FAN APPLICATIONS AND SYSTEMS
To force air and gas to flow by means of fans, blowers and compressors, roughly 25% of the total produced electrical power is needed (figure valid for Europe). To make it even more clear: every fourth power plant serves solely to rotate shafts of fans, blowers and compressors. Now why do we need air and gas to flow? Our modern world depend on process functions such as heating, cooling, drying, ventilation, gas transport and other fan applications. For those applicants the fan is one entity of the system besides throttle, reactor, ducts and so on. The fan is the systems engine pushing the system. On the one hand, an old diesel in a Ferrari chassis does not make sense. On the other hand, it is also true: an oversized turbo charged engine would not save a small vintage nearly ragged vehicle from breaking apart.
Fan user, system designer and fan manufacture should be interested in the track gaining benefit from the presentations and discussion.
The track considers system design, system effects, fan selection, efficiency scaling, fan operation and maintenance. It covers also developments in motors and drives and last but not least gives a forum to discuss legislation and market surveillance.
Compliance with legislation & regulations
Legislative and regulatory pressures are significantly higher at this time than has been the historic norm within the fan industry, and a driver for development of new technology within the fan industry.
Harmonization of fan standards worldwide
Different countries or regions have different standards for fan testing or fan applications. A harmonization of these standards can increase their acceptance and a more efficient use.
Identifying the most suitable connectivity technology is one of the strategic decisions with long-term implications that enterprises need to make when deploying Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is an enabler for new services as well as new business models and can decrease costs in internal production processes and supply chain.
Digital services and new business models
Digitalization is forcing companies to reflect on their current strategy and explore new business opportunities systematically. New business models enable new forms of cooperation between companies and lead to new product and service offerings.
In traditional maintenance, errors or malfunctions are eliminated when they occur. Based on measurement and operation data of fans and fan systems it is possible to develop procedures to implement a proactive maintenance. In the best case, faults can be predicted before they have an impact or cause failures.
Operation and maintenance considerations
A shift to maintenance-on-demand in a quest to minimize plant down-time and in so doing maximize availability has resulted in a shift towards more design-for-maintenance and increasingly sophisticates condition monitoring systems.
Motors & drives
Efficiency, affordability and reliability of the motors used to drive fans are critical, with motors the subject of efficiency legislation and drives becoming more effective as the technology they employ matures.
Specialized fans for different applications
Extremely hot or cold environments need fans with special materials. Some fans transport abrasive media, too. These fans have special shapes and coatings to withstand the additional forces.
Retrofit and upgrading existing fan installations
The enhancement and upgrading of existing plant and equipment, at least partly driven by constantly evolving legislative and regulatory requirements presents its own unique set of challenges, associated with working within the constraints of an existing system.
Fan system effect
As the performance of fans and their associated systems is improved, their susceptibility to the effects associated with the systems within which they are installed increases. The method by which system effect on fans may be assessed and minimized is a distinct area of competence that had developed rapidly over recent years.
Energy related topics (e.g. air curtain effectiveness)
An air curtain is an example of an energy related product including a fan as a main component. Only the combination of the fan, the system and the environment together can work as a good energy related product.
Case studies (e.g. tunnel ventilation)
The planning and designing process of ventilation systems in tunnels, buildings, mines, wind tunnels etc. is risky. The identification of drawbacks and uncertainties in the design is necessary to find simple and robust solutions.
Improving fan sizing/selection
Improved design tools give a selection of fan type and size for a specific load as well as advantageous layouts.
Structural mechanical aspects (vibration, fatigue and flutter, preventive maintenance, condition monitoring)
Vibrations can cause fatigue and noise during fan operation. The monitoring of vibrations or phenomena like flutter are important for prevention actions and maintenance ranges.
Phenomena, which appear and disappear can cause noise or influence the aerodynamics of the fan. The transient phenomena are difficult to measure or simulate. Due to the design of circumferential fans or axial fans with dissymmetric inflow characteristics, these phenomena cannot be avoided.
The combination of different fans in a system can cause unwanted interactions, which influence the efficiency, volume flow or fatigue. Strategies and actions can help to avoid or deal with these problems.
Optimization of fan systems
The interaction of the various components in a fan system has a crucial influence on energy efficiency, profitability and comfort. In this context, strategies and methods to optimize the design and operation of fan systems are of high importance.
Decentralized fan systems
Decentralised fans can reduce the hydraulic power in the system by saving throttling losses and ensure a precise supply. The additional degree of freedom certainly increases the planning effort and a satisfactory overall system behaviour has to be ensured.