The Benefits Of FRP Fan Blades

Cooling Tower Fans

FRP Fan Blades

Why are FRP Fan Blades Better?

In the world of industrial cooling towers, great pains have been taken to make sure that efficiency is increased as much as possible. While the average person may not think about cooling towers too often, without these amalgamations of metal, plastic, and concrete, most of the industries that we have come to rely on to make the goods that we use would cease to exist. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., we have been in the business of constructing, maintaining, and repairing cooling towers for decades. In this time, we have seen the industry change quite a bit through the introduction of new technology, better processes, and better building materials. Of all these advancements, however, FRP composite materials have been the one thing that we feel has the greatest impact on cooling towers as a whole. In today’s post, so that all of our readers understand just how important FRP has been to this industry, we are going to go over some of the benefits that this amazing material has had on the design and function of the fan blades that are used in a large amount of towers scattered across the world. Continue reading below to learn more.

Fibre-reinforced Plastics

FRP, or fibre-reinforced plastic as it is also referred to, has been a blessing to multiple industries. Developed in the early 1900s and used mostly for military applications in the early stages, this material was quickly adapted to industrial processes that required a material that not only had a great strength to weight ratio, but one that was also resistant to many of the corrosive elements that are present in the production and transportation of chemicals and other corrosive materials. While industrial cooling towers are not exactly known for a huge presence of caustic chemicals, there is still enough of a presence to necessitate a substance that could resist these elements and continue to function in harsh conditions. The component that has benefited the most from FRP materials, without a doubt, has been the fan that is present in many of the cooling towers that are used today. Below, we have listed a few reasons that FRP fan blades have become an industry standard and why more and more cooling tower manufacturers are recommending these fan blades over their aluminum counterparts.

  • Shape: When designing a cooling tower to meet a specific industrial need, two things must be taken into account. First, the designers must make sure that enough water is pumped into the system to effectively mitigate the heat that is produced by the specific industrial process. Second, they must make sure that an appropriate amount of airflow is forced through the tower in order to make sure that the water is properly cooled along the fill material. FRP fan blades are ideal for this application because they allow designers a greater degree of control over the shape of the fan blades and mold them into the best shape possible to achieve the airflow that must be achieved. Traditional aluminum blades could only be shaped to a certain degree before the structure of the blades themselves was compromised. Additionally, metal fan blades must be attached to an axis at multiple points, greatly increasing the chances that a connector will fail or the balance of the fan will be thrown off. Because FRP fan blades are molded into a single piece, there are far fewer points on the entire fan assembly that can fail. Even better, these fan blades can be shaped to the most optimal angle possible, meaning that they are able to circulate air more efficiently than an aluminum fan blade could ever hope to accomplish.
  • Resistance to Corrosion: As we stated previously, most cooling towers are not exactly teeming with caustic chemicals, however, this does not mean that corrosive elements are not present within the system. Given enough time, water is one of the most corrosive elements in the known universe. This seemingly innocent substance has shaped the surface of our planet, digging canyons and valleys out of solid rock. While aluminum is excellent at resisting the corrosive properties of water, it is still only a metal and, as we all know, metal and water don’t exactly get along. Over time, an aluminum fan blade will always succumb to the effects of water, requiring a replacement lest the fan blade break and cause damage to the internal components of the tower. FRP fan blades, on the other hand, do not suffer from this same defect. These fan blades are highly resistant to any and all corrosive elements and are able to stand the test of time in a way that is vastly superior to any other substance used in the construction of fan blades.
  • Weight: Because cooling tower fans tend to run at thousands of RPMs, it is necessary to construct fan blades out of a material that is not only strong enough to stand up to the rotational forces that are placed on it but a material that is also light enough to place unneeded stress on the motor of the fan assembly. Before the introduction of FRP materials, aluminum was the best option for fan blade design because of its excellent strength to weight ratio. FRP fan blades, however, are even better than aluminum at providing a fan blade that is both strong and light.

At Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best cooling tower services possible and we believe, quite strongly, the FRP fan blades are the best option for nearly every application that our customers may have.

Contact us to learn more about the types of FRP fan blades that we offer.

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    Comments (0) October 23, 2017 /

    The History of FRP Pt. 1

    Cooling Tower Fans

    FRP Has Changed the Industrial Cooling Tower Game

    Every once in awhile, a technological advancement comes along that helps to boost the efficiency of an industry. These technological advancements work together with existing processes and components to bring a new element to an industry, greatly affecting the way the industry standards are set and, in some cases, causing people to question how the industry got by for so long without this amazing new advancement. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., we have been involved in the industrial cooling tower business for quite a while. In that time, we have seen advancements in the industry that have increased efficiency and lowered costs in ways that seemed impossible. In today’s post, we are going to cover the history of Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP), a material that has been quickly adopted in the cooling tower industry to create fan blades that are more balanced and efficient than any other type of fan blade before them. Continue reading below to learn more.

    FRP Technology is Relatively New

    The incorporation of FRP technology into industrial processes is less than a century old. As most people know, plastic is a relatively modern invention, with the development of most modern plastics happening in the early 1900s. Plastics came about from the efforts of chemists and scientists who were looking to develop synthetic materials that were able to mimic similar substances found in nature while simultaneously performing better than said substances. The first known product made from FRP was an experimental boat hull developed in the mid-1930s. This hull was initially developed as an experiment looking to study the effectiveness of combining fiberglass fabric with polyester resin. Somewhat surprisingly, the combination of these two materials resulted in an amazingly strong yet light hull, and laid the foundation for the use of FRP technology in a wide range of industries including aerospace, marine, and electrical applications.

    Like most new forms of technology, FRP was of particular interest to the defense industry. The US Air Force and Navy quickly began to experiment with FRP composites because of its impressive strength-to-weight ratios and its ability to resist the corrosive effects of salt water. By 1945, just a few short years after the introduction of FRP composites, 7 million pounds of FRP materials were being shipped, with the bulk of the product going to the military. While the military’s early investments into FRP technology cannot be overlooked, it wasn’t long before other industries began to notice the potential benefits of FRP materials.

    The Industrial Adoption of FRP

    After the military experimented with FRP composites, the public sector caught wind of the many benefits that this new material offered, especially in relation to its ability to resist corrosion. In 1948, the first pipes made from FRP were introduced and, quite quickly, the oil industry saw just how amazing this new technology was. FRP composites proved to be a viable alternative to traditional corrosive resistant materials, even in the high-pressure, large diameter situations of chemical processing. In addition to its vastly superior corrosion resistance, FRP pipe offered durability and strength that helped to eliminate the need for interior linings, exterior coatings, and cathodic protection on pipes used to transport corrosive substances. These benefits helped industries save money and, more importantly, incorporate a superior material into their processes.

    Why is FRP Important to the Cooling Tower Industry?

    Industrial cooling towers, historically, have had issues with corrosion. Not only do a large amount of cooling towers utilize water, a natural corrosive force in nature, to mitigate heat, many cooling towers also have to deal with chemical elements that are presented into the system due to industrial processes. Before the introduction of FRP materials, fan blades were almost exclusively made from aluminum due to its relatively light weight and durability. Unfortunately, aluminum is still a metal, meaning that over time, it will succumb to the effects of corrosion if exposed on a regular basis. Fan blades made from FRP composites, however, are able to resist the corrosive environment of the interior of a cooling tower, delivering unparalleled efficiency and durability. In addition to the corrosion resistance offered by these fan blades, FRP can be molded into nearly any shape. This means that cooling tower fan blades can be molded into the most optimal shape possible to push the large amounts of air that are needed for a cooling tower to run efficiently and, because the fan blades are molded into a single structure, the chance of the fan coming apart are reduced greatly.

    Learn more about the FRP fan blade options that we have available here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. We have been leaders in the industrial cooling tower sector for years and we are dedicated to providing the best materials possible in order to make sure that all of our clients are able to make sure that their cooling towers are performing as efficiently as possible.

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    Comments (0) October 16, 2017 /

    A Look At Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency Pt. 3

    Cooling Tower Fans

    Efficiency Factors to Consider in Cooling Tower Fan System Design

    Hello, constant reader, and welcome to part three of our multi-part blog series on the factors that inhibit the efficiency of cooling tower fan systems. As this is part three of our series, we encourage you to read our previous two posts, part 1 & part 2. Each post builds upon the last and, as a result, you may find yourself quite lost if you are not familiar with the context of this series. In today’s post, we are going to pick up where we left off last time and delve deeper into the second main factor that can affect the efficiency of a fan system: The fan housing. Like most components in a large machine assembly, the fan housing plays a role that, if not properly optimized, can have a larger negative impact on the overall efficiency of the system than one would first suspect. Even a small decrease in efficiency can be enough to throw off an entire cooling tower system, which is why it is so important for engineers to make sure that their initial system is as optimal as possible before construction.

