Opening Day in Cincinnati Means Summer is Fast Approaching!

The first day of spring “officially” started on March 20th this year. I place the word officially in quotations as I don’t recognize spring until I can come home from work, flip on the TV and watch a Cincinnati Reds game. THAT is when spring starts in my mind, yesterday was that day. If you’re from Cincinnati, I don’t need to tell you how important Opening Day is here. As home to the first professional Major League Baseball team, we take great pride in our Cincinnati Reds here. Despite the recent spat of losing seasons…. So much so that Red’s Opening Day has become a de facto holiday of sorts. In fact, many schools will even recognize an excused absence for students that take the day off to go down for the game and festivities prior to the first pitch. There’s even a parade!!

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view of GABP from center field

With spring upon us, that means summer is right around the corner. While this is an exciting event for most of us, your maintenance manager may beg to differ. Increased temperatures lead to heat related problems in your electrical panels. With summer coming along before you know it, the time is now to get a solution in place before it becomes an issue.

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EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Systems were designed specifically to rectify these issues within your facility. Utilizing Vortex Tube technology, the Cabinet Cooler produces cold air from an ordinary supply of compressed air. This cold air keeps the enclosure free of debris and moisture and is easily installed in minutes through a standard electrical knockout. Here is a short video that shows just how simple it really is. The Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with Nema 12 (IP54) ratings and are also available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel construction for Nema 4/4X (IP66) rated enclosures. For systems that are not able to be mounted on top of the cabinet, we also have Side Mount Kits available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless, and 316 Stainless. This year, EXAIR also introduced a new line of Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers for use in classified areas.

These systems are available with cooling capacities of anywhere from 275-5,600 Btu/hr. To make things much easier for you, we offer a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide that will allow us to recommend the most suitable model for your cabinet. With a few quick measurements, we’ll be able to determine the exact heat load that we’ll need to dissipate and offer you a quick and easy solution. If you experienced heat related issues on electrical panels last year, contact an Application Engineer today and we’ll see to it that this summer your cabinets remain cool!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

 

Great American Ballpark image courtesy of ChipMahaney via Creative Commons License

The Bernoulli Principle

What do baseball, airplanes, and your favorite singer have in common? If you guessed that it has something to do with the title of this blog, dear reader, you are correct.  We’ll unpack all that, but first, let’s talk about this Bernoulli guy:

Jacob Bernoulli was a prominent mathematician in the late 17th century.  We can blame calculus on him to some degree; he worked closely with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz who (despite vicious accusations of plagiarism from Isaac Newton) appears to have developed the same mathematical methods independently from the more famous Newton.  He also developed the mathematical constant e (base of the natural logarithm) and a law of large numbers which was foundational to the field of statistics, especially probability theory.  But he’s not the Bernoulli we’re talking about.

Johann Bernoulli was Jacob’s younger brother.  He shared his brother’s passion for the advancement of calculus, and was among the first to demonstrate practical applications in various fields.  So for engineers especially, he can share the blame for calculus with his brother.  But he’s not the Bernoulli we’re talking about either.

Johann’s son, Daniel, clearly got his father’s math smarts as well as his enthusiasm for practical applications, especially in the field of fluid mechanics.  His kinetic theory of gases is widely known as the textbook (literally) explanation of Boyle’s law.  And the principle that bears his name (yes, THIS is the Bernoulli we’re talking about) is central to our understanding of curveballs, airplane wings, and vocal range.

Bernoulli’s Principle states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure (e.g., the fluid’s potential energy.)

  • In baseball, pitchers love it, and batters hate it.  When the ball is thrown, friction (mainly from the particular stitched pattern of a baseball) causes a thin layer of air to surround the ball, and the spin that a skilled pitcher puts on it creates higher air pressure on one side and lower air pressure on the other.  According to Bernoulli, that increases the air speed on the lower pressure side, and the baseball moves in that direction.  Since a well-thrown curveball’s axis of rotation is parallel to the ground, that means the ball drops as it approaches the plate, leaving the batter swinging above it, or awkwardly trying to “dig it out” of the plate.
  • The particular shape of an airplane wing (flat on the bottom, curved on the top) means that when the wing (along with the rest of the plane) is in motion, the air travelling over the curved top has to move faster than the air moving under the flat bottom.  This means the air pressure is lower on top, allowing the wing (again, along with the rest of the plane) to rise.
  • The anatomy inside your neck that facilitates speech is often called a voice box or vocal chords.  It’s actually a set of folds of tissue that vibrate and make sound when air (being expelled by the lungs when your diaphragm contracts) passes through.  When you sing different notes, you’re actually manipulating the area of air passage.  If you narrow that area, the air speed increases, making the pressure drop, skewing the shape of those folds so that they vibrate at a higher frequency, creating the high notes.  Opening up that area lowers the air speed, and the resultant increase in pressure lowers the vocal folds’ vibration frequency, making the low notes.
  • Bonus (because I work for EXAIR) Bernoulli’s Principle application: many EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to take advantage of this phenomenon to optimize efficiency:
The high speed of the air exiting the (left to right) the Air Wipe, Super Air Knife, Super Air Nozzle, and Air Amplifier creates a low pressure (just like Daniel Bernoulli said) that causes entrainment of an enormous amount of air from the surrounding environment.  This maximizes flow while minimizing consumption of your compressed air.

If you’d like to discuss Bernoulli, baseball, singing, or a potential compressed air application, give me a call.  If you want to talk airplane stuff, perhaps one of the other Application Engineers can help…I don’t really like to fly, but that’s a subject for another blog.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Think You’re Too Busy? Think Again.

The first half of Knothole Baseball season is drawing to a close this weekend.  This means that teams are in a mad scramble to make up all the rained out games that are par for the course, when you schedule springtime outdoor events in the more temperate climate regions of the American Midwest.  If the weather holds, that means eight games in six days, between the two baseball players that live in my house.  Now, I LIKE baseball, so, when their mother pointed this out to me with a dire look of frustration in her eyes, I thought it best to hide my excitement…lest I incur her wrath, along with Mother Nature and a couple of coaches.  By the way,Todd & Ryan: you should know it’s nothing personal, and she thinks the world of both of you.

So, we’re busy right now.  I mean, do the math: Eight games in six days means we’re unlikely to both be able to attend them all.  I’m going to try, of course…because of the divisions they play in and the layout of our local ballpark, they very likely could be playing on adjacent fields Saturday afternoon.  That’s MY kind of double-header!

I know we’re not the only ones who are busy right now either, personally or professionally.  Of course, professionally, busy-ness is kind of the goal, right?  That’s why it’s important to be as efficient as possible.  I had the pleasure of discussing an application with the operator of a fabrication shop this morning: After drilling & tapping a series of blind holes in a part, it gets washed & rinsed, and then blown off to remove the residual rinse water.  Problem is, it’s time consuming to blow out a couple dozen irregularly spaced holes on a couple hundred parts, each and every day, by hand.  And frankly, the tedium associated with the process means that holes are likely going to be missed, and even the ones that get blown out might not get 100% dry.

Their idea is to use a Super Air Knife to blow a high velocity “curtain” of air over the entire area where the holes are located…their maximum spacing is only about 8” from side to side, and they thought a 12” wide air flow pattern would be ideal, since they might have an inch or so “play” in the way the parts will pass through.  I recommended our Model 110212 12” Aluminum Super Air Knife Kit.

Like I said, though, they’re busy right now, so they don’t want to throw a bunch of time and labor at coming up with a way to install and test equipment that they have no experience with.  That’s where the total engineering of our Intelligent Compressed Air Products comes in:

Our Super Air Knives are designed to be the most efficient and quietest in the industry…we back that up with our Efficiency Lab (where your existing products can be tested by our experts, using our precision calibrated instrumentation) and our 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee (where you can see for yourself, in real time, how EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products are better, quieter, and safer than what you’re using right now.)  Not only that, but our Engineering and Production folks have combined their knowledge and resources to also make them easy to install and operate:  They’re compact and lightweight.  They have multiple ports to plumb compressed air to, and tapped holes running their entire length to use for easy mounting.  We’ve got Universal Air Knife Mounting Systems that require only one hole to secure a ½”-13 bolt, and installation is done…you can position and reposition it all via two thumbscrews.  Longer length Super Air Knives are available with Plumbing Kits Installed, so your compressed air supply lines are simplified.  And we keep it all in stock, so you can try it out, right now.

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I won’t lie to you…blowing water out of blind holes is a tough application.  But they already know that.  After our conversation this morning, they also know how “low impact” (their words) a trial of the Super Air Knife will be.  I thought you should know too.

Do you have something in mind for a compressed air application that you don’t think you have time for?  Give us a call – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair

 

 

The Thing About 100 MPH Fastballs

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an awesome Sunday afternoon at the ballpark. Today, dear reader, I want to write about something completely different: An awesome Tuesday evening at the ballpark. My youngest son and I went with his Knothole Baseball team with tickets purchased through The Kid Glove Way, a charitabler organization that has partnered with the Cincinnati Reds since 1949 to ensure that local youth have equipment to play baseball & softball, regardless of their financial situation.

