The Importance Of A Stable Fan

A Wobbly Fan is Bad for Business

Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have a lot of experience when it comes to cooling tower fans. For the vast majority of industrial cooling towers, fans are used as a way to ensure that as much heat as possible is mitigated while also helping to reduce the rate of evaporation present within the tower itself. Unfortunately, because these fans are in a near constant state of rotation, issues can pop up. Although the average person doesn’t put too much thought into it, circular rotation is not as easy to accomplish as one might think. Centrifugal force can place a large amount of stress on these fan assemblies and, if left to their own devices, these fans can and will spin themselves into oblivion. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the ways that you can make sure that your cooling towers fan is set up for success and ways you can reduce the amount of wobble present in your fan assembly. Continue reading below to learn more.

Why Does the Wobble Matter?

First things first, we think it is important to explain exactly what we mean when we use the term “wobble.” If you have every had an unbalanced ceiling fan, you probably already realize how bad a fan can start to wobble when it is not setup correctly or it is damaged. This same idea can be applied to fans in industrial cooling towers, however, with these particular types of fans, we aren’t so much worried about the wobbling so much as we are worried about the vibrations that cause the fan to wobble. Vibrations, even small ones, can cause fans in industrial cooling towers to perform poorly and, in some extreme cases, they can even cause damage to additional components within the tower. So, what should you do to help mitigate vibrations and ensure that your fan is working as well as possible? Read below to find out.

  • Balance: Like The Force, fans in industrial cooling towers are all about balance. These fans rotate at such high speeds that even a slight variation in the balancing of the fan blades can have tremendous effects on the fan assembly as a whole. If one fan blade is unbalanced, it will place stress on the other fan blades through vibrational forces which, over time, can compromise the entire system including the motor that drives the fan and the drive shaft that transforms mechanical energy into rotational force. If you’ve noticed that a fan in one of your cooling towers is underperforming, take the time to make sure that the blades are balanced. A small adjustment now could save a lot of time and energy in the future.  
  • Damage: In industrial cooling tower applications, fans are used to push large quantities of air through the top of the tower or, in some cases, are used to pull large amounts of air into the tower. If a fan blade becomes damaged, it can affect the way that the air flows over the entire fan assembly and, if not caught quickly, can lead to quite a bit of damage. Even a small knick in a single fan blade can be enough to disrupt the airflow to the point that it starts to cause vibrations to occur. As we stated earlier, vibrations are never a good thing when it comes to fan assemblies. To help reduce the chances that this will happen, we suggest that you inspect the blades of your cooling towers fans on a regular basis to ensure that they have not become damaged in some way.

We hope that this blog has been informative and that you have gained a little more knowledge about the importance of a stable fan in your industrial cooling tower. If one of your fans has become damaged beyond repair or you would simply like the advice of some experts, contact us at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. today. We have years of experience dealing with cooling tower fans and we feel that our past projects give us the knowledge, tools, and experience needed to handle any issues that you may have in relation to your tower.

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The Importance Of Fan Blade Maintenance

Fan Blades are Essential in Industrial Cooling Towers

Hello, and welcome back to the Industrial Cooling Solutions blog. With summer in full swing, cooling towers across the world are working overtime to ensure that they are doing their job properly. As we all know, heat has an effect on the evaporation rates of water and, unfortunately, this simple fact holds true for the efficiency of cooling towers. The sole purpose of a cooling tower is to make sure that industries, factories, and large buildings are able to properly mitigate the heat that they produce on a daily basis and, in some cases, making sure that harmful pollutants do not enter the atmosphere. While there are many components to an industrial cooling tower, few are as important, and finicky, as the fan blade. Traditionally, fan blades in cooling towers have been one of the components that needs the most attention. Rotating thousands of time per minute, these fan blades put up with a lot of stress, meaning that they were much more prone to breaking than other components of the tower. While recent advancements in fan blade construction have made them more durable and better able to withstand the rigors of daily use, they are still a mechanical component. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the reasons that it is important to make sure that your cooling tower fan blade is in good, working condition. Continue reading below to learn more.

It’s All About Efficiency

For the most part, industries want to be as efficient as possible. Efficiency cuts down on the amount of time and money that industries must spend in order to properly function and is one of the key components to turning a profit. Below, we have listed a few ways that making sure your cooling tower fan blade is as healthy as possible can increase efficiency.