    Don’t Take Your Fan Housing For Granted

    In our previous post, we discussed the impact that system design can have on the overall efficiency of a cooling tower fan system. If inefficiencies are built into the system from the start, such as insufficient blade design and positioning, the system is never going to be able to perform at its peak. While these two factors account for a lot of the inefficiency found in fan systems, the housing of the fan assembly can also cause issues with overall efficiency. In the world of industrial cooling towers, one of the most important factors of system loss revolves around the air leakage around the tips of the fan blades. This loss is directly influenced by the tip clearance of the fan blades and the velocity pressure at the operating point and is caused by the tendency of high-pressure exit air to circulate around the fan blade tips into the low-pressure air in the inlet of the tower. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the inlet conditions of a cooling tower are as optimal as possible.

    Pay Attention to the Inlet Conditions

    In relation to wet cooling towers, a velocity recovery stack is a common means by which engineers can improve inlet conditions and conserve horsepower. To perform this function, velocity recovery stacks most often incorporate a slightly tapered exit cone in conjunction with a well-rounded inlet bell. This results in a significantly reduced velocity pressure at the exit of the inlet compared to the plane of the fan. Because the quantity of air on both planes is the same, however, the recovery of velocity pressure is converted into static regain, lowering the total pressure requirements of the fan. This results in less horsepower being needed to produce the required rotational velocity of the fan. Additionally, the entrance into the velocity recovery stack through the fan deck should not be neglected because, often, this entrance can create turbulence and losses in the fan system. Although most stack designs tend to incorporate a large inlet radius, heavy structural members beneath the stack or a sharp corner through the fan deck ca negate the smooth air flow condition in the stack itself. It is important to note that these issues are not under the control of the end user, meaning that the design of the cooling tower itself should try to limit these negative variables.

    Thank you for taking the time to read our third entry into our blog series on cooling tower fan efficiency. Join us again next time as we conclude our series by discussing the recirculation of hot air how this factor can contribute to decreased efficiency in a cooling tower fan system. As always, if you would like to learn more about the cooling tower fan options that we offer here at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc., please contact us today.

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    Comments (0) October 11, 2017 /

    A Look At Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency Pt. 2

    Cooling Tower Fans

    Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency Requires Careful Analysis

    Hello, and welcome back to the Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. blog! If you are just now joining us, we are in the middle of a multi-part blog series that is dedicated to detailing the factors that influence the efficiency levels of industrial cooling tower fans. If you have not read our previous post, we highly suggest that you go do so now. While you may find the information in this second post useful, it is build upon important ideas that are presented in the first post and, as such, will make more sense if you read the posts in sequential order. Now that we have that small disclaimer out of the way, we are going to use today’s post to continue where we left off last time and discuss some of the factors that influence the overall efficiency of a cooling tower fan system. While each factor may seem small when isolated, together they can greatly decrease the efficiency of a cooling tower, effectively rendering the tower useless for its intended application. Keep reading below to learn more.

    Potential Losses in System Efficiency Can Occur in Several Separate Areas

    When it comes to overall system efficiency in cooling tower fan assemblies, there are three main areas that need to be considered by researchers and engineers alike.

    1. Losses caused by the system design of the fan rather than by variable physical properties.
    2. Losses caused by variable environmental properties.
    3. Performance losses caused by the recirculation of hot air.

    Of these three main areas of potential loss, only the second category is easily fixable. Below, we have listed out the details surrounding the first category that affects the efficiency of a cooling tower fan system.

    Losses Caused by System Designs

    While the variables that might potentially decrease the efficiency of a cooling tower fan system are sometimes easy to identify, most of the time they are not. One factor that can greatly affect the overall efficiency of the system is the design of the fan blade. For the most part, modern axial fans found in industrial cooling towers are made from either FRP materials or aluminum. Aluminum fan blades, by their very nature, are always of a uniform design, whereas FRP fan blades can be molded into pretty much any shape that an engineer may want. No matter which type of fan blade material is used, the main purpose of the fan assembly is to produce uniform airflow over the entire plane of the fan. Uniform airflow ensures that the optimal amount of force is produced to adequately dissipate the heat that is introduced into the cooling tower. To determine that a fan blade design is able to produce the amount of airflow that is needed, the work done at any radius along the fan blade is a function of blade width (angle of attack and tangential velocity squared).

