Recently I was working with a customer on sizing a EXAIR Cabinet Cooler when I found out they would be best suited by another EXAIR product! They wanted to cool some analyzer panel fins (heat sinks) while keeping dust off of them. This application said Cold Gun all the way!
I recommended our Model # 5315 Cold Gun Aircoolant System with two cold outlets. The Cold Gun produces a 50°F temperature drop from compressed air supply temperature and provides 1,000 Btu/hr. of cooling capacity. For example, if your compressed air supply temperature is 70°F you would effectively see 20°F air being discharged from the cold exhaust. The Dual Point Hose Kit splits the cold airflow into 2 separate streams, providing for a wider coverage area.
The customer decided to order a single unit and after a week of testing replied back…
“We tried one a week ago with excellent results! We are installing three more today.
Thank you so much for your help! Our analyzer is running 31°F cooler than it had been with no more overtemp failures!”
It goes without mentioning, but this is the type of positive feedback we are thrilled to hear! It feels incredible when a customer takes time out of their busy schedule to acknowledge how EXAIR products provided the perfect solution for their needs!
BUT the story doesn’t end there… just last week, over 2 months since our last correspondence, the customer sent me another email that read…
“Just a follow up on the effectiveness of the cold air guns. We have not experienced a single failure of our TOC analyzers since the guns were installed two months ago.
The cold air solved the problem of our analyzer overheating — even during the hottest part of the summer.
Thank you for your excellent recommendation!”
I let the customer know how much we appreciated the awesome news and how happy we were to be able to solve their problem. At the end of the day, that’s what we strive for, to provide the best and largest selection of Intelligent Compressed Air Products on the market today.
Last fall, when our youngest “flew the coop” and moved into a dormitory to begin his college experience, my lovely bride and I also embarked upon an exciting adventure: finding, purchasing, and moving in to our “empty nest” dream house. While packing up the contents of the house where we had raised a United States Marine AND a hippie college student, I moved my trusty laptop from its perch on a desk in a dark basement corner, where it had resided, in that one spot, for more than a couple years.
As I was looking for its carrying case, I noticed the fan grill was almost completely obscured with more than a couple years’ worth of environmental contamination (or dust). I vacuumed out the grill, but wondered how much more environmental contamination (dust) had made its way into the deep recesses of the laptop…and more importantly, what might it be doing to the sensitive electronics inside my trusty internet browsing device?
I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but electronics and dust don’t mix. We have this conversation a LOT with callers inquiring about our Cabinet Cooler Systems. The protection they offer against environmental contamination is integral with the protection they offer against heat. In the panel cooling market, our Cabinet Cooler Systems are unique in that respect: a total protection solution.
When properly installed on a sealed enclosure, the only thing the inside of that enclosure is ever exposed to is cold, clean, moisture free air. But what if the enclosure can’t be completely sealed? One option is to use a Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System. It works just as the name implies: cold air is continuously flowing into the enclosure, creating a constant purge flow…if that cold air is blowing out of any openings in the enclosure, there’s no way for environmental contamination to get in. Problem solved.
Well…almost. Something else I’m sure you already know is, compressed air is costly. Organizations like the Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI) and the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC), who are devoted to optimizing industrial use of compressed air, have lists of “inappropriate uses of compressed air”, and panel cooling is on that list…EXCEPT when they’re thermostatically controlled. At EXAIR, we couldn’t agree more, and if a caller asks any of us Application Engineers about a Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System, they’re inviting us in to a conversation about that.
Sometimes, the initial question is cost…well, we have to pay for the components that make up the Thermostat Controls, so we ask our customers who want those products to as well. A quick conversation about the operating cost of continuous operation vs thermostat control is usually all that’s required in those cases.
Other times, a panel that can’t be sealed is installed in a particularly dusty or dirty environment, and they want the continuous flow of cold air, as described above, to keep those contaminants out. A Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System will, of course, do that. But EXAIR wants you to get the most out of your compressed air use, so we developed a “best of both worlds” solution: Non-Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler Systems. Here’s how they work:
Based on a few key pieces of data that you can submit in our Cabinet Cooler Systems Sizing Guide, we’ll specify the appropriate Cabinet Cooler System to manage that heat load.
