Cabinet Cooler Systems – Around The Clock (And Calendar) Heat Protection

So it was 19°F (-7°C) when I walked outside this morning. The layer of ice on my windshield was thin, but particularly stubborn, and I muttered under my breath. I have no business complaining about the cold…see, I moved to Ohio (on purpose) from Florida, in 1991. In November, to be exact. I still remember where I surrendered my “complain-about-the-cold” card:

If you’re headed north on I95, the next sign you’ll see is in Georgia. And if you’re not careful, you can end up “Up North.”

Why am I writing a blog about solutions to heat problems when, even though I do have a really nice pair of gloves, my fingers still aren’t even really thawed from ice removal duty this morning? Well, I’ve got three reasons:

1. Outside temperature doesn’t necessarily have any bearing at all on the temperature inside. Sure; there’s a reason we call July and August “Cabinet Cooler Season” – summer heat will do a number on sensitive electronic & control panels in spaces with no climate controls, but the problem goes away as winter approaches. In fact, there’s even such as thing as a cabinet HEATER, if the equipment in question is exposed to the elements.   Sometimes, though, heat is an issue year ’round…think blast furnaces, boiler rooms, foundries, chemical plants.  If your process generates heat, it’ll affect a control panel in the dead of winter just the same as on the dog days of summer.  We can quickly and easily specify the right Cabinet Cooler System for you with just a few key pieces of data…here’s a link to our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide if you want to find out.

2. It’s not winter all over the world.  Here in the Midwest United States, I full well realize we’re just gearing up for windshield scraping, snow shoveling, slipping-on-the-ice (some people call it skating and do it intentionally) season.  But right now, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are getting ready for heat waves, sunscreen, and (hopefully) air conditioning.  So, in essence, they’re moving towards what we call “Cabinet Cooler Season.”

3. Our Cabinet Cooler Systems are so great, the 316SS Cabinet Cooler Systems with Electronic Temperature Control are actually up for Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Award.  Because of their 316SS construction, they’re optimally suited for installation in harsh or demanding locations.  The Electronic Temperature Control offers continuous indication of internal temperature, and the ability to change the thermostat setpoint with the push of a button.  If you’re a current user, and you agree that they’re great, we’d appreciate your vote.  If not, I’m reluctant to encourage you to vote for it, but I suppose I can’t stop you from taking my word for it…

EXAIR NEMA 4X 316SS Cabinet Cooler System with Electronic Temperature Control installed on control panel in a pharmaceutical plant.

If you’d like to talk about protecting sensitive electronics from the heat, or from the environment, or both, I’d love to hear from you…give me a call.

EXAIR Super Air Knives Offer Infinitely Adjustable Force and Flow!

LSAK72in_fishslimepr_800pxsq

EXAIR’s industry leading Super Air Knife dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoff methods. The Super Air Knife is available in lengths ranging from 3”-108” and in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, 316 Stainless Steel, and PVDF for corrosive applications. Even at high pressures of 80 psig, the Super Air Knife is able to maintain a sound level of just 69 dBA for most applications! Air is entrained from the ambient environment at a rate of 40:1, maximizing the force and flow from the Super Air Knife. In addition, these knives meet or exceed OSHA maximum dead-end pressure and noise requirements.

completeAirknifesets
From left to right – plastic shims, SS shims, PTFE shims included in the shim sets

Adjustability of both the force and flow from the Super Air Knife is infinitely adjustable. Right out of the box from the factory the Super Air Knife comes stock with a .002” thick shim installed. This sets the gap between the body and cap of the knife and determines how much compressed air can flow through the precise, slotted orifice. An accessory that EXAIR has available for the Super Air Knife is the shim set. For the aluminum knives, a .001”, .003”, and .004” plastic shims come in the shim set. To reduce the flow and force, a .001” can be used. If more force is required, a thicker shim can be installed. For the stainless steel and PVDF knives, (3) .002” shims are included in the set. Stainless steel shims for the stainless knives and a PTFE shim for the PVDF. These, as well as the plastic shims, can be stacked on top of one another to create an even larger gap. One thing that is important to keep in mind however, the larger the air gap the greater the air consumption. Installing a .004” shim in a Super Air Knife will double the flow and consumption of the knife when compared to the stock .002” shim.

Installing a new shim in your Super Air Knife is very simple to do. Check out this quick video from Neal Raker that walks you through the steps:

While the different shims are available for you to make gross adjustments to the force and flow of your Super Air Knife, there is one additional method. By using a pressure regulator, you can fine-tune the input pressure that is supplied to the Super Air Knife. This will also greatly impact the force and flow. At 40 psig, the Super Air Knife will consume 1.7 scfm/inch and provide 1.1 oz/inch of force. At 80 psig, it will consume 2.9 scfm/inch and provide 2.5 oz/inch of force. EXAIR offers pressure regulators in a variety of different sizes to accommodate any of our Super Air Knives from 3” all the way up to 108”.

