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issue: May 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Motor Technology
Blowers with Next-Generation Controller

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AMETEK Rotron Technical and Industrial Products’ (Kent, Ohio, U.S.) new line of blowers is said to offer next-generation electronic controls.

Through the software design and ability to program the digital signal processor (DSP), the circuit can reportedly be set up to accurately maintain a specific motor speed in the NC29 Intelligen Blowers series from AMETEK Rotron.

The company has expanded its line of variable speed, brushless blowers for use in combustion/pre-mix blower applications with the addition of the NC29 IntelliGen Blower Series.

The IntelliGen is a microprocessor-based control that reportedly provides the flexibility to incorporate elements such as simple programmable logic controller (PLC) functions, expanded protection features with output diagnostic information such as locked rotor or over-temperature, and constant fan velocity, says Mike Tetmeyer, senior electronics project engineer, AMETEK Rotron.

The blower has applications for gas-fired combustion systems for residential and industrial furnaces, boilers, foodservice equipment, water heaters, as well as fuel cells and business machine equipment.

The new series is a maximum 9.8 in (248.9 mm) in width, including exhaust flange, and 8 in (203.2 mm) in height and is said to operate off a.c. line voltages of 120 V or 240 V single-phase. It also reportedly has maximum sealed-pressure capabilities up to 9 in of water (22.4 mBar) and maximum wide-open flow to 415 cfm (195.9 L/sec).

With the addition of AMETEK’s IntelliGen electronic control drive, the NC29 is “a state-of-the-art blower product,” says Jeff Anzevino, senior market manager, AMETEK Rotron. “With the use of digital signal processor (DSP) technology and the latest generation components in the heart of the circuit design for commutating a brushless d.c. motor, it can be customized for specific customer performance requirements,” he says. A base model can be programmed to maintain a constant pressure throughout a wide range of flow or to accurately maintain a ratio of specific speed/output pressure to the user’s speed command input signal (nominal 0-10 V d.c.), Mr. Anzevino notes.

Through the software design and ability to program the DSP, the circuit may be set up to accurately maintain a specific motor speed, Mr. Tetmeyer explains. “Any changes in the load—through either conditions in the climate, restrictions to the motor’s output, or variations in the input power—may be compensated for and automatically overcome,” he says. Option cards may also be connected to the main circuit board via a dedicated pin header. Any required access to the end user for specific input or output features is achieved by either a second header—which is accessible through a slot in the motor’s cover shell—or via lead wires through a strain-relief grommet, Mr. Tetmeyer points out. “If a customer would like a specific output to monitor the speed of the motor/blower, an option card may be installed to provide the exact tachometer output of the customer’s main system—i.e. two pulse per revolution, three pulse, etc.—without making any hardware or wiring changes to the main PCB,” he says.

Previously, only fixed-speed or two-speed blowers, intake damper systems on fixed-speed blowers, or inverter-driven variable-speed blowers were available, Mr. Tetmeyer says. In the past, the blowers’ performance could not be changed without limiting the airflow to or from the blower with additional components such as mechanical dampers or valve systems. However, with the new brushless d.c. design used in conjunction with a DSP and option card, the blower’s speed can be controlled and varied to match the required performance of a system, Mr. Tetmyer notes.


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