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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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The Different Types of Fans Used in the HVAC Industry

Posted by Sam Pelonis | May 28, 2019 9:45:04 AM | 0 Comments

A fan is a key component of any HVAC system. The most common HVAC fans are axial, forward-curved centrifugal, and backward-inclined, and each is uniquely suited to certain purposes. It’s important to understand each fan’s differences in energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and noise considerations. The wrong fan for the job could lead to reduced functionality and higher costs. Here’s what you need to know about the various fans for HVAC systems.

Axial Fans

hvac axial fan

Axial Fans, which include propeller, tube axial, and vane axial styles, move an air stream along the axis of the fan. These fans work like an airplane propeller—blades generate an aerodynamic lift that then pressurizes the air. Propeller fans embody only a motor and a propeller used to drive the airflow. Similar to a propeller fan, a tube axial fan includes a venturi that surrounds the fan propeller and is designed to reduce the air leak

age or vortices created by the spinning prop. A vane axial fan features vanes trailing the rear of the propeller, which straighten out the swirling airflow that occurs when the air is accelerated by the motor. Axial fans are inexpensive, compact, and light, making them a favorite for industrial applications. They are, however, usually noisier than centrifugal fans. Noise can be abated by insulating the duct; mounting the fan on soft materials like rubber or using a spring isolator to reduce the amount of transmitted vibration; or installation of sound dampening material or baffles.

Centrifugal Fanscentrifugal fan

Centrifugal Fans, which are categorized by their radial, forward curved, or backward inclined blade shapes, increase the speed of an air stream with a rotating impeller. The speed increases as the air reaches the ends of the blades and is then converted to pressure. These fans are able to produce high pressures, which makes them suitable for harsh operating conditions, such as systems with high temperatures or moist or dirty air streams. Tip vortices or tip leakage flow produced by the pressure differential across the airfoil section can be problematic with these basic fans.

Forward-Curved Centrifugal Fans, look more like hamster wheels and can create more air pressure. Because of this, they tend to be noisier than axial fans and require more power to run. They are durable, easy to clean and maintain, and have less problems with resistance. Forward-curved centrifugal fans are also called blowers.

Backward-Curved Centrifugal Fans are uncommonly shaped blades, which can be curved or straight, make these fans excellent for high volumes of airflow and variable resistance. They are often used for industrial purposes.

Applications of Fan Types

Though axial fans are usually the least expensive, they’re not the right solution for every situation. Because of their features and capabilities, they are best for compact electronics, automotive products, medical devices, and appliances as well as large applications such as cooling towers, vending machines, outdoor air conditioner compressors, and combustion engine cooling. Axial fans are also ideal as general-purpose fans.

Centrifugal fans are better for larger systems: air-handling units, air pollution and filtration systems, and drying systems. With incredible energy efficiency and versatility, these fans come in a variety of models, so you can find one to fit into a small, hard-to-reach space. They are also great options for dust collection, glass tempering, and incineration systems.

Choosing the right fan for your HVAC system is essential for its efficiency and performance. An axial fan, for example, won’t do as good a job managing the resistance compared to centrifugal fans of the same size in an air filtration system. Using an axial fan for that purpose would make the system perform poorly and likely lead to extra maintenance and repairs. Even though it would be less expensive initially, it would cost you more in the long run and would not function the way you would expect from such a system. Likewise, using a centrifugal fan in a cooling tower where it’s not needed would lead to unnecessary noise and increased costs.

Find the Perfect Fan for Your HVAC System Needs

Even among HVAC fan types, there are a variety of shapes and sizes that will help you narrow down the best option for your project. Take a look at our selection of fans listed in Pelonis Technologies' catalogue and see which one is right for you. If you’re still unsure on which fan is right for you, make sure to download our eBook, How to Select a Cooling Fan. Additionally, we can customize your choice to meet even the most demanding restrictions. If you have any questions or wish to learn more about HVAC system fans, contact our team 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.

Learn More

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

centrifugal fans advantages download

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Warehouse Cooling Solutions for Summer Months

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Jul 29, 2015 9:47:00 AM | 0 Comments

As summer’s temperatures reach their peak, keeping your facilities cool is important for maintaining comfortable working conditions. Cooling commercial spaces properly means finding the right balance for employee comfort, temperature/humidity control, and energy use. In manufacturing operations where additional heat is generated by machinery, and in warehouses where goods must be stored in constant environmental conditions, cooling systems are vital mechanisms.

warehouse cooling systems

Optimizing Cooling Systems

Although summer is in full swing, it’s not too late to take steps to make sure HVAC systems are running efficiently. By optimizing cooling systems, energy consumption is reduced. Bringing down utility costs makes for a more sustainable and green environment. HVAC systems basically consist of condensers, fans, and thermostats and all must be in good working order to perform optimally. If any part is failing, your facility or warehouse may be uncomfortably hot.

Cooling Systems Maintenance: What Needs to be Done

To be sure your system is performing at its best, take the time to perform some basic preventative maintenance:

  • System checks: Ensuring that all parts of the cooling system are working to peak performance begins with regular inspections. Performing regular checkups and inspections keep the system working well and will help you find potential problems before they cause a serious breakdown.
  • Sensors and thermostats: As the brains behind the mechanics, sensors and thermostats must be working properly to maintain accurate indoor temperatures. Calibrate the instruments to ensure the temperature readings are correct and make sure they respond accurately to rising and falling temperatures.
  • Filters and external equipment: Staying on top of filters and changing them regularly helps cooling units work efficiently and keeps the air as clean as possible. Check external units for dirt, debris, or damage from environmental conditions that could prevent the units from running smoothly.

How to Select a Cooling Fan

When choosing cooling equipment, look for the highest quality components. Since fans are integral components for all cooling systems it is important that this component be well made, durable, and reliable. If fans are improperly sized or inefficiently designed, the cooling system will not be able to maintain optimal temperatures.

It is often difficult to know if you are choosing the right fan for a specific application. To choose the fan that will meet performance specifications we have developed an eBook titled “How to Select a Cooling Fan.” This informational guide will help you choose a cooling solution that meets the needs of your operation.

As the leader in manufacturing high-quality AC and DC fans, PTI has the expertise to provide information on how to achieve the ideal temperatures in your facility. With a wide range of sizes available, we also have custom capabilities to meet the specific requirements. Our innovative technologies provide the right solutions for numerous industrial applications.

 Download How to Select a Cooling Fan

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Heating Systems Resource Page: Ebooks, Catalogs & White Papers

Posted by Sam Pelonis | Aug 4, 2014 10:30:00 AM | 0 Comments

Pelonis Technologies always has a focus on our customers.  We keep you in mind when designing new products; when we pay close attention to the quality of each of our products; and we concentrate on continually improving our customer service. 

In addition, we’ve recently updated the Resources Page on our website for you to access.  Here you can find a variety of eBooks, catalogs and white papers.  We’re continually adding resource documents to the page, so be sure to stop back to see what is new and that might be helpful to your daily business.

In particular, we have the following available on the Resources page:

These are just a few of the many resources that we’ve added to the page and have made available for you to easily download.  If you have any questions about the materials or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us via our website contact form or by phone.  And, if there is any resource material that you’d like to see us develop, let us know, we’d be glad to consider it.

Access Our  Useful Resources

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