What can cause industrial fans to become inefficient?

Industrial fans are used for a wide range of applications, for a wide range of industries. These include sectors like pharmaceutical, waste management, glass manufacturing and food manufacturing. This blog aims to define what energy efficient industrial fans are as well as how to ensure you are saving on energy consumption.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what the main causes are of inefficient fan systems. The efficiency of industrial fans can be compromised for a number of reasons. These commonly include:

  • The fan being an inappropriate size for the system
  • The prediction of the system resistance curve was not accurate
  • The fan is producing a flow rate that is too small
  • The fan is too large and therefore unstable during production

How do I choose the right type of fan for its application?

The substance that will be moving through the blades of the industrial fan will determine the type of fan that you need. For example, you can use all fan types for clean air, but backward inclined and backward-curved offer the benefit of high efficiency. Where there is particulate in the airstream, build-up and balance issues can come into play and affect the efficiency and optimal fan type

How do I know if my fan is energy efficient?

It can often be difficult to identify when a fan system is running inefficiently. There are two indicators you can use to monitor efficiency – control and maintenance and production

The use of dampers to restrict flow indicates the control of the system. Things to look out for include:

  • A damper that is mostly closed
  • Spill or bypass of excess flow
  • A motor that overloads unless a damper restricts the flow
  • Use of a discharge damper, inlet damper, variable inlet vane or system damper

You can also identify any wasted energy through the following maintenance and production indicators:

  • Regular breakdowns
  • Excessive noise, heat or vibration
  • Too much, or too little flow or pressure for production
  • An unstable or difficult to control system
  • A regular need to weld ductwork cracks

Typically, main contractors who design fan systems work out the system requirements and then add a 10% safety factor. However, more often than not, you do not require this 10%. This is because you can position dampers in the ducting to balance the system out. This consequently means that in theory, most fans are over-designed by 10%. Instead, we can open the dampers and slow the fans down, which would in turn save hundreds of pounds per year.

You should take a look, therefore,  at your setup to see if there are dampers in the system that are set at a part-closed position, then seek advice on the best way of slowing the fans down to allow the dampers to open fully and save money.

What are the benefits of upgrading my fan system?

The benefit of upgrading your fan system would be power saving, both on the motor which would be IE3 (premium efficiency) or IE4 (super premium efficiency), and on the fan itself.

In some cases, we can replace fans with higher efficiency units. The type of fan would indicate the maximum efficiency of the units, these are:

  • Multivane: 60% max
  • Plain Backward Inclined: 70% – 74%
  • Backward curved: 82% -85%
  • Airofoil: 84% – 87%

How we can help

At Industrial Fan Services Ltd, we design and manufacture a large range of light, medium, and heavy duty centrifugal fans suitable for all industries to reduce power consumption and increase airflow efficiencies. Whatever your application needs, our range of industrial fans are proven to span almost all requirements. You can rely on us to provide you with a bespoke, reliable, and efficient solution.

Do you have an interest in how you can improve the efficiency of your fan systems? Get in touch with our expert team who can advise you.
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