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issue: May 2009 APPLIANCE Magazine

Appliance Engineer - Motor Technology
Keeping Cool Under Harsh Conditions


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 A line of dc fans meets the IP58 standard, providing solutions to applications used in harsh environments.

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Developed to address the growing demandfor environmentally protected dc cooling fans, the Aquas IP58-rated fans target applications with harsh environmental conditions. They withstand water jets from any direction and exposure to salt spray, and can prevent the harmful ingress of dust. “The Aquas line will extend the life of electronic products beyond that of standard cooling fans, and prevents premature failures caused by water and dust invasion,” says Dennis Eisen, vice president of sales at Jaro Thermal (Boca Raton, FL, U.S.; www.jarothermal.com).

To achieve IP58, the line relies on a proprietary frame structure that isolates the motor and uses weather-resistant bearings to prevent quick oxidizing and rusting. A unique potting process encapsulates the printed circuit board without overheating it, a challenge for the team during the development stage, according to Eisen. The watertight enclosure allows the immersion of the fan 1 meter below water without causing a failure.

Being impervious to water and coffee grinds, the fans can be used to cool the electronics in commercial coffeemakers. “The water and coffee grinds that users accidentally pour down the sides can get into the fans, causing premature fan failures. The water can short out the electronics on the printed circuit board, while the coffee grinds can enter into the bearings. The Aquas fans prevent both of these cases from occurring,” explains Eisen.

Portable air-conditioning units can also benefit, as the technology helps outdoor systems pass salt fog testing. Other applications include boating appliances, wine coolers, indoor and outdoor icemakers, as well as refrigeration equipment.

The fans come in a variety of sizes, from 80 × 80 × 38 mm to 120 × 38 × 120 mm. It can withstand an operating temperature of –10º to 70ºC, with a life expectancy of 50,000 hours at 40ºC standard. The AQ series can be fitted with a range of IP-protected connectors, extended lead lengths, and threaded inserts.

In addition to the positive and negative input leads, Eisen says, customers can have third and fourth lead output options. The third lead options include tachometer/frequency generator (FG), rotation detection alarm (RD), pulse-width modulation (PWM) input, dual voltage control, and dual speed control, while the fourth option will allow for a combination of either the tachometer/FG output or RD and PWM input. As PWM input varies the voltage to control the speed of the fan, or to bring the fan to a complete halt, it is suited for applications that don’t require the fans to run all the time. “If you have a device that is being turned on while it is snowing out, you may not need the fan to run until the device warms up and signals the fan to start rotating and cooling the device,” explains Eisen.

RoHS compliant, the fans are designed in standard box fan sizes, with voltages ranging from 5, 12, and 24 V dc to 48 V dc. “These would allow engineers to quickly swap out non-IP-rated fans for Jaro’s Aquas fans without any engineering work whatsoever,” Eisen tells APPLIANCE. In addition to dc voltage fans, the firm also provides ac voltage fans in the IP55–58 protection rating that are suited for refrigerator applications.

 

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