can be programmed to operate at different speeds during the printing process, which has several desirable consequences. Running a fan constantly during printing is detrimental to the final product. It can cause stringing, a defect in which “small threads of plastic are trailed into undesirable areas.” Stringing occurs when the machine is unable to remove the force that pushes the thermoplastic filament out of the nozzle quickly enough. Using a fan at different speeds also makes the quality of a 3D print more consistent and less dependent on the temperature of the environment at the time.