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How to Select a Cooling Fan

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Oct 18, 2021 11:12:50 AM | 0 Comments

How to Select the Right Cooling Fan

cooling fan

In many devices and systems, the buildup of heat can lead to reduced performance, prematurely deteriorated components and materials, and increased safety risks. For these reasons, many pieces of equipment utilize cooling fans to dissipate heat buildup and avoid these potentially costly consequences.

Since cooling fans are used in a wide range of products, they are available in a variety of designs and configurations to suit different application requirements and restrictions. While this broad selection makes it possible for product designers and engineers to find a component that meets their exact needs, it can also make it more challenging to find the right one. The following article serves as a helpful selection guide for readers, outlining the steps to follow when choosing a cooling fan for a particular application. 

The Cooling Fan Selection Process

Step 1: Perform a Thermal Analysis

The first step in the cooling fan selection process is performing a thermal analysis. A thermal analysis determines the amount of heat generated inside a particular piece of equipment or during a particular process. The result can be used to calculate the volume of air needed to cool the device or system. 

Thermal analysis operations use sensors and other instruments to determine the source(s) of heat and the amount of heat generated by each source. The heaviest consumers of power and, consequently, the biggest contributors to heat dissipation are often components like microcontrollers, processors, FPGAs, and MOSFETs. Once the necessary information is obtained, the amount of airflow required to cool the device or system can be calculated. Afterward, the cooling air path can be mapped using sensors and software to ensure that all major heat sources receive the air needed to cool them sufficiently. 

Step 2: Determine the System Impedance

After the thermal analysis is performed and the required air volume is calculated, the next step in the cooling fan selection process is determining the system impedance. System impedance refers to the sum of the pressure drop experienced as air travels between the fan’s inlet vents and exhaust vents. If a system has multiple air paths, the individual impedance values are added. The value(s) can be measured for different rates of airflow with pressure sensors or by placing the system in an air chamber. 

Step 3: Choose the Type of Fan

After the system impedance is identified, it can be used with the calculated airflow requirement to gauge the static pressure needed for the system. This information can then be utilized to determine which fan will serve as the best solution. 

Cooling fans are divided into two categories based on the way air flows through them. 

  • Axial fans have air enter and exit in the same plane. Similar to an airplane propeller, they have blades that generate aerodynamic lift and pressurize the air. They can provide high airflow and are ideal for applications involving relatively low static pressure. 
  • Centrifugal fans have air enter in one plane and exit in another. They have rotating impellers with blades that increase the speed of air streams and convert them into pressure. They can produce high pressures and are suitable for applications involving harsh conditions (e.g., moist or dirty air streams). 

Some of the factors to consider when selecting between these two fan designs are: 

  • Pressure
  • Airflow rate
  • Efficiency rate
  • Space constraints
  • Noise generation
  • Drive configuration
  • Operating temperature range
  • Operating environment range
  • Cost
  • Delivery time
  • Availability

Step 4: Final Considerations 

In addition to the above, other considerations to keep in mind when choosing a cooling fan for a system include: 

  • Integrating speed controls: Fans that run continuously at fast speeds will wear out quickly. Integrating speed control elements that alter the speed of the fan when needed can significantly increase the overall service life of a unit. 
  • Incorporating performance monitoring circuits: Performance monitoring circuits track fan performance to identify potential malfunctions before they occur. 
  • Establishing maintenance schedules/programs: Regardless of the fan you choose, it is essential to create and implement a maintenance schedule for it. Otherwise, the unit may break down unexpectedly. A basic maintenance program should cover the following: bearings, belts and sheaves, leakage, motor condition, and system cleaning. 

Quality Cooling Fans From Pelonis Technologies, Inc. (PTI)

Need additional assistance selecting a cooling fan for your application? Ask the experts at PTI! At Pelonis Technologies, Inc., we have developed and manufactured specialty cooling products for commercial and industrial operations for over 25 years. We have the knowledge and skills to answer any questions you may have and find the product that suits your exact needs. Contact us today to get started on your solution.

