Selecting Industrial Fans for Your Ventilation Systems

Posted on Apr 28, 2019

Industrial Fans

An industrial fan is basically an air-moving device in a ventilation system. There are tons of industrial fans on the market today, but it is hard to tell if they actually live up to the nice pictures and ads on the websites. A poor one is not only incapable of moving enough air, but also eliminated quickly from a tough environment. A high-quality fan, however, is usually very expensive. Therefore, knowing what to look for when selecting one of these fans for your cooling needs is very important, and we’ll help you with just that in this article.

Types of Industrial Fans

Now buying industrial fans usually come down to two choices: axial fans and centrifugal fans. Axial fans, also referred to as in-line fans, can move large amounts of air at very low pressures. The flow rate aligns with the axis of the fan, drawing air straight through the fan. They are often used for ventilation and cooling. Here are some types of axial fans:

Propeller Fans: These are the most commonly used fans and generally used for dilution ventilation or cooling.
Tubeaxial Fans: This is a kind of propeller fan that is designed to fit with cylindrical housing. These are commonly used for clean-air applications, such as transferring exhaust dust through the roof. 
Vaneaxial Fans: This type of fan is similar to tubeaxial fans as it is also suitable for clean-air applications. The only difference is that it can handle larger static pressure of up to 10”wg. 

Centrifugal fans on the other hand are also popular in the industry. They feature high flow rate and low resistance. The air moves through the exhaust at a 90 degree angle. There are three types of centrifugal fans, characterized by distinct fan blades:

Radial Blade Fans: The blades are designed to prevent material build-up. This makes the fan suitable for all kinds of exhaust systems, being able to handle both clean and dirty air. 
Backward Inclined Blade Fans: This type of fan has the highest mechanical efficiency yet the quietest of all. They are however especially susceptible to material build-up, making it suitable only for clean-air environments. 
Forward Inclined Blade Fans: This type of fan features short curved blades. Because of the unique blade design, it is typically not recommended for environments with a lot of dust.

Selection Considerations

Selecting a fan type is not all there is to buying an industrial fan for your ventilation system. There are several factors you need to take into consideration:

Capacity: This includes the flow rate and pressure requirements. The flow rate, which is specified as ACFM, should be provided by the manufacturer along with other specifications such as fan elevation, air temperature, moisture content, etc. Fan static pressure (SP) should also be determined by completing the system pressure drop calculation.

Physical Limitations: You need to consider the requirements of the environment in which you intend to install these fans. This includes the inlet size and location, outlet size and location, fan configuration, ease of installing and maintain the fans, weight of the fan, and the space available.

Air Type: This is very important. You need to know what kind of airstream your fans will be dealing with. To be specific, the fan blades and wheels need to be carefully selected in order to handle the material being transferred. Is the material corrosive or flammable? Is the air clean or dirty? What’s the temperature of the air? These are all the questions you need to ask yourself. 

Noise: If there are noise requirements for the environment, pay attention to the noise specification in the product which is specified by decibels (db). Do note that all industrial fans will produce noise.

Safety: This may differ upon different governmental safety regulations. But typically your fans should include guarding for danger points, such as inlet, outlet, shaft, drive, etc. 


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