    The Shape of Fan Blades Plays an Important Role in Efficiency

    With the above information in mind, it can be concluded that as a point on the fan blade decreases from the tip toward the hub of the fan assembly, the tangential velocity decreases sharply. To compensate for this and produce uniform airflow, the twist of the blade along with its width must also increase. This becomes an issue when dealing with aluminum fan blades because if the blade width cannot be increased, the twist of the blade must be increased to compensate. Due to the elasticity limits of aluminum, this twist can only be taken to a certain level before the fan blades break. Luckily, FRP fan blades have no such limitation because they are molded into a single piece, allowing the most ideal shape to be more closely achieved.
    Another factor that is affected by the design, shape, and twist of the fan blade is the fan operating point, or the point where the system resistance line meets the fan performance line. In laymen’s terms. The operating point is the blade pitch angle that produces the necessary air flow against the required system resistance of the cooling tower. Depending upon the fan speed, only a single pitch angle will be able to satisfy the system design operating condition. To put all of this together, within certain limits, the speed of a cooling tower fan can be adjusted so that the most optimal pitch angle can be selected that will satisfy the required system resistance.

    Faulty Design Leads to Faulty Performance

    When considering the above two points, it is easy to see how poor fan blade design, as well as a poor selection in the operating point of the fan system, can contribute to a loss in efficiency of a particular cooling tower fan system. Once in place, these two factors are not always the easiest things to fix, meaning that it is always in the best interest of the engineer and designer to make sure that their initial system design is as efficient as possible. If these considerations are not taken into account, valuable time, energy, and money will have to be spent rectifying the issue.

    Thank you for reading part two of our blog series on the factors that should be taken into consideration in relation to cooling tower fan efficiency. If you would like to learn more about our selection of FRP fan blade designs and the applications in which they can be used, please contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. We have completed dozens of cooling tower projects around the world and we are certain that we can handle any and all needs you may have when it comes to optimizing your fan system.

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    Comments (0) October 4, 2017 /

    A Look At Cooling Tower Fan Efficiency

    Cooling Tower Fans

    Is Your Cooling Tower Fan as Efficient as Possible?

    In the world of industrial cooling towers, many tower components are necessary to ensure that the tower is mitigating heat as efficiently as possible. Proper water flow is important in making sure that the fill material is properly saturated and is able to impede the rising heat, clean surfaces are necessary to ensure that scaling does not affect the evaporation rate of the water, and proper airflow is needed to make sure that the heat does not stagnate in the body of the cooling tower. While all of these components play a part in the overall efficiency of the cooling tower, the fan assembly, if not properly optimized, can negate the positive components by greatly diminishing the amount of heat that is able to be exchanged. In the first of a multi part blog series, here at Industrial Cooling Solutions wanted to take a look at the efficiency of cooling tower fans in relation to both dry cooling towers and wet cooling towers. While different in the way that they exchange heat, both cooling towers have some commonalities that make them worthy of assessment. Continue reading below to learn more.

    Fan System Efficiency is of the Utmost Importance

    Although dry cooling towers and wet cooling towers are different in the ways that they provide heat mitigation, they also have a few things in common. Both industrial cooling tower types contain an axial fan to move the air inside of the tower, both have a shroud or other covering to simultaneously contain the fan and funnel air into the fan, and both have plenums that direct air so that heat can be transferred by direct or indirect contact. When designing fan systems for these types of cooling towers, the first step is to develop a fan performance curve. Using this curve, engineers can determine an operating point at which the fan performance exactly matches the system requirements of the cooling tower itself. Typically, performance curves as they relate to cooling tower fans are obtained under ideal, reproducible conditions. They are obtained this way so that engineers can be certain that they will be able to reproduce the efficiency levels in the real world, not just in the research lab. To illustrate this point, consider the following example: Test conditions for cooling tower fans usually require a blade tip clearance on a five foot fan blade of about 0.040 inches with a large inlet bell. Under these ideal conditions, total fan efficiency is typically in the 75 percent to 85 percent range. However, as most people who have experience with cooling towers know, in most full-scale fan tests, “real life” performance tends to fall in the 55 percent to 75 percent range. What happened to the efficiency level? The answer, quite simply, is that while the fan efficiency is exactly the same (75 to 85 percent efficient) the system efficiency is much, much lower.

    How can a Fan be Efficient While the System isn’t?