If you’re wasting air in your facility using cheap nozzles, drilled pipes, or any other inefficient solution give us a call. An Application Engineer will gladly investigate your application and help to design a better, safer, and more cost-effective solution!

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

Removing Condensation Is Key To Maintaining Performance

When air is compressed, it is heated to a point that causes the water or moisture  to turn to vapor. As the air begins to cool, the vapors turn to condensation, which can cause performance issues in a compressed air system. Many times this condensation forms in the basic components in the system like a receiver tank, dryer or filter.

Condensation is formed from water vapor in the air

It’s important to remove this condensation from the system before it causes any issues. There are four basic types of condensate drains that can be used to limit or prevent loss of air in the system.

The first method would be to have an operator manually drain the condensation through a drain port or valve. This is the least reliable method though as now it’s the operator’s responsibility to make sure they close the valve so the system doesn’t allow any air to escape which can lead to pressure drops and poor end-use device performance.

Example of a float drain

Secondly, a float or inverted bucket trap system can be used in plants with regular monitoring and maintenance programs in place to ensure proper performance.. These types of drain traps typically require a higher level of maintenance and have the potential to lose air if not operating properly.

An electrically actuated drain valve can be used to automatically drain the condensate at a preset time or interval. Typically these incorporate a solenoid valve  or motorized ball valve with some type of timing control.  These types of systems can be unreliable though as the valve may open without any moisture being present in the line, which can result in air loss or it may not be actuated open long enough for acceptable drain off. With these types of drains, it’s best to use some type of strainer to remove any particulate that could cause adverse performance.

Lastly,  zero air-loss traps utilize a reservoir and a float or level sensor to drain the condensate and maintain a satisfactory level. This type of setup is very reliable but does require the reservoir be drained frequently to keep the system clean and free of debris or contaminants.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a particular process, contact an application engineer for assistance.

Justin Nicholl
Application Engineer
justinnicholl@exair.com
@EXAIR_JN

 

Condensation image courtesy of Anders Sandberg via creative commons license

Float drain image courtesy of the Compressed Air Challenge

EXAIR External Mix Atomizing Nozzles: Overview

No Drip Atomizing Family

In today’s market, the cost of consumable products are on the rise; especially with paints, oils, and yes, even the cost of water.  You can help alleviate some of that cost by being more effective in spraying with less liquid.  The EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles can accomplish both of these objectives.  By using compressed air, the liquid can be sheared into smaller micron-sized droplets.  As a reference, if the diameter of a particle is reduced by one-half, this will multiply the number of droplets by eight.  With a smaller diameter, it will increase the surface area and coverage of the droplets; thus, requiring less liquid in your application.  In combination with a variety of spray patterns, you can accurately target the liquid onto the product instead of around the product.  EXAIR manufactures three families of Atomizing Nozzles; Internal Mix, External Mix, and the Siphon Fed.  In this blog, I will be focusing on the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles.

The External Mix Atomizing Nozzles are designed, like the name suggests, to atomize the liquid outside the nozzle.  This means that the liquid and air streams will not come into contact until it reaches the outward atomizing area (reference photo above).  Both the air and liquid supply will have to be pressurized, and they can be controlled independently.  This type of Atomizing Nozzle will allow for higher viscous fluids, above 300 CPS, to be used in spraying applications.  With the external mixing, it will help to reduce the drying effect of the solution and interrupting the system.  EXAIR manufactures these nozzles with stainless-steel construction making them compatible with many different kinds of liquids and can be used in many applications like washing, coating, cooling, quenching, and dust control.

EB1040SS washing wine bottles.

EXAIR carries three different body sizes in 1/8” NPT, ¼” NPT, and ½” NPT ports; so, you can create a light mist or a monsoon.  The maximum liquid flow rates through each body size is controlled by the air caps and liquid caps.  These caps are easily interchangeable for each body size to modify the spray patterns, control the amount of fluid, and reduce any downtime if cleaning is required.  The amount of liquid to be applied is easily adjusted by the inlet air pressure, liquid pressure, and the liquid adjusting stem.  So, you can dial in the exact amount of fluid required for your process to eliminate any waste or excess. They have a compact design to mount inside tight areas, and we also carry mounting brackets for easy attachment and positioning.   Versatility is very important in saving, applying, and spraying costly fluids, and the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles have it.