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The weather was perfect, and my Reds got off to a great start: Leadoff batter Billy Hamilton hit one into the left field corner for a triple. Now, this would have been a double for most any other player – proven out by Reds’ sluggers Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips, who both hit balls in almost the exact same location as the night progressed, and both ended up on second base. But not Hamilton…he’s FAST – the fastest runner in Major League Baseball by most accounts. If you have the opportunity to see this guy run in person (he IS coming right along as a hitter, so the odds are increasing), I highly recommend it…television doesn’t do his speed justice.

The rest of the game dragged on in a pitcher’s duel…not the most exciting spectacle in the wide world of sports…but the crowd took notice when Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman started warming up in the bullpen. “The Cuban Missile” caught a line drive in the eye during Spring Training, which fractured his skull…thing about a 100 mph fastball; it goes the other way just as hard if the batter turns on it well. It was cool to be there for his second game back after recovering from that serious of an injury.

So there we were, top of the ninth inning, score tied 1-1, and Chapman strikes out the first two batters. The Padres’ Chase Headley came to the plate, took a ball, fouled one off, and drove the next pitch over the left field fence. Thing about 100 mph fastballs…

The Reds’ offense came up short in the bottom of the ninth, and they lost. It was still an awesome night at the ballpark with my son, though.

The thing about 100 mph fastballs reminded me of the thing about open ended compressed air blow offs: there’s no way to generate an air flow with a higher force, but that’s not always a good thing. They’re loud, unsafe, inefficient, and wasteful of your compressed air. Conversely, EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products, such as our Super Air Nozzles, Super Air Knives and Super Air Amplifiers, are all specifically designed to use MUCH less compressed air, meet OSHA standards for dead end pressure and permissible noise exposure  and still produce a highly effective air flow for blow off, cooling, drying, etc. Sure; the air flow from these products doesn’t have the force of what you get from an open pipe, but the fact that these engineered products entrain so much “free” air from the surrounding environment into a laminar (as opposed to the open pipes’ turbulence), high velocity flow, make them an ideal choice for most any air blowing application. Not to mention, they’re also much quieter, and ensure compliance with OSHA directives concerning the use of compressed air for cleaning purposes.

The Reds will be in and out-of-town for the rest of the season, trying to solve the different equations for beating different opponents. We’re here every day, looking to help you solve your unique compressed air applications. Batter up!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair

Not Just Another Day At The Ballpark

Sunday was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. My family scored some great seats, right behind the Reds’ dugout. I got my first (ever) foul ball at a Major League game. Notice I didn’t say “caught” – it bounced off the guy’s hand in front of us, over my oldest son’s outstretched glove, off the empty seat behind him (why those seats were empty, I have no idea), and rolled under my seat.

We also saw our first instant replay review of a play by the umpires. It took every pixel of high definition that the camera had to allow the officials to decisively rule the runner safe at first…it literally came down to how fast the first baseman closed his glove on the ball as he caught it.

Notice the Braille at the bottom.  I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.
Notice the Braille at the bottom. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.

The most memorable part of the game, for me, was watching the outcome of two critical decisions by the respective team managers: In the eighth inning, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke was directed to intentionally walk Reds’ slugger Jay Bruce to load the bases. Bruce had doubled in the fifth, so it wasn’t necessarily a bad call. That is, until Reds’ manager Bryan Price quickly called on Chris Heisey to pinch-hit, following Bruce. Heisey fouled off the first pitch, and then parked the second one just over the right field fence. I’ve been at the ballpark for some dramatic home runs, but that was the first time I’d witnessed a grand slam up close and personal.

To be honest, I thought for a second about skipping the game. We got the tickets at the last minute, and I already had burdens on my schedule for Sunday afternoon. In the end, I’m glad I put that other stuff off, because, years from now, I wouldn’t remember that day I mulched the flower bed, cleared the brush from the wood pile, and filed my taxes (two days early, I might add), but that was a one-of-a-kind day at the old ball game.

My mind still goes back to the intentional walk, and subsequent pinch-hitter decision that led to the grand slam…never underestimate the benefits of being able to draw from the skills of a talented team. We do that every day, here in the Application Engineering group at EXAIR. We don’t miss a chance to learn, or teach, when one of us is presented with a challenging application. If you have a need for a compressed air solution, and you ask one of us for help, know that you’re getting the experience and knowledge of the whole team. Try us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: www.facebook.com/exair

Pitchers And Catchers Report Today!