    Answering this question, once again, requires an example. Let’s assume that we have to design a forced draft air cooled exchanger whose function is to make sure that a factory is able to properly eliminate heat. The tower has been designed to move 200,000 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) of air while operating against a system static pressure of 0.42 inches of water. The initial fan performance curve showed that a cooling tower fan with a diameter of 14 feet coupled with a 21 horsepower motor would be sufficient for the job. Using a little math, the engineers find that the Total Fan Efficiency at this operating point is 87 percent, a number that falls well within the acceptable range. Unfortunately, when the system is activated, it is found that it is insufficient in cooling and unable to meet the 87 percent efficiency benchmark that the math showed it was capable of. When trying to determine what caused the sharp decrease in efficiency, it was found that recirculation loss, top losses, and reverse flow at the hub all lead to a decrease in system efficiency.

    All of these losses, when combined, reduced the efficiency of the fan system by 20 percent, meaning that the real fan efficiency was closer to 67 percent. Additionally, some simple math shows that the design should have called for a motor closer to 27 horsepower in strength instead of the 21 horsepower unit called for by the initial ideal fan curve. As you can see, not taking the entirety of the fan system into consideration when trying to determine efficiency levels can be frustrating when the end result is less than nominal.

    Join us again next time as we further expound upon the topic of cooling tower fan efficiencies and go over some of the small factors that can increase efficiency in these systems. Additionally, if you are in need of cooling tower construction services, cooling tower replacement parts, repair of your current cooling tower, or simply want someone to talk to about your cooling tower, contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc.

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    Comments (0) September 27, 2017 /

    Why Axial Fans Are Better

    Cooling Tower Fans

    Axial Fans Should be the Obvious Choice

    Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we want all of our customers to have a solid understanding of the different components and assemblies of their cooling tower. In our previous post, we briefly explained the difference between axial fans and centrifugal fans as they relate to industrial cooling towers. In today’s post we are going to continue with this subject, however, we are going to delve a little further into the benefits that axial fans offer for industrial cooling applications. We hope that by the end of this blog you have a better understanding of why axial fans are the best choice in terms of efficiency and productivity. Continue reading below to learn more.

    Save Money and Increase Productivity

    When it comes to industrial cooling processes, efficiency is key. The effective mitigation of heat in industrial processes accounts for a large percentage of the energy that many facilities consume. As a result, it is in the best interest of these facilities to make sure that their industrial cooling systems are functioning as well as they possible can. Axial fans help to increase this productivity in multiple ways and below we have listed just a few.

    • Airflow: One of the most important variables of an industrial cooling tower is the efficiency of its airflow. Without airflow, cooling towers are unable to dissipate heat as effectively as they are designed to. Proper airflow ensures that the fill material and water system are vented properly, reducing the amount of heat within the entire system. Axial fans help to increase the level of airflow by putting out a large volume of air at a consistent pace. While not as forceful as centrifugal fans, axial fans circulate the air efficiently enough to get the job done.
    • Easier Maintenance: While airflow is an important component of a fan system, maintenance is a component that cannot be ignored. Maintenance costs are something that cannot be ignored when it comes to industrial cooling towers. Of the two fan types, axial fans are much easier to maintain because they are not part of a closed system like centrifugal fans. If an axial fan becomes damaged or needs a routine maintenance check they can be quickly analyzed and repaired. Not only does this save money in relation to repair costs, it saves the maintenance worker time as well.
    • Variable Speed: One of the greatest advantages of axial fans is the fact that they can be adjusted based on the output needs of the tower. While centrifugal fans can have their speed adjusted, it greatly decreases the amount of airflow that is produced. Axial fans, on the other hand, can be run at a lower speed without having a huge effect on the amount of air that is produced.

    If you would like to learn more about our fans please contact us today. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best in industrial cooling solutions and we are certain that we can handle any need that you may have.

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    Comments (0) September 19, 2017 /

    Operating Cooling Towers In Cold Weather Conditions

    Cooling Tower Fans

    Cold Weather Presents Unique Issues For Cooling Towers

    Hello, and welcome back to the Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. blog. With summer coming to an end and autumn just quickly approaching, cooling towers across the country are going to face an interesting issue. During the spring and summer months, cooling towers have the benefit of natural, ambient heat to ensure that all liquid is kept in, well, a liquid state. As we all know (at least we assume you know if you are reading this blog), cooling towers are responsible for the mitigation of heat in industrial applications and, for the most part, tend to do their jobs well. As heat escapes from cooling towers and is mixed with water falling through specially designed fill materials, the majority of the heat is removed from the system and the industrial processes can continue without interruption. However, what happens when the temperatures outside begin to drop? What happens if, all of a sudden, spray nozzles located within a cooling tower are unable to properly spray water because they have become frozen shut. In today’s post, we are going to proper cold weather operation guidelines as they relate to cooling towers and what you, as a cooling tower enthusiast, can do in order to make sure that your towers are operating as optimally as possible when the temperature decides to drop. Continue reading below to learn more.

    Cold Weather Brings With It Special Circumstances

    For the most part, cold weather tends to interrupt a lot of processes that, during warmer times, function perfectly fine. For the purposes of this blog post, we feel that we first need to define what we mean by “cold weather” as it relates to the operation of cooling towers. For our purposes, sustained freezing conditions occur when more than 24 hours go by without wet bulb temperatures going above 32°F. This is considered a sustained freeze because, unfortunately, during weather conditions such as this there is no point where the ambient temperature reaches a high enough level for a freeze-thaw cycle to occur. When this occurs, certain principles must be followed in order to ensure that the cooling tower is able to properly perform its intended function. Below, we have listed these basic principles.

    • When operating a cooling tower in cold weather conditions, do not operate the tower without a heat load and, most importantly, do not allow the cooling tower to remain in unattended operation for multi-day periods experiencing subfreezing temperatures.
    • Always maintain the design minimum or greater amount of water flow rate over the cooling tower heat exchange media, also known as the fill, at all times. This ensures that water is flowing over the fill media at all times and reduces the instances of water freezing to the fill material.
    • Maintain the proper airflow by ensuring that the cooling tower fan is in proper, working order. This works to maintain above freezing water temperatures in all section of the fill media, further ensuring that the fill media will not become frozen after repeated exposure to subfreezing temperatures.
    • If the desired system condenser water flow is reduced below the minimum, the number of cooling tower cells must be reduced at the same time. This works to make sure that the water flow is greater than or equal to the minimum flow per cell.
    • Certain manufacturers of cooling towers may be able to extend the flow percentage minimum to a lower value by using certain design provisions of internal cell water distribution that can accommodate low flow by reducing active plan area while keeping the industrial cooling tower interior heated and moist.

    These principles will work to ensure that the industrial cooling tower is able to operate as it should no matter the conditions of the outside atmosphere.
    Thank You for taking the time to read our short blog series on the steps to take to make sure that your industry’s cooling tower is able to perform optimally during cold weather conditions. If you would like to learn more about the best ways to make sure that your cooling tower is able to perform during cold weather conditions, please contact us today at Industrial Cooling Solutions, Inc. We have a track record of providing the best in cooling tower installation, cooling tower parts, such as cooling tower fan blades, drive shafts, and motors, and consultation services. Contact us today and see why we are a trusted name in the industrial cooling tower industry.  

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    Comments (0) August 19, 2017 /

    The Importance Of A Stable Fan

    Cooling Tower Fans

    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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    Comments (0) July 6, 2017 /

    The Importance Of Fan Blade Maintenance

    Cooling Tower Fans

    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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    Comments (0) June 27, 2017 /

    Axial Fans: The Basics

    Cooling Tower Fans

    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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    Comments (0) June 8, 2017 /

    The Benfits Of FRP Fan Blades

    Cooling Tower Parts

    FRP Fan Blades are Here to Stay

    Like any industry, industrial cooling towers have experienced quite a bit of innovation over the last few decades. As construction techniques and materials advanced, cooling towers became more efficient, lasted longer, and were more durable against natural corrosion. One of the biggest breakthroughs in the cooling tower industry revolves around the use of FRP in the design and construction of cooling tower components. FRP has allowed cooling towers to become more durable while at the same time reducing the amount of time it takes to construct a cooling tower and decreasing the costs associated with upkeep. One component, in particular, that saw a marked increase in efficiency and durability is the fan blade contained in the majority of cooling towers. In today’s post, we are going to go over some of the reasons that FRP fan blades are superior to their aluminum cousins and why they are quickly becoming the industry standard.
    FRP Fan Blades do Everything Better
    If you’re anything like the average person, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about fan blades. A fan blade is one of those objects that we don’t really consider until it has a problem. In the world of industrial cooling towers, however, we spend a lot of time thinking about fan blades. Fans are such an important component of industrial cooling towers that without them, the cooling tower ceases to operate. Because cooling tower fans are so important, millions of dollars have been spent over the decades in trying to come up with a fan design that is both efficient, durable, and light. The culmination of this research has resulted in the FRP fan blade, successor to the industry standard aluminum blades that dominated for decades. Below, we have listed a few of the reasons that FRP fan blades have become the preferred fan blade for the majority of cooling tower applications.