  • Energy: While the average person may feel that their home’s electricity bill can get pretty high during the summer months, it is nothing compared to the amount of energy that it takes to run a factory or assembly plant. These plants can go through tens of thousands of dollars worth of electricity each month just to function. Because of this, these industries are always looking for ways to cut down on their energy consumption and decrease the amount of money that they are paying out each month. If a cooling tower fan has become compromised, that cooling tower is going to require more energy to function. Over time, this increase in energy consumption, however small, can have a drastic effect on the amount of power consumed on a monthly basis. Making sure that the fan assembly and blade are in good condition helps to ensure that the tower is running as efficiently as possible and is using as little energy as possible.
  • Cost: So far, humans have yet to create a machine that doesn’t need maintenance. Mechanical processes often require many moving parts working in conjunction with each other and, if one component of the machine fails, the entire system could cease to work or become damaged. Fan blades in cooling towers present a unique danger because they rotate at such a high speed on a constant basis, meaning that if a blade becomes compromised, it could cause some serious damage to the rest of the tower. While maintenance costs are never fun, most industries have realized that spending a little money on preventative maintenance is much more desirable than having to replace thousands of dollars of fill material that was ripped to shreds by a rogue fan blade.

We hope that this blog has helped to shed some light on why it is so important for industries to make sure that the fan blades in their cooling towers are well maintained. If you’ve noticed that the fan on your cooling tower could need a little help, contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. We have thousands of hours of cooling tower maintenance under our belts and we are certain that our knowledgeable staff can help you with any needs that you may have. Additionally, if you need to purchase new fan blades for your cooling tower, we offer FRP fan blades that have been proven to work better than their traditional aluminum blade brethren.

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Axial Fans: The Basics

Do You Know Your Cooling Tower Fans?

Heat is an interesting thing. On the one hand, heat can be a great thing. It keeps us warm when it is cold, has allowed us to industrialize more than our ancestors could have ever imagined, and is generally the hallmark of an advanced society. On the other hand, heat can be rather detrimental to certain processes. For many industrial applications, heat can not only cause a decrease in productivity but, if left unaddressed, can actually cause major issues. Luckily, we as a society have developed effective means to get rid of unwanted heat and, in today’s post, we are going to go over one of the components that is essential for the mitigation of heat in industrial applications: axial fans. Continue reading below to learn more.

The Axial Fan is Important

To talk about axial fans, it is important to first understand exactly what an axial fan is. In the simplest of terms, an axial fan moves air parallel to its axis of rotation. This makes axial fans ideal for low-resistance, high-flow applications such as those needed in industrial cooling applications. Additionally, axial fans are able to have a wide range of operating characteristics depending upon the shape and width of the individual fan blades. In addition to these factors, other variables can affect the effectiveness of fan blade efficiency. Below, we have listed a few more of these variables.

  • Tip Clearance: Although the average person is not really aware of this fact, the amount of tip clearance that a fan blade has in a cooling tower housing can have a huge effect on the efficiency of the entire tower. The amount of clearance has such an effect because it affects the amount of air loss or leakage around the tip, known as the tip vortex. As the air exits the cooling tower, it will be at a higher pressure than the incoming air due to the work exerted by the fan blades. The less clearance there is around the tip of the fan blades, the less likely it is that the air within the cooling tower will be able to slip around the fan.
  • Inlet Conditions: When considering the effectiveness of the axial fan within a cooling tower, it is important to consider the effect of airflow as it enters the tower. In the area around the fan blade, known as the fan ring, air must be collected from all directions and equally accelerated to the velocity at the plane of the fan. If a smooth transition is not achieved, the inability of the airflow vectors to make the appropriate, rapid changes in directions will cause a “Vena Contracta” at the blade tip. Basically, this area of the fan blade will become starved for air, rendering the area near the tip of the blade ineffective. Considering the majority of the work is done on the outer portion of the fan blade, if this issue is not addressed, there can be a loss of efficiency as high as 15 to 20 percent.
  • Air Density: A factor that many people fail to consider in relation to the efficiency of their cooling tower fans is the effect of air density within a given environment. The density of air is affected by air temperature and altitude at the plane of the fan and can, if not accounted for, can have a serious impact on the effectiveness of a cooling tower. Look at it this way, a cooling tower at sea level is going to have to exert a lot more force than a cooling tower at 5,000 feet above sea level because the air density at sea level is much higher. To account for this difference in air density, it is important to adjust the rotational speed of a fan to make sure that the proper volume of air is being pushed through the tower.

We hope that this short blog has helped you gain a better understanding of the variables that can impact the effectiveness of cooling tower fan performance. If you would like to learn more about the cooling tower fan options that we offer or you would like to schedule a maintenance check with one of our cooling tower technicians, contact us today and set up an appointment. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best in industrial cooling tower solutions, and we are certain that we can help you with any need that you may have. Contact us today and let’s get started!

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