Is Your Cooling Tower Fan Alright?
Sometimes, the machines that we use on a daily basis need a little TLC, and we aren’t talking about the classic 90s R&B group. When you think about it, you cooling tower deserves all of the tender love and care that you can manage to spare. Without your tower, whatever industry you work in would not be possible. While the industrialization of our nation was a good thing overall, it also presented us with a new problem in the form of excess heat. Heat, for the most part, is not something that most people think about in a given day; however, for those individuals who are involved in industrial related fields, heat can be a highly destructive force. Traditionally, heavy machinery does not like heat. That isn’t to say that these machines cannot operate under conditions that, to a human, would seem excessively hot, it simply means that they do not like having to deal with any more heat than is absolutely necessary. In today’s post, we here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. wanted to go over a subject that we feel is important—when is it time to replace the fan blades in your industrial cooling tower. These fans play a major role in eliminating heat and it is important that you, as the operator, know when it is time to retire one fan and replace it with another. Keep reading below to learn more.
Are You a Fan of Your Fan?
When it comes to industrial cooling towers, there are many pieces that must work together in order to make sure that the tower is effectively doing its job. The water pump must be in proper working order to make sure that the necessary amount of liquid is pumped into the system of the tower, the fill media must be properly placed and cleaned to reduce the amount of water that is lost, and the entire tower itself must be free from scale build up in order to make sure that the maximum amount of heat is being mitigated as possible. While all of these details must be taken care of to ensure that the tower is performing as optimally as possible, it is especially important to make sure that the fan inside of the cooling tower is in the best working condition possible. Without the fan, it doesn’t matter if all of the other components of the tower are perfect, the water will not be cooled properly and, as a result, the tower will not be able to perform its job. However, how is a person supposed to know when it is necessary to replace a failing cooling tower fan? Below, we have listed a few things to consider when you are trying to decide whether or not it is time to replace your cooling tower fan.
- Age: The first thing you need to consider when deciding whether or not to replace the fan in you industrial cooling tower is how old the fan is. Was it installed recently, say two or three years ago, or, is it the fan that came with the tower when it was installed over a decade ago? Cooling tower fans are designed to last for a long time; however, like any component of a machine, they are not designed to last indefinitely. If your cooling tower fan is over five years old, we suggest that you inspect it carefully to make sure that it is still up to the task it was built for.
- Damage: Piggybacking off of the first point, it is important to inspect the blades and body of your fan on a regular basis to make sure that they have not been structurally compromised. When inspecting the fan look for any cracks, dents, chips, or other forms of structural damage. While a small crack or chip might not seem like that big of a deal in the scheme of things, any compromises in the structural integrity of your systems fan can result in the fan ripping itself apart at an inconvenient time. If you notice that your fan has damage near the center (the area where the blades of the fan meet) it is especially important that you replace your fan. The rotational speeds at which these fans operate could cause the fan’s blades to come off, damaging fill material or, in more extreme cases, causing damage to the walls of the tower.
- Type of Fan: This tip is more a matter of opinion but, considering we are experts in the field of industrial cooling towers, we feel that our opinions are pretty valid. Traditionally, cooling tower fans were made from aluminum. These aluminum fans were lightweight, durable, and, for the most part, were the best option for their intended application. Unfortunately, these aluminum fans had a few weaknesses. The most glaring weakness was the fact that the fan’s blades had to be attached to a central hub. Where the blades were attached to the central hub became a major weak spot for the fans and resulted in stress fractures that could cause the blades to rip off at high speeds. Luckily, this issue has largely been resolved with the introduction of FRP fans blades. These fans are molded into a single piece and are made from a hard, durable plastic that is much less likely to break apart than traditional aluminum blades. If your cooling tower does not make use of FRP fan blades, we highly recommend that you consider making the switch. Not only are FRP fan blades more efficient at what they do, they have a much longer lifespan as well.
Contact us to learn more about when you should consider replacing the fan in your industrial cooling tower. We will answer any and all questions that you may have and help you choose the fan that is perfect for your application.