    • Lightweight: One of the biggest advantages that FRP fan blades offer is the fact that they are extremely lightweight. In the realm of industrial machinery, weight is always an important factor. This factor becomes doubly important when the machine in question must rotate thousands of times per day. The lightweight design of FRP fan blades helps to reduce the amount of stress placed upon the gearbox and driveshaft that control the fan assembly. Additionally, the lightweight design means that less energy is required to rotate the blades, increasing efficiency and reducing the amount of money that needs to be spent in relation to energy consumption.
    • Moldable: While aluminum fan blades were used for decades in the design of cooling towers, they had some issues. Aluminum blades are made up of multiple pieces that must then be bolted or riveted to a mounting rod and attached to a rotation plate. Multiple connection points increase the amount of weak points within the assembly and greatly increases that rate at which failure occurs. FRP fan blades, however, greatly reduce the amount of inherent weak points because they can be molded and manufactured as a single piece. Reducing the blade to a single piece of molded plastic provides uniform stress loading characteristics which tends to result in a much longer service life with reduced instances of failure.
    • Durable: Aluminum was used originally in the design of industrial cooling tower fan blades because it was both lightweight and durable. These two factors are key in the design of fan blades and for decades aluminum was the best option. Unfortunately, at the speeds fan blades rotate, even aluminum can become damaged. Aluminum fan blades were prone to dents and warping from collisions with debris in the tower. Even a small variation in the shape of the blade is enough to affect the balance of the entire fan system and potentially cause damage. FRP fan blades come with the same lightweight design of aluminum blades but are also much tougher. The durable plastic resists dents and warping better than aluminum, increasing the longevity of the blades and reducing the amount of money spent replacing them.

    If you would like to learn more about FRP fan blades or you would like to see our selection of FRP fan blades, please visit our website today. At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best services and parts as they relate to the industrial cooling tower industry and we would love to help you with your next project.

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    Comments (0) May 30, 2017 /

    Cooling Tower Fan Maintenance

    Cooling Tower Parts

    Your Cooling Tower Fan is Important, Treat it Right

    With summer fast approaching, it is essential that you make sure your cooling tower is ready to handle the heat. While there are a wide variety of maintenance checks that will need to be completed to make sure that your tower is running as efficiently as possible, checking the fan in your cooling tower is one of the most important components to check. The fan inside of your cooling tower does a lot of work. Without this fan, your cooling tower is unable to function so it is in your best interest to make sure that it is in good shape. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we want all of our readers to be as informed as possible when it comes to topics relating to cooling towers and, in today’s post, we are going to cover a few essential maintenance tips that need to be performed to ensure that the fan blade in your cooling tower is working as efficiently as possible. Continue reading below to learn more.

    Fans Need Maintenance as Much as the Cooling Tower

    When it comes to cooling tower maintenance, there are a wide range of issues that need to be checked in order to be sure that the tower is performing as optimally as possible. From spray nozzles to fill material, a cooling tower is composed of many parts that need to work in conjunction with each other to make sure the tower is doing its job properly. Below, we have listed a few maintenance tips in relation to the tower’s fan blade system.

    • Check Blades: One of the first things to check when performing routine maintenance on a tower’s fan system is to check the fan itself. Cooling tower fans rotate at thousands of RPM and during that fast rotation even the smallest bits of debris can cause damage if they come in contact with the blades of the fan. Check the blades for any dings or cracks that may have formed and also use this time to clean the blades of any dirt that may have accumulated on them. It is important to keep the blades of the fan in good repair because even the smallest ding can develop into a crack. If one of the blades cracks while the fan is spinning, the results could not only result in damage to the cooling tower but could be potentially harmful to workers in the areas surrounding the tower.
    • Check Alignment and Balance: After you have checked the blades of the fan to make sure that they are in good repair, it is important to make sure that the fan is properly aligned and balanced. As we mentioned briefly in the previous bullet, industrial cooling tower fans rotate thousands of times every minute. As a result of this near constant rotation, the fan can sometimes become unbalanced. Like an unbalanced ceiling fan, the cooling tower fan will start to wobble as a result of its unbalanced state and create vibrations. Anyone who has at least a basic understanding of cooling tower fans knows that vibrations are never a good thing and should be avoided at all cost.
    • Check for Wear: As with any cooling tower component, it is essential to check for wear on any and all components relating to the fan. This includes the drive shaft, motor, and couplings that keep the fan physically attached to the rotator plate. Check these areas for rust or any other signs of degradation. While rust shouldn’t be an issue if the fan assembly has been properly maintained if you come across any make sure to address the situation. Rust can be handled if it is caught early, however, if it is left to grow it can cause major damage to the fan assembly and potentially cause the fan to break down.