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Water Resistant DC Fans for Harsh Environments

Posted by Sam Pelonis | May 19, 2017 4:05:13 PM | 0 Comments

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.

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Power supply equipment, for instance, is especially susceptible to extreme weather conditions, as is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Without the proper equipment and guidelines in place, industrial facilities run the risk of increased downtime, added costs, and worker injuries. To ensure efficiency and minimize downtime and unnecessary expenditures, precautions must be taken to protect equipment and keep workers safe in hazardous areas.

Hazardous-Area Classification

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Underwriters Laboratories(UL), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and a number of other industry organizations publish standards classifying areas that are considered hazardous.

A “hazardous area” refers to any area, indoors or outdoors, with — or with the potential for — harsh conditions, such as gases in chemical and petrochemical plants, dangerous fumes in food processing facilities, or the intermingling of fluids with electrical components.

Weather Resistant Fans Download

Download our data sheet to learn about weather resistant fans suited

for the most demanding applications

Equipment Protection in Harsh Environments and Hazardous Weather

Equipment used in harsh environments, which can even include indoor applications in certain circumstances, must be designed to withstand dust and other contaminants — especially those that are flammable — as well as moisture, including water vapor, and direct water or liquid exposure.

Water-Resistant DC Fans

When DC fans must be used in these types of severe conditions, it’s imperative to employ a reliable, high-quality water-resistant model to ensure the safety of your equipment and staff.

Pelonis Technologies, Inc. (PTI) has been designing, developing, and manufacturing industry-leading axial AC and brushless DC fans for more than 25 years. This includes a wide range of severe weather and water-resistant fans, which offer unparalleled dust and water protection while meeting military and NASA material specifications, USP certifications, and UL certifications.

Our harsh weather fans feature an eco-friendly proprietary conformal coating with excellent low friction properties and corrosion resistance, allowing the fans to easily withstand dust, moisture, water exposure, and even full water immersion. Our DC fans also undergo a rigorous vacuum sealing process, enabling them to operate during submersion.

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PTI’s severe weather fans are ideal for a wide range of applications, including control equipment, emergency response vehicles, field and ground support equipment, indoor and outdoor cooling and ventilation applications, marine products and vessels, medical systems, military and mobile units, and security cameras.

To learn more about the importance of having the proper equipment in place for harsh weather conditions, or to discuss how PTI’s water-resistant DC fans can help ensure reliability and safety in your facility, contact the team today.

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How Pelonis Helps Ensure Mobile Satellite Communications

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Nov 11, 2015 11:00:00 AM | 0 Comments

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.

How Pelonis Helps Ensure Mobile Satellite CommunicationsSatellite 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.

This was no “stock” product, however, as the blower was to be featured on a mobile satellite vehicle and needed to be absolutely resistant to moisture and dust. In addition, the blower needed to protect the system's circuit board, cable connectors, and inlets.

Pelonis was able to find the solution with a high speed 24 volt DC blower that fit within an aluminum closure and was finished with a moisture and dust resistant coating. We also added a protective, customized inlet guard where needed and did so with an optimum turnaround time. The design was tested and approved and now operates to keep mobile satellite equipment cool and running efficiently, so that communication like calls, texts, and social media posts during a favorite TV show are delivered uninterrupted.

To learn much more about how we can design solutions for your specific project needs, visit our resources section, and feel free to contact us today.

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Axial Vs. Centrifugal Fans

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Nov 4, 2015 11:00:00 AM | 12 Comments

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.

To help clear up that confusion, here is a breakdown of the fan types, their benefits, and their uses.

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.

Axial Fans

Axial fans date back to the horizontally configured windmills of Europe in the Middle Ages. The first electrically powered fans, introduced in the 1880s, were axial fans.

Axial fans are named for the direction of the airflow they create. Blades rotating around an axis draw air in parallel to that axis and force air out in the same direction.