The system will be thermostatically controlled: a bimetallic Thermostat, mounted inside the panel, will open and close the Solenoid Valve plumbed in the compressed air supply to operate the Cabinet Cooler as needed to maintain temperature inside the panel.
The Solenoid Valve is modified to pass a small amount of air flow (1 SCFM) even when it’s closed. This saves you from using the full rated air consumption of the Cabinet Cooler when cold air isn’t required, and still maintains enough purge air flow to prevent environmental contaminants from entering a less-than-ideally-sealed enclosure.
The Non-Hazardous Purge option is just one way that EXAIR Corporation can help you address specific environmental challenges that may be presented in electrical and electronic panel cooling applications. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
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Even casual readers of the EXAIR Blog will notice that we Application Engineers are keen on efficiency. I just counted sixty-seven blogs on the site that discuss our Six Steps To Optimizing Your Compressed Air System. Some offer a broad overview, while others focus on specific steps, and one tells us more than I ever expected to learn from an engineering blog about…Bigfoot.
I’m going to take a different tack here – no; I’m not going to write about the Yeti or the Loch Ness Monster, but I may try to get the Jersey Devil into a blog someday. I will, instead, relate some real-life examples of the success of implementing each individual step. It’s important to note here that they don’t have to be done in order, or even in total, to achieve impressive results.
Measure the air consumption to find sources that use a lot of compressed air. Like I just said, you don’t HAVE to do these steps in order, but if you DO intend to pursue a comprehensive solution, this is where you want to start. The facility manager of a large manufacturing plant did just that when a series of Digital Flowmeters were installed in the branch lines to their production cells. By comparing their present-day actual usage to the original design specifications, they noticed that usage in a certain cell (due to business growth) had increased to the point that they had raised the main header pressure in an attempt to keep point-of-use pressures at proper levels. By installing a larger diameter branch line to that cell, they were able to reduce main header pressure from 120psig to 100psig, reducing their compressors’ energy usage (and their share of the electric bill) by 10%.
Find and fix the leaks in your compressed air system. A factory once noticed they were losing header pressure overnight, when they were closed. Using an Ultrasonic Leak Detector, they identified some small leaks that nobody thought were all that significant…until they did the math, comparing previous compressed air consumption (including those leaks) to that of their “new and improved” leak-free system. Fixing those leaks saved them just over a million cubic feet of compressed air a year. The exact figure was 1,062,500 cubic feet, annually. I know this is accurate, because it was us.
Upgrade your blowoff, cooling and drying operations using engineered compressed air products. This could apply to almost every single order we process, so I’m going use an example from my first day here. During training, I learned that a customer had recently called to get air consumption data on some EXAIR products they were going to implement as part of an upgrade that was also going to involve purchasing a new compressor. Their main usage was a number of open-end blow offs that ran continuously. After outfitting those with Model 1100 Super Air Nozzles and Model 9040 Foot Pedals (so the operators had simple, hands-free control over blowing cycles), they not only found they didn’t need a new air compressor, but were able to shut down an existing 50HP air compressor.
Turn off the compressed air when it isn’t in use. There are a few methods for doing this, and they’re all pretty easy:
Good.Manual shutoff valves (1/4 turn ball valves are great for this) can be used by mindful operators to shut off compressed air use between production cycles, during lunch breaks, and (I hope this is patently obvious to the most casual observer) at closing time. I’ve talked to users about doing this, but I don’t have any great success stories about this method. It relies on someone’s memory in knowing when to operate the valve…and nobody’s remembered to call me back with a full report either.
Better. If you only need air blowing while a machine is running,
most any qualified industrial electrician can wire a solenoid valve into the on/off control of the machine. Better yet, if the system has programmable logic control (PLC), it can be used to open & shut that same solenoid valve, to effect blow off only as needed. I worked with an automotive parts manufacturer who had a robot passing parts between a pair of Model 110042 42″ Aluminum Super Air Knives. They had taken care to accurately position the Air Knives, and program the robot’s movement & speed, to optimize blow off…but the Air Knives were running continuously. After a brief conversation with the line foreman, they bought and installed a Model 9065 1 NPT 24VDC Solenoid Valve and “told” the PLC to turn air flow on as the robotic arm approached the Air Knives, and turn it off right after the part had passed through.
Best. In the absence of programmable logic, the simplicity of the EXAIR EFC Electronic Flow Control just can’t be beat. It’s a standalone system that consists of a Solenoid Valve that’s operated by a photoelectric sensor and controlled by a programmable timer. Whether it’s a tenth of a second, or a few minutes, waste is waste, and it adds up. Consider this application writeup from our Optimization Products catalog section:
Use intermediate storage of compressed air near the point of use. If
compressed air is used in any sizable amount in your facility, odds are, you have a compressor room. If it’s done right, this is a good thing for your compressor, but it CAN present some challenges for distribution over large areas. A user of EXAIR Super Ion Air Knives, for example, installed a Model 9500-60 Receiver Tank in an area some distance from the compressor room to maintain higher air pressure than line loss (from the length of the header pipe) was allowing. Their other option was to increase their overall header pressure; this allowed them to maintain current costs…increasing system pressure by 2psi equates to a 1% increase in compressed air generation costs.
Control the air pressure at the point of use to minimize air consumption. In addition to controlling OVERALL compressed air system pressure (see examples 1 & 5 above), using Pressure Regulators to control the supply pressure to specific compressed air operated products will save you money too…the lower the supply pressure, the lower the consumption. A Model 1101 1/4 MNPT Super Air Nozzle, for example, uses 14 SCFM when supplied at 80psig…that’s where we publish its performance, because that’ll give a good, strong blast of air, suitable for a wide range of typical industrial air blowing applications. A tube manufacturer once replaced two open blow off devices that used about 38 SCFM each with Model 1101’s. Even though that cut their air consumption by more than half, they were able to cut it even further by regulating the supply pressure to 56psig…that’s the pressure at which they could still get the job done consistently, resulting in ANOTHER 25% reduction in compressed air consumption.
The big thing that sets engineered products like EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products apart from other devices is the engineering that goes into their design. Several principles of fluidics are key to those designs:
Bernoulli’s Principle states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in static pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy. It’s explained further here, along with details on how EXAIR products use it.
The one I wanted to discuss today, though, is the Coanda Effect, what it means for our engineered compressed air products, and what they can do for you:
The Coanda effect is named after Henri Coandă, who was the first to use the phenomenon in a practical application…in his case, aircraft design. He described it as “the tendency of a jet of fluid emerging from an orifice to follow an adjacent flat or curved surface and to entrain fluid from the surroundings so that a region of lower pressure develops.” Put simply, if fluid flows past a solid object, it keeps flowing along that surface (even through curves or bends) and pulls surrounding fluid into its flow. Here’s a demonstration, using an EXAIR Super Air Amplifier and a plastic ball:
What’s interesting here is that the Super Air Amplifier is not only DEMONSTRATING the Coanda effect, it’s also USING it:
EXAIR Standard and Full Flow Air Knives also have Coanda profiles that the primary (compressed air) flow follows, and uses, to entrain “free” air from the surrounding environment:
EXAIR Air Wipes can be thought of as “circular Air Knives” – instead of a Coanda profile along the length of an Air Knife, an Air Wipe’s Coanda profile is on the ring of the Air Wipe, which entrains surrounding air into a 360° ring of converging air flow:
So that’s the science incorporated in the design of our products. But what does it mean to the user?
Efficiency. Pulling in a tremendous amount of “free” air from the surrounding environment means minimal consumption of compressed air, while still getting a hard hitting, high velocity air flow.
EXAIR Corporation is committed to helping you get the most out of your compressed air system, and thanks to Mr. Coandă, that includes reducing your compressed air consumption and noise levels. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
Russ Bowman, CCASS
Application Engineer EXAIR Corporation Visit us on the Web Follow me on Twitter Like us on Facebook