To help reduce excess fluid even more, EXAIR has a No Drip option.  This patented design is used to keep the expensive liquid from dripping out of the Atomizing Nozzles during off cycles.  When the compressed air is turned off, a valve inside the body will create a seal on the liquid side.  For delicate applications, the unwanted drips will not occur with the No Drip option to ruin the finish of your product.  This option also enhances the function of the External Mix Atomizing Nozzle for intermittent processes.  It will keep the liquid inside the body of the nozzle; so, when air pressure is applied, the Atomizing Nozzle will give an instant spray.  The minimum air pressure required to open the No Drip valve is 30 PSIG (2.1 bar) for the ¼” NPT and the ½” NPT port sizes, and 20 PSIG (1.4 bar) for the 1/8” port size; still allowing for flexibility in compressed air adjustments.  Unlike some manufacturers, there is no need to run a separate compressed air line to operate the no drip function.  The External Mix Atomizing Nozzles with the No Drip options can give you the best performance in efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility without any drips.

If you need to maximize the liquid dispersion and minimize liquid consumption, the EXAIR Atomizing Nozzles are the products to use.  Even if you have a viscous fluid, the External Mix Atomizing Nozzles can still shear the drops into a fine mist, saving the amount of expensive consumable oils and liquids.  If you have an application involving liquid spraying, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can help determine the correct model for you.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR Provides Cooling Solutions – Even During Winter Months

An electrical enclosure in need of a reliable cooling solution.

On first glance, the enclosure shown above looks to be fairly large for use with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler.  Our individual Cabinet Coolers have a maximum cooling capacity of 2,800 BTU/hr. (~820W), but we do provide dual Cabinet Cooler systems with capacities up to 5,600 BTU/hr. (~1642W).  So, although there are heat loads which are too large for use with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler, we always perform heat load calculations for any potential application because until you run the numbers, you don’t really know.

Arrows identifying existing A/C unit

In this case, however, the customer already knew the required cooling capacity (~3,000 BTU/hr. or 880W) thanks to an existing refrigerant based system already installed (see arrows above).  This existing system was doing a great job of keeping the enclosure cool when it was working properly, but it was also prone to maintenance and breakdowns.  The facility maintenance technicians had replaced filters as required on their preventative maintenance programs, but the A/C unit still required replacement multiple times.  This would lead the maintenance team to open all the doors of the enclosure in an effort to remove heat, but this allowed dust and dirt to enter the cabinet and compromise the electronics inside.

Eventually, the maintenance, required repair, and exposure of sensitive electronics led this customer to search for an alternative solution, and they found the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler.  Once we determined the required cooling capacity and a suitable unit (model 4750 NEMA 4 Dual Cabinet Cooler System with 3,400 BTU/hr. (~1,000W) of cooling power), the discussion turned to installation and maintenance and we had a conversation something like this:

Customer: How much time do we need to hook up the Cabinet Cooler?

EXAIR: About five minutes.

Customer: That’s it!?

EXAIR:  That’s it!  I’ll send you a video of the installation process.

Customer:  Ok, what about PM (preventative maintenance)?

EXAIR:  There isn’t any.  Just feed it with clean, filtered compressed air and it will run for years.

Customer:  Ok, how do we turn it on and off?

EXAIR:  Well, you don’t have to.  You just install the thermostat and the system does the rest.  It’ll maintain whatever temperature setpoint you chose and comes preset to 95°F (35°C).

Customer:  What is the lead time?

EXAIR:  They’re in stock and ship same day.

After working through the application and questions from the customer, we were able to provide a sustainable, readily available solution that was a marked improvement from the maintenance prone refrigerant based system.  Our Cabinet Cooler allows for easy installation, no maintenance, and years of trouble-free operation.  If you have an overheating enclosure contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.  We’ll be happy to help you find a suitable solution.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Atomizing Spray Nozzles – Making The Case For Internal Mix

If you’ve ever cleaned around the house (and who hasn’t?), you’re probably familiar with atomized liquid spraying…it’s what happens when you squeeze the trigger on that bottle of cleaner that breaks down the stove top grease in the kitchen and the ring-around-the-tub in the bathroom.

There’s a variety of industrial and commercial applications that require an atomized liquid spray too…applications that are beyond the scope of an operator with a trigger-operated spray bottle. That’s where EXAIR Atomizing Spray Nozzles come in. We have three types: Internal Mix, External Mix, and Siphon Fed. Depending on what you want to spray, and how you want to spray it, one of these is likely going to work better than the others for you. Today, we’re going to examine the Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles.

Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles are the perfect choice for fine mist and precise control.

Benefits:

Better mist: Because the liquid & air come together inside the air cap, this results in very fine atomization.

Range of adjustment: Regulating either the liquid or air pressure supply will change the flow rate AND the flow pattern, giving each individual nozzle a wide performance band.  The needle valve can “fine tune” the flow and pattern with even greater precision.

Area of coverage: With five patterns (Narrow or Wide Angle Round, Flat Fan, Deflected Flat Fan, and 360° Hollow Circular) and 72 distinct models to choose from, you can get spray patterns from 2″ (1/8 NPT Narrow Round Model AN8010SS) to 13 feet (1/2  NPT 360° Hollow Circular Model AT5010SS.)

Also, they can spray the liquid mist up to 40 feet away!

Flow rate: Again, because of the many models available, you can get from 0.6 gallons/hour (Model AN8010SS again) to 264 gallons/hour (1/2 NPT Wide Angle Round Model AW5030SS.)

Features:

No-Drip option: The standard Models have a needle valve, which, as mentioned above, gives you the ability to make minute changes to the flow rate & pattern.  If the application calls for rapid on/off control, or the chance of an errant drip after flow is not stopped might be a problem, the needle valve can be replaced with a No-Drip assembly.  This positively shuts off liquid flow, at the exit of the liquid cap, when air pressure is secured.

Instant on/off control by stopping the air flow is possible with the No Drip feature, available on any Atomizing Spray Nozzle

Easy installation: All of our Atomizing Spray Nozzles have female NPT (1/8, 1/4, or 1/2) ports.  The 1/8 and 1/4 NPT models can be adequately supported – and positioned – with a Stay Set Hose, and all models (even the 1/2 NPT) can be used with an appropriately sized Swivel Fitting.  If you want to use your own tubes or hoses, we’ve got “clip-in” style Mounting Brackets.

Mounting Brackets made for quick and easy installation.

Interchangeability: The only difference between any model of the same-size Atomizing Spray Nozzle is the Liquid and/or Air Cap.  If your application’s liquid spray requirements change, or vary, you don’t need to replace the whole nozzle; just one (or in some cases, both) of the caps.

Internal Mix Atomizing Spray Nozzles are ideal for liquid viscosity up to 300cP and in situations where the liquid is (or can be) pressure fed.  If you’d like to discuss a liquid spraying application and/or product selection, give me a call.

 

 

Absolute Pressure Ratio

This model 1101 Super Air Nozzle requires 14 SCFM @ 80 PSIG. How much air will it consume at 60 PSIG?

Compressed air driven devices are always given a specification for the compressed air flow at a certain pressure.  For example, an EXAIR model 1101 Super Air Nozzle has a specified flow of 14 SCFM at 80 PSIG.  This means that when this nozzle is operated at 80 PSIG, it will require 14 SCFM of compressed air flow.  But what if the force from the nozzle is too high when operated at 80 PSIG and a lower operating pressure is needed?

Thankfully, we can calculate the compressed air flow at a different pressure using the absolute pressure ratio.  The absolute pressure ratio says that for any given change in absolute operating pressure, there will be a proportional change in the air consumption of a device.  So, what is an absolute pressure?

Put simply, an absolute pressure is the value which you would measure on pressure gauge plus the atmospheric pressure (PSIA, or Pounds per Square Inch Atmospheric).  So, our 80 PSIG operating pressure mentioned above is an absolute pressure of 94.5 PSI (80PSIG + 14.5 PSIA).  Similarly, if we wanted to determine the compressed air flow at an operating pressure of 60 PSIG, our absolute pressure would be 74.5 PSI (60 PSIG + 14.5 PSIA).

The absolute pressure ratio is a ratio of the new absolute operating pressure (new PSIG + PSIA) compared to the known absolute operating pressure (known PSIG + PSIA).  For example, when comparing an operating pressure of 60 PSIG to an operating pressure of 80 PSIG, we will end up with the following ratio:

This means that our absolute pressure ratio in this case is 0.7884.  To determine the compressed air flow for the model 1101 Super Air Nozzle at 60 PSIG, we will take this ratio value and multiply it by the known flow value at 80 PSIG.  This will yield the following:

Utilizing this formula allows us to truly compare a compressed air powered device at different operating pressures.  If we did not use the absolute pressures when comparing compressed air devices at differing pressures, our values would be erroneously low, which could yield to improper compressed air system planning and performance.  And, using the absolute pressure ratio allows anyone to make a true comparison of compressed air device performance.  If specifications are given at different pressures, performance data can be misleading.  But, by using the absolute pressure ratio we can make a more exact evaluation of device operation.

If you have a question about your compressed air device and/or how a change in pressure will impact compressed air flow, contact our Application Engineers.  We’ll be happy to help.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE