5 Things to Know: Industrial Fan Efficiency

Industrial Fans can be one of the most parasitic pieces of equipment on a system.  Taking simple steps to minimize the fan’s negative impact can make a tremendous difference on a facility’s energy efficiency… and bottom line.

  1. Correctly size your fans. Correctly sized fans are critical to efficiency.  If the system resistance curve is not accurately predicted, fan performance/operating efficiency is likely to suffer:  Too little flow rate leaves the system unable to operate at peak loads, while oversized fans will result in unstable operation.
  2. To tip or not to tip. Tipping or de-tipping impellers are good alternatives for improving fan efficiency.  A fan that is being dampered by 40% at peak loads is an excellent candidate for de-tipping.  Conversely, if your fan is not providing enough power, adding tips will increase the overall pressure-generating capacity.
  3. Install or upgrade to the most effective blade. Changing blade design can dramatically improve fan efficiency and capacity.  At one facility, retrofitting a new backward curved impeller into the existing radial blade housing created over $200,000 in energy savings in the first year – creating a one year ROI.  Additionally, many electric networks offer incentives for power savings, making the ROI even better.
  4. Make it adjustable. For variable speed operation, inverter duty electric motors with adjustable frequency drives minimize losses with four to one turndowns.
  5. Request a Draft System Assessment. Draft system assessments, including field flow testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), can identify fan performance issues and serve as a guide for implementing changes that will maximize fan efficiency and reduce energy costs.