Axial fans create airflow with a high flow rate, meaning they create a large volume of airflow. However, the airflows they create are of low pressure. They require a low power input for operation.

Centrifugal Fans

Centrifugal FansThe centrifugal fan was invented in 1832 by military engineer Lieutenant General Alexander Sablukov of the Russian Empire’s Imperial Russian Army.

Often called blowers, centrifugal fans vary differently from axial fans. The pressure of an incoming airstream is increased by a fan wheel, a series of blades mounted on a circular hub. Centrifugal fans move air radially — the direction of the outward flowing air is changed, usually by 90°, from the direction of the incoming air.

The airflow created by centrifugal fans is directed through a system of ducts or tubes. This helps create a higher pressure airflow than axial fans. Despite a lower flow rate, centrifugal fans create a steadier flow of air than axial fans. Centrifugal fans also require a higher power input.

Fan Applications

Axial

Because of the low-pressure high-volume airflows they create, axial fans are best suited for general purpose applications. For example, they excel at moving air from one place to another, cooling confined spaces such as computers, and cooling larger spaces such as work spaces. 

A standard AC model is energy efficient, using no more than 100 watts when on high speed. AC fans can be connected directly to a DC power source, such as solar panels or batteries. Since the end goal in units like vending machines is an even flow of cooling power, an AC fan is the fairly obvious choice.

Currently, vending and refreshment industry leaders are trying to get the new generation excited about their services. As the new, hip crowd grows up attached to their technology, the industry is finding new and exciting ways to get their attention.

Cashless payment options, touch screens, and cell phone payment options are all becoming a part of the vending machine design. Companies like Intel® and Cisco Systems® are getting involved, which means the vending machine now has more and more in common with a computer.

And just like any computer you might have in your office, overheating becomes a larger concern with all this technology is included in the new designs.

With demanding technological features, you can see a drop-off in performance due to heat. AC fans are an excellent choice to maintain just the right amount of cooling for these components.

It’s for all these reasons, that we created the PM1225-7 series axial AC fan.  Axial AC fans are used extensively in vending machines to provide cooling where enclosure space is limited.

Centrifugal

Because of the high pressure they create, centrifugal fans are ideal for high pressure applications such as drying and air conditioning systems. As all of their moving parts are enclosed and they also have particulate reduction properties that makes them ideal for use in air pollution and filtration systems. Centrifugal fans also offer distinct benefits:

  • First-rate energy efficiency. Constant airflow allows centrifugal fans to generate energy that reaches up to 84% static efficiency. These higher efficiency levels are ideal for sustaining larger air systems.
  • Enhanced durability. These fans are durable enough to properly operate in the most corrosive and erosive environments.
  • Ability to restrict overloading. Certain centrifugal fans are fitted with non-overloading horsepower curves will ensure the motor will not overload if its capacity is exceeded.
  • Easy to maintain. Lighter material fans can be easily cleaned when you deem it necessary. Moreover, certain fans have self-cleaning characteristics, making daily maintenance that much easier.
  • High versatility. Centrifugal fans are useful for multiple airflow/pressure combinations, and they can process several airflow conditions, including clean, dry, and wet air
  • Multiple sizes. These fans are available in several sizes to accommodate diverse applications—such as those found in tight spaces or difficult to reach areas.

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Even within the categories of axial or centrifugal fans, there is a great amount of variation between models, all suited for different uses.

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Applications for Industrial Cooling Fan Systems

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Apr 15, 2014 12:14:23 PM | 2 Comments

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. 

pelonisIn order to avoid these problems, design engineers need to select the appropriate cooling unit for these systems.  One popular and economical option is the use of cooling fans.  Cooling fans are available in a wide array of options according to the temperature needs of the project.  Some considerations that a designer needs to think about when choosing the best cooling application include the size of the unit, voltage, and how much noise is involved.        