Just so you know, I’m not talking about anyone’s favorite Major League Baseball team; I’m talking about my oldest son’s Knothole team, the Titans. He wants to try his hand (or, rather, arm) at pitching this year, so we’re hitting the tunnel tonight. Since this is their last year of Knothole ball, the coach encouraged anyone who might consider pitching in High School to come out. Personally, after hearing that it was minus 4 degrees this morning on the radio weather report, I’m feeling warmer already, knowing I’ll be in the same room as some guys tossing baseballs here in a few short hours.

This is NOT what the pitching tunnel at our local sports center looks like.
This is NOT what the pitching tunnel at our local sports center looks like.

At EXAIR, nothing reminds us that it’s winter (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) like the number of calls that we get for our Static Eliminators. There’s nothing like some cold – and dry – air to really exacerbate a problem with static charge. If that’s a current predicament for you, give us a call. Not only do we have a wide range of solutions, you can get a free AC Sensor with your order right now.

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I did, however, talk to a customer just yesterday who was looking forward to warmer weather as well. Well, not just looking forward…he was anticipating it, in fact. Last summer, he’d purchased a Cabinet Cooler System that worked out so well, he wanted to outfit a few more electrical enclosures with them. He was concerned, though, that we wouldn’t be able to accurately specify which ones he needed, since it wasn’t hot enough to be a problem right now. I told him that I could help anyway; we just needed some dimensions and air temperatures. If you’re wondering how we do it (like he was), it’s like this. We want to know the following to size up a Cabinet Cooler System properly:

*The dimensions of the enclosure. We need this to calculate the heat transfer surface area.
*The current internal and external air temperatures. The difference in these, regardless of the time of the year, is proportional to the internal heat load: the amount of heat that’s being generated by the components housed in the enclosure. This difference, theoretically, will be roughly the same in January as it is in June.
*The maximum external air temperature. This is the one that lets us figure out the external heat load: the amount of heat attributable to the hottest day of summer.
*Maximum desired internal temperature. You can specify any temperature you want, and we’ll calculate the cooling capacity required, but, just so you know, our published cooling capacities are based on maintaining 95°F (35°C), which provides a good “safety factor” below the maximum of 104°F (40°C) that seems to be popular with manufacturers of electronic components.

In a nutshell, the data we ask for doesn’t rely on anything except the rest of the data. So don’t feel you have to wait on summer to arrive in order to worry about the heat…and what to do about it.  In fact, it might just make you feel warmer on a day like today to think about it!

Soon enough, I’ll be there with the other Titan’s fans, cheering on our boys at the ballpark, and a few (not me, thank you very much) may even complain about the midsummer heat. For now, I’ll take tonight’s brief respite as a reminder that spring is indeed coming.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: EXAIR_RB
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Today In History…I Wish…

A lot of folks are reminiscing today about where they were, what they were doing, etc., when they heard the news on September 11th. I remember it well…I was at Great Lakes Recruit Training Center. My whole boot camp company consisted of young men from the Cincinnati area – it was a special thing the Naval Recruiting Command did with the Cincinnati Reds…we had all been sworn in just a month earlier, before a ball game, in left field, at Riverfront Stadium. So, when Pete Rose got his 4,192nd career hit on September 11, 1985, Chief Floyd came in to let us know about it, even though he was thoroughly disgusted with our worthlessness, which he also reminded us of (quite colorfully, as was his custom.)

Of course, most people aren’t thinking about that today. I’ll never forget arriving at work on the morning of September 11, 2001.  Dan was looking at grainy internet pictures of a smoky hole in the side of WTC Tower 1, and Tom turned on the radio that he kept in our office, just in time to get the report of the plane hitting Tower 2. But sometimes, I wish that date was all about the Coronation of The Hit King. I want to think that would be the case, even if I wasn’t a life-long Reds fan who grew up in the Big Red Machine era, when Pete accumulated most of those hits.

It got me thinking: I wonder if, in 1941, anyone lamented the fact that American History buffs would forget that December 7th was the date that the Marquis de Lafayette joined the Continental Army (1776), or that it was the day that Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution (1787)? Or that aficionados of the “Old West” wouldn’t remember that Jesse James robbed his first bank on that date (1869)?  I kind of hope so.

Today is certainly, absolutely, without a doubt, the time to honor the memories of the innocent people who were murdered in a grotesque act of evil. The first responders who sacrificed their lives to rescue others that day must never be forgotten. Our collective resolve in the following days was a crowning achievement in the history of nations. Today is aptly named Patriot Day, and I’m a little more cognizant of how proud I am to be an American right now.

But I still wish it just made me think about baseball.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: http://www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair