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issue: June 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

Motor Technology
High-Efficiency HVAC/R Fans

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Slovenian corporation Hidria has launched a new line of high-efficiency axial fans for the HVAC/R industry.

The new High Efficiency Fan (HEF) family of low-noise axial fans are said to feature outstanding aerodynamic and acoustic characteristics. Development and design of the new fans are the result of a joint project involving Hidria’s R&D department, Rotomatika Fans (a Hidria company), and the University of Ljubljana.

According to Vojko Sedej, director for Rotomatika Fans, the HEF fans, which are made of five aluminium-sheet blades, solve the problem of non-stable fan characteristics, which has been a weak point in classic blade design. Solutions with four blades are also available.

The main advantage of the patented fans is the construction and special shape of the blades. According to Mr. Sedej, the innovative blade design gives superior results for minimum as well as maximum airflow. “The fan blade is designed with a similar profile cord as is used in a laminar air profile,” he explains.

The blades are said to have a stable air lift with almost no separation of the air stream in the working region (50-85 percent of maximum flow) of the fan. “The airflow around the blades in the optimal efficiency region is very stable with minimum air separation near the hub,” says Mr. Sedej. “Instability in the pumping region can limit the use of axial fans in a low-flow region (normally under 50 percent of maximum flow). Our fan can be used with some efficiency loss until 30 percent of maximum flow.”

In addition to efficiency gains, the advanced aerodynamic characteristics keep the fans’ noise level low under all conditions, Mr. Sedej says. “Lower noise is result of the small amount of air separation around the blades, the high-quality design of the intake confusor, and a properly-designed gap between the intake confusor and blades,” he explains.

The compact shape of the HEF blades is also said to allow for several air-conditioning, ventilation, heating, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) applications. The fans are built with single- or three-phase a.c. electric motors with external rotor and variable speed drives, according to customer requirements. According to Mr. Sedej, the fans’ blades are constructed out aluminum because the material can be easily formed and, at the end of the life cycle, easily recycled.

Available dimensions of the axial fans are standard diameters of 450-650 mm, while the expansion to bigger and smaller diameters will be available by the end of the year. The company is also developing an electronically commutated d.c. motor to complete the offering that will also be released by the end of 2003.

According to Hidria, optimization of its HEF axial fans and their high air-stream stability under both sucking and pushing working conditions were supported by CFX simulations, as depicted here.

(Click Here for a larger image.)


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