    If you would like to learn more about industrial cooling tower fan maintenance, or you would like to schedule an appointment to have us come out and inspect your cooling tower, please visit our website today or contact us at (303) 462-2000 . At Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we have years of experience in the cooling tower industry and we are confident that we can handle whatever job you may need to be done. Contact us today and let’s get started.

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    Comments (0) May 25, 2017 /

    How To Reduce Cooling Tower Fan Vibration

    Cooling Tower Parts

    The Less Vibration the Better

    Hello, and welcome back to our blog. Here at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc., we specialize in the construction and upkeep of industrial cooling towers and, as a result, we come across a lot of issues that crop up in the cooling tower industry. One of the most common issues that we run into has to deal with vibration. Anyone who deals with industrial machinery knows that vibration, unless it is specifically asked for, is hardly ever a good thing for machines to experience and can cause a lot of issues if not properly addressed. In relation to industrial cooling towers, vibration issues most commonly occur within the tower’s fan system. In today’s post, we are going to go over a few ways that you can make sure your fan system experiences as little vibration as possible. Continue reading below to learn more.

    Contact us today and let us help you make sure that your cooling tower is running as efficiently as possible.

      Is Your Cooling Tower Fan Running Properly?

      Traditionally, rotating equipment is mounted at grade and uses the mass of a foundation and grout to reduce vibration and provide both support and stiffness to the rotation apparatus. Unfortunately, cooling tower fans are elevated several feet above a basin a basin of water and are most commonly held in place with support beams made of wood or fiberglass. This means that cooling tower fans do not get the benefit of a solid base to help reduce vibrations and must instead be tightly calibrated to reduce vibrations as much as possible. Below, we have listed a few steps that can be taken to help make sure that a cooling tower fan vibrates as little as possible.

      • Tighten Everything: When it comes to the structures responsible for holding a cooling tower fan in place, it is important to make sure that everything is held together as tightly as possible. Making sure the structure is as stable as possible be reduces the amount of movement that the fan can experience. Before beginning any other type of calibration work, make sure that the bolts holding the fan are as tight as possible as well as the bolts that hold the mounting structure to the tower. Additionally, it is important to check the bolts that hold the fan to the rotator. If these bolts have become compromised, the fan is more likely to become damaged.
      • Inspect the Fan: Once you have made sure that the structure holding the fan is as secure as possible, take a moment to assess the fan. Each blade of the fan should be securely fastened and angled in the same way. If you notice that any of the blades have become damaged, assess the situation to determine whether the blade can be repaired or if it is time to replace the blade altogether. If a single blade on the fan is warped or damaged, it can cause the entire fan to wobble as it rotates. While these wobbles might be tiny in the scheme of things, over time they can cause serious damage to the machinery designed to rotate the fan.
      • Inspect Gearbox and Driveshaft: While inspecting the fan blades is an important part of ensuring that the cooling tower fan experiences as few vibrations as possible, neglecting to check the mechanisms that actually rotate the fan can lead to issues as well. Without a properly functioning gearbox, the fan inside of a cooling tower will not properly rotate, causing myriad issues in terms of functionality and efficiency. When inspecting the gearbox and driveshaft, make sure to note any signs of wear that may have cropped up since the last inspection. While these components are designed to operate under heavy use for long periods of time, they are still machines and will become compromised if they are not properly taken care of.

      If after performing a maintenance check on your cooling tower fan system you find that there are some issues that need to be addressed, contact the experts at Industrial Cooling Solutions Inc. today. We offer a wide range of cooling tower maintenance services and we also provide a variety of cooling tower replacement parts. With years of experience in the cooling tower industry, we are more than qualified to assist in the replacement of key components in cooling towers and we are certain that we can handle any issue that you may be experiencing.

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      Comments (0) May 22, 2017 /

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