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Comment Processing & Handling

Maximizing Fan Efficiency

By Chemical Engineering |

Optimizing fan performance can help plants reach overall process efficiency goals. The cost of powering fans and ventilators in the chemical process industries (CPI) is significant. For example, ventilation and air-pollution control systems can account for over a quarter of energy a facility’s consumption. Fan performance is typically estimated by using a graph that shows the different pressures generated by the fan and the corresponding power required. Understanding this relationship helps in designing and operating a fan system. Fans behave according to a predictable set of laws involving the speed (revolutions per minute), pressure and power. Airflow is proportional to fan speed, while static air pressure is proportional to the square of the speed. Power required to operate the fan is proportional to the cube of the speed. For example, decreasing fan speed by 10% results in a 10% drop in air delivery, but a 19% drop in static pressure and a 27% drop in power requirements. FIGURE 1. Peak efficiency varies by fan properties Fan efficiency — the ratio between the power transferred to the air stream and the power delivered by the motor to the fan — provides a useful quantity to assess improvements in fan…
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