Different Sizes for Different Applications

Just as mechanical systems can come in all different sizes, the dimensions of cooling fans also vary greatly in order to ensure the best temperature stability.  This process is usually begun by thermal analysis, which is used to ascertain how much heat is generated inside systems in order to find out how much cooling is necessary. 

After this has been determined, a design engineer can then choose the proper sized cooling unit.  The exact size needed can be determined according to the sizing and density of the individual application.  For instance, cooling units for computers often need to be placed in very small spaces, and therefore will need to be designed to run at a high speed. 

By calculating the space available and how much cooling is needed, the appropriate fan can be chosen or designed as needed.  Knowing the desired temperature is also necessary for choosing a fan for large scale applications.  Larger fans can be used in applications such as locomotive engines that need a large volume of air constantly blowing to keep the engine and engine fluids cool. 

Fans of this size are not only used to keep equipment cool, but also to maintain comfortable temperatures for personnel working in industrial environments.  Cooling fans for HVAC systems can ensure that all workers are safe and comfortable, and usually are required on a large scale.

High or Low Voltage

blogThe power supply used for a fan will influence its size and many other aspects of its operation, and must be taken into consideration when choosing the best cooling system.  The voltage that a fan requires will be dependent on its size and speed.   The parameters that best represent the voltage needed can be found in a fan performance curve. 

A performance curve graphically represents a variety of parameters that relate to the construction of fans.  These include the fan space, static pressure, airflow quantity variation, and required current for any specific fan voltage.  This tool is essential for design engineers to pick fans that have the correct voltage to cool systems sufficiently. 

Certain models, such as DC fans, are built directly proportionate to voltage, making them highly efficient in regard to energy consumption.  These models can also be designed with circuits that reduce voltage spikes in operation, providing efficient and smooth cooling results.

Noise

There are many different factors that can influence the noise level associated with fan operation.  The amount of noise that comes from a fan is determined in part by how big the fan is and how fast it spins.  Essentially, the faster a fan operates the more noise it produces. 

A larger fan running at lower speeds can produce the same energy with less noise than a smaller fan running at a high speed.  However, these types of size adjustments are not always practical, depending on the size requirements of the design engineer’s specific application.  The type of fan employed also affects the amount of noise generated.  The two primary types of industrial fans are axial and centrifugal, and they vary when it comes to noise. 

Axial fans work similarly to an airplane propeller, and while they tend to be compact, inexpensive, and light, they are noisier than centrifugal fans.  When noise is a concern, alterations can be made to fans, and these include insulation of the duct, installing material that dampens sound, or mounting the fan using soft materials such as rubber. 

Some noise will be inevitable when operating fans, but certain fan types, installation options, and designs can minimize noise as much as possible.

Many Determining Factors

For buyers and designers in the market for cooling systems, the above factors represent some of the major concerns associated with acquiring fans.  There are other aspects to consider as well.  The exact sources of heat, fan performance, reliability, and cost all need to be taken into account. 

When determined early in the system design process, the correct cooling system will help keep hardware and personnel safe while increasing the longevity of important equipment.  By acquiring high quality cooling fans, buyers and designers can easily ensure that even the most advanced, dense, and heat generating equipment can be operated with the utmost safety and efficiency.       

Download How to Select a Cooling Fan

 

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Most Common Questions About Fan Selection

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Apr 1, 2014 9:00:00 AM | 1 Comment

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. 
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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.
 

How can I avoid static pressure?

Obstructions in the airflow path cause static pressure within the enclosure, referred to as system impedance.  To maximize airflow, resistance should be minimized.  Once required airflow and system impedance are determined you may start to narrow in on the type of device you need.

Should I install a fan or a blower?
Once you have determined your airflow needs and calculated system impedance you are ready to determine whether you should purchase a fan or a blower.   Fans, specifically
different kinds of dc fans, and blowers differ in their flow and pressure characteristics.  Fans typically work best in low-pressure situations.  When high pressure is required, blowers are used instead of fans.  Blowers can generate much higher pressures than fans, but are typically noisier.
 
The types of fans and blowers, and when to use each, are detailed in the Pelonis guide.
 
How are performance curves used?
The characteristics of each fan are represented graphically as performance curves.  Curves can be developed for a number of conditions, including
fan volume, system static pressure, fan speed, and brake horsepower. 

The intersection of the system curve with the static pressure curve is called the operating point.  Power requirements are determined by plotting the operating point to the power curve. 
 
You should select a fan whose performance curve matches the proposed operating point, so that the fan will sufficiently cool the system in question.
 
Why are failure monitors and speed control important?
Bearing assemblies in fans and blowers are a major point of failure, so fan operation should be carefully monitored.  Failure monitoring circuits can be used to track performance and to detect potential malfunctions in advance.  Some of these fan performance monitoring circuits even include thermal shut downs that will cut the power if overheating is detected.
 
The speed control circuit can also be used to increase the lifespan of a fan or blower.  A fan or blower that runs continuously at high speeds wears out faster.  In addition to handling changes in airflow requirements, changing a unit's speed, when appropriate, can also increase its life span.
 
Purchase your fan
By following the process outlined in How to Select a Cooling Fan, you can be confident in your fan selection decisions.  The free guide is available on the Pelonis website, 
www.pelonistechnologies.com.

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Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearing Fans

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Mar 18, 2014 4:34:18 PM | 2 Comments

What are Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearing Fans?

Ball Bearing FanBall bearing and sleeve bearing fans are particularly useful for cooling and industrial applications as they exhibit a lower level of friction and are able to operate faster and with greater efficiency.

Ball bearings incorporate rolling metal balls within parallel grooved rings, or races, that facilitate fan motion with minimal friction. The free movement of the balls within the bearing allows it to move smoothly in any direction, which makes ball bearings popular for applications that require multi-axis movement. In fans, they offer the benefit of variable speed, extended fan service life, and enhanced energy efficiency.

Sleeve bearings, also known as slide bearings or bushings, are cylinders placed within a housing that enhance linear motion by absorbing friction, thereby improving efficiency and reducing vibrations and noise. They can be composed of a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and fiber composites, and they are often used in fans to facilitate smooth, reliable motion. Due to their longevity and efficiency, both sleeve and ball bearings are extremely popular in DC fan manufacturing for a variety of cooling and ventilation applications.

Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearing Fan Characteristics

Lifespan

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.
To reduce friction and minimize overheating, fans need lubrication. For ball bearing fan systems thicker lubricants are needed. These include lubricants with more additives that are subject to less evaporation. The lubricants within sleeve bearing fans have a greater concentration of oil, and the sleeve bearings' bushings can only hold a fixed amount of lubricant. Since there is no periodic recharging of the oil, the lubrication within a sleeve bearing system is more likely to evaporate.

Noise

Sleeve bearing fans generally run quieter than ball bearing fans at low fan speeds. Their noise level depends on the clearance of the fan's bushing and variances in component parts.

Cost

Sleeve bearings are not precision made, and are therefore less costly. Conversely, ball bearing manufacturing is a more extensive process which results in a higher cost.

Friction

Bearings are particularly valuable for use in fans as they reduce the friction between moving and rotating parts. This allows the parts to operate smoothly and reduces overall wear on the moving components. Ball bearings offer multi-axis, low-friction options, while well-lubricated sleeve bearings exhibit quiet, low-friction qualities ideal for low-speed, linear operations.

Versatility

From automobile engines to industrial conveyors and computer hard drives, nearly every application that requires motion employs bearings. For this reason, bearings are designed and manufactured in a wide variety of configurations, including round ball bearings and cylindrical sleeve bearings. Ball bearings are ideal for applications in which fan speed and low friction are critical, while sleeve bearings offer the advantage of quieter operation for linear applications.

Applications that Utilize Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearing Fans

Ball and sleeve bearings each have unique design characteristics that make them useful for particular applications. Some of the most common ball bearing designs include:

  • Angular contact bearings. Angular contact bearings are engineered to support both radial and axial loads. This type of bearing is ideal for heavy duty, high speed fans in pumps, electrical motors, and vehicle clutches.
  • Axial bearings. Axial bearings, also known as thrust bearings, are used to support axial loads, and are often used to facilitate low-friction movement of high-speed impellers for optimal air flow.
  • Deep-groove bearings. Deep-groove bearings are designed to facilitate radial and low axial loads, which makes them ideal for use in fans with high speed and low noise designations, such as ceiling and ventilation fans.
  • Linear bearings. Linear bearings allow for linear movement in one direction and are often used for vent and exhaust fans.
  • Self-aligning ball bearings. Self-aligning ball bearings consist of two separate rows of self-aligning balls ideal for radial and light axial loads in easily misaligned shaft assemblies.
  • High-speed angular contact bearings. High-speed angular contact bearings are designed to accommodate high speed operations with exceptional accuracy. This makes them perfect for fans in high performance applications that require low operating temperatures.

Advantages of Using Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearing Fans

Sleeve bearings and ball bearings each offer distinct advantages for a variety of applications. Sleeve bearings are less expensive than most ball bearing designs and require less maintenance and installation time. They are also quieter at low speeds when compared to ball bearings.

Ball bearings generate less friction which creates less heat. The narrow design of ball bearings makes them easier to fit into complex and compact equipment, shortening the shaft and reducing the potential for deflection. They do not require as much lubrication as sleeve bearings, and they are able to carry both axial and radial loads, making them highly versatile. Ball bearings can also be stacked in tandem or back-to-back in order to increase their load carrying capacity.

PTI's Sealed Bearing System: The High Performance, Low-Cost Bearing Solution

Recent improvements in sleeve bearing manufacturing have not resolved the problem of oil leakage and dust contamination that occurs in the impeller side opening of the bearing. Pelonis Technologies' new “Sealed Bearing System” solves this problem by using a special sealer in the impeller side. Because the oil remains in the bearing without dust contamination, the sleeve life fan compares favorably to the life of the ball bearing fan, generating less noise and providing a shock resistant operation.

The Pelonis “Sealed Bearing System” is a practical solution for DC fan applications that require the benefits of both sleeve and ball bearings. The cost of the SBS technology is slightly higher than the conventional sleeve bearing technology but well below the ball technology. In addition, SBS reduces oil leakage and dust contamination associated with sleeve bearings, thus making SBS an ideal high performance/low cost environmental DC fan bearing solution.

Superior Ball Bearing and Sleeve Bearing Fans From Pelonis

Whether you are in need of quality axial fans for your HVAC system or an industrial DC blower, we have the equipment you need to keep your operation running smoothly and efficiently. To learn more about Pelonis' selection of ball bearing and sleeve bearing fans, contact our experts today.

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Choose the Correct Fan: AC, DC, Centrifugal or Axial

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Feb 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM | 1 Comment

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.

Fotosearch_k10105520Finding 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.

1. Consider Thermal Analysis

How much heat is the system estimated to generate? How many cubic feet per minute (CFMs) of air will need to be moved by a cooling fan to reach and maintain a proper, functional operating temperature?

Thermal resistance, surface temperatures of mechanisms within a unit, the temperature of fluids within an apparatus and their expansion potentials, and failing point of materials are all focal points when deciding on the proper cooling fan.

When conducting thermal analysis, the temperature source should be accounted for typical and worst-case scenarios. Once this is determined, an effective air–flow requirement can be established.

2. Determine the System Impedance

As air is taken into and exhausted from a cooling fan and therefore removed from equipment, a cooling system will lose air pressure. System Impedance is simply the sum of pressure drop throughout a system.

The more air paths—e.g. the more exhaust venting, intake valves, and overall system length and complexity within a cooling system—the greater the margin of error for controlling system impedance rises. Determining overall capacity and integrity of a cooling fan and connected systems will further enable efficient determinations of static pressure and needed ventilation can be established.

3. Determine if you actually need a fan, or if a blower makes more sense

Air flow and pressure dynamics are the biggest considerable differences between choosing a fan or blower system. Blowers operate against a high-pressure gradient and deliver air flow perpendicular to the blower axis.

In contrast, fans work against low pressure environments and produce high air flow rates parallel to their fan blade axis. Blowers create much higher air pressures and are generally much louder than fans. Blowers can be gear–driven air pumps and are most effective when dealing with a disparity of air pressure in an application.

Whether a fan is oriented centrifugally or axially is also a concern when choosing the proper cooling fan motor.

Centrifugal fans produce markedly higher air pressures and can handle more hostile operating conditions such as extreme heat or dryness. Physical strains placed upon units by virtue of their design, though, such as vortices or tip leakage flow can be problematic.

Axial fans, those which work like an airplane propeller, create an aerodynamic lift which pressurizes air. Although these fans are usually cheaper, smaller, and lighter than their centrifugal counterparts, they typically are noisier and can generate considerable vibrations which can be costly to manage. These vibrations could additionally add strain to the operation of the unit.

4. Consider the performance curve

The characteristics of each fan are represented graphically as performance curves. Curves can be developed for a number of conditions, including fan volume, system static pressure, fan speed, and brake horsepower. 

The intersection of the system curve with the static pressure curve is called the operating point. Power requirements are determined by plotting the operating point to the power curve. A fan’s performance curve should match the proposed operating point, so that the fan will sufficiently cool your system.

5. Choose a fan that fits your design

The last step is the easiest: choose a fan with the right size, weight, and design so that it can be integrated into your system.

If you need more assistance in choosing the right cooling fan for your application, download our extensive eBook on the topic:

Download How to Select a Cooling Fan

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Fans & Blowers Experience Industrial Market Growth

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Jan 21, 2014 9:00:00 AM | 1 Comment

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.

Projected European Market Growth

Fotosearch_k15003822In 2011, Companies and Markets, a leading global aggregator of business information, released a report that analyzed 27 European Union countries to determine the health of the European market for ventilation equipment. They examined shipments of equipment such as axial fans, centrifugal fans, and cross flow fans, among others.

As a result of their research, Companies and Markets predicted that the European market would reach a value of about $6.75 billion by 2015. In other words, they expect that the market will grow by at least 8% more per year than in 2006, before the recession hit. In 2006, the European industry for fans was valued at $3.37 billion.

According to another report from Research and Markets on the UK market in particular, the ventilation industry—which includes both domestic and non-domestic ventilation products—has, in recent years, been revived “by positive levels of exports and after-market sales.”

The report attributes better sales to the government’s renewed focus on health, safety and energy efficiency. The data suggests that new building and environmental legislation set by the government has “stimulated product innovation and development.”

A Bright Future for the European Market

Hopeful forecasts from leading market researchers suggest that the European market for fans and blowers is likely to continue improving in the near future. As the world slowly recovers from the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, members of the industry can look forward to a reprieve from what was once a stagnant market.

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Using Cooling Fans for 3D Printing

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Dec 12, 2013 11:48:24 AM | 3 Comments

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.

Fotosearch_k14489016A 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.

There are several other factors to consider when implementing a PLA cooling fan. Cooling reduces the level of adhesion to the bed surface, so the fan should not be used while the first few layers of the item are built up. It must also not be directed toward the hot end of the printer, as this will naturally alter the temperature of the nozzle and thus affect the heated PLA material. Lastly, fans should not be used when printing items with ABS, another commonly used thermoplastic material used in 3D printing. This is because ABS is prone to cracking when cooled.

Before embarking on a 3D printing project that requires the printer to print across gaps or create overhangs at sharp angles, you might consider the use of a cooling fan. For 3D prints made of PLA material, a cooling fan can be a crucial factor in obtaining high-quality prints. When used correctly, a fan will reduce stringing, thus helping you achieve a cleaner, more appealing final product.

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