The Battle of Cooling: Fans Vs. Air Amplifiers

So, you have a cooling application and don’t know what to choose; do you go with the age-old fan or something different. Fans are probably one of the most common items used for cooling in everyday life and chances are you have a few that are always cooling. These fans can be found in cars, at your home, in your computer, and many other places.

But there may be other items that might just blow away the competition (pun intended). This is where EXAIR’s Air Amplifiers step onto the scene. Air Amplifiers use a little bit of compressed air to entrain the surrounding ambient air to turn it into a large volume of air.

Axial Fan being used to cool down an electrical cabinet

When it comes to cooling with air, volume is key. Air cannot hold a lot of thermal energy (heat) so in order to cool something down you need a lot of it. This means that the unit that can produce the largest volume of air is going to produce more cooling. So, what is the difference between a fan and the air amplifiers and which is better?

Fans have been in use since late B.C.E. and are still in use today. Many of the fans used for cooling are centrifugal style fans which are also known as blowers. These systems use an impeller that consists of a central shaft with blades that form a circle around a central opening. Blowers produce a high volume of air at a high velocity and low pressure. Not only do blowers require significant space to install, they also require noticeable maintenance and will eventually need to be replaced. Another, and perhaps more important downside, is that a blower will increase the temperature of the outlet air which further reduces the air’s ability to absorb additional heat and effectively cool.

Super Air Amplifier Family

On the other hand, Air Amplifiers use a source of compressed air to form a thin stream of high velocity laminar flow of air to entrain the surrounding ambient air. By doing so you can create a focused blast of air for cooling. So the downside in this case is that if you do not have a source of compressed air, the Air Amplifier will not function for you. With a small amount of compressed air, Air Amplifiers will multiply the volume of air up to 25 times to produce the large volume of air needed to cool parts, films, castings and more.

Air Amplifiers are extremely inexpensive when compared to blower systems and can out perform a blower in many applications.

If you have questions about our Air Amplifiers, or would like to talk about any of the quiet EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR or any Application Engineer.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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Super Air Amplifiers vs. Electric Fans

EXAIR’s product offerings contain many products that can be used for cooling. The focus of this blog will be Super Air Amplifiers. These often times get placed in a head to head competition with an electric fan. The best part, they easily come out on top.

Our own Tyler Daniel produced a great video showcasing how efficient it is to cool a part using the Super Air Amplifier rather than a fan.

When looking at the benefits other than performance and rate of cooling due to air entrainment, many customers prefer the Super Air Amplifier due to the fact there are no moving parts. This comes into play when cooling within in a hard to reach area or within a harsh process is needed.  Placing an electric motor with a blade held on by fasteners may not be desirable from a maintenance standpoint. The Super Air Amplifiers do not require electricity, meaning there is not a motor or bearings that would need to be replaced or inspected.

Another benefit is the small footprint of the Super Air Amplifier. This can also be seen within the video above where the Air Amplifier is shown is able to produce 341 SCFM (9,650 SLPM) in amplified airflow.  This gives the ability to place a small unit inside of a chamber that needs large volumes of air flowed through it.  For instance, a rotomolded part that has a large chamber and it needs surfaces to be cooled in order for the part to hold its shape from the mold rather than warp.  This can also be coupled with the fact that a Super Air Amplifier can be ducted on either the suction or discharge side in order to retrieve cool air or move the warm air out of the area.

Speaking of warm, the Super Air Amplifiers are also manufactured to withstand up to 275°F (135°C) from stock.  Stainless Steel and High-temperature models go well beyond that temp, as seen above. Custom-designed (flanges and different materials are common) versions are also available in short lead-times.

If you would like to discuss the benefits to a Super Air Amplifier further, feel free to contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF