High Temperature Vortex Tube for Sensor Cooling

Last year I worked with a power company that was having issues with Position Feedback Sensors overheating causing erroneous readings and early failures.  The sensors were located above a steam turbine, and the ambient temperatures reached 128°F with spikes to 140-150°F.  The customer had called in looking for a way to keep the sensors cool, using minimal compressed air, and in a robust package.  After reviewing the details, we recommended the High Temperature Vortex Tube, model HT3210.  While using just 10 SCFM of 100 PSIG compressed air, the HT3210 provides 8 SCFM of cold air at a temperature drop of 54°F from the supply air temperature.  Bathing the sensor with this cool air keeps prevents it from heating up and has eliminated the bad readings and prevented the early failures.

The customer recently implemented the same fix for another set of sensors.

Plant Photo
Power Generation Process, with (3) Position Feedback Sensors
Sensor
Position Feedback Sensor

The High Temperature Vortex Tube is a special Vortex Tube offering from EXAIR that utilizes a brass generator and hi-temp seal for use in ambient temperatures up to 200°F.  Simply supply clean, dry compressed air, and get cold air starting at 50-54°F lower than the supply air temperature.  With sizes ranging from 2 to 150 SCFM, there is a Vortex Tube that will meet most applications.

Vortex tube
High Temperature Vortex Tube

If you have questions about the Vortex Tubes, or would like to talk about any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Air Amplifiers – Vent, Exhaust, Cool, Dry, Clean – With No Moving Parts!

As an Application Engineer, one of the interesting aspects of working with customers on applications is the varied types of solutions an EXAIR product can provide.  The Air Amplifier family – Super Air Amplifier, Adjustable Air Amplifier, and the special High Temperature Air Amplifier can be used in a wide variety of process and applications.  Below highlights several of those from past experiences.

A defense contractor was performing maintenance service on a Navy ship, and the ventilation system had to be shut down.  To keep the personnel cool and safe, an auxiliary ventilation was to be supplied.  Rather than use a cumbersome blower assembly, which has to mounted on the top deck, and ducted down to the lower decks, they chose to utilize (2) 4″ Super Air Amplifiers.  They are very portable and can be set up in minutes.  This solution provided the necessary air flow, providing a safe environment for the maintenance crew.

Super Air Amplifier
EXAIR Air Amplifiers use a small amount of compressed air to create a tremendous amount of air flow.

A light bulb manufacturer needed a better solution for a cooling operation.  During manufacturing of a mercury lamp, the bulb must be cooled from 700°C to 600°C in just 15 seconds.  The current method, an open brass pipe, was working but the noise level was too high (95 dBA.) The goal was to maintain the 15 second cooling time, but reduce sound levels to 85 dBA.  By utilizing (2) of 3/4″ Adjustable Air Amplifiers, the customer was able to maintain the cooling rate, and reduce the noise level down to 80 dBA, a 15 dBA reduction.

adjustable Air Amplifier
Adjustable Air Amplifier

A garbage collector presented a problem that needed a solution.  The garbage was incinerated and when the furnaces were first started up, there tended to be issues with getting the flue to draft properly.  Using the High Temperature Air Amplifier, the high velocity air flow and draw provided the needed draft until the stack warmed up and the natural draft would be established.  Since the unit is capable of handling temperatures up to 700°F, it was able to withstand the heat of the process after the compressed air was turned off.

These and other Applications for the Air Amplifiers and all other EXAIR products can be found on the EXAIR website on the Products page, under the Related Info section toward the bottom of each page.

If you have questions regarding Air Amplifiers or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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High Temperature Capability

Last week, a customer called in to talk about their application.  After aluminum and steel machining operations, parts are run through a washer system. The drying portion utilized a Super Air Amplifier to dry the sides and a Super Air Knife to dry off the top. The wash temperature was running at 185°F.  The customer wanted to review the application and make sure the EXAIR products utilized in the process were rated to this temperature and to check on high the products could go, since the maximum possible temperature for the washer was listed as 250 °F.

air-knife-air-amplifer
Drying Section – Utilizing EXAIR Air Amplifier (near top) and Super Air Knife

The Super Air Amplifier is rated to 275°, above the maximum possible condition.  The Super Air Knife was pre-installed with a stainless steel shim, enabling a maximum temperature rating of 400 °F. Both of the components are rated for temperatures in excess of the maximum possible washer temperature condition, and the customer felt confident with the system design.

EXAIR has several options in the Air Amplifier and Super Air Knife product families to allow for operation in high temperature applications.  For the Air Amplifier, the Super Air Amplifier and Aluminum Adjustable Air Amplifier have a maximum temperature rating of 275°F.  The Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifier is rated to 400°F, and for the hottest of conditions, the High Temperature Air Amplifier is rated to 700°F.

Relating to Super Air Knife, the aluminum Super Air Knife is rated to 180°F.  With a stainless steel shim installed, the maximum increases to 400°F. The PVDF Super Air Knife, used in applications where chemical resistance is needed, can withstand temperatures up to 275°F. And for the most extreme temperature environments, the Type 303 and Type 316 Stainless Steel Super Air Knives are rated up to 800°F.

To discuss your application and how an Air Amplifier and Super Air Knife or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process, feel free to contact EXAIR and one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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High Temperature Air Amplifier Cools High Tech Mirror Glass

We recently worked with a customer that manufactures mirrors for the automotive industry.  Today’s mirrors are evolving and becoming more and more complex, including functions such as auto-dimming, and navigation and backup camera display.

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Mirror manufacturing involves many steps, one step is the application of the reflective material.  Silver can be deposited chemically, but other materials such as aluminum and gold, and for scientific grade mirrors, silicon oxides and silicon nitrides are applied via an evaporative process within a vacuum chamber.  The metal is heated under the condition of vacuum until it vaporizes and is then deposited on the glass.  Many layers may be deposited depending on the mirror type and reflective properties desired.

Our customer came to us and said they were interested in utilizing the Super Air Amplifier technology in the glass cooling process. After reviewing all of the details of the application, including the ambient temperature conditions, we recommended the EXAIR High Temperature Air Amplifier, model 121021, as the right choice for the cooling application.

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Model 121021, High Temperature Air Amplifier

The  model 121021 High Temperature Air Amplifier was developed for moving hot air and to be able withstand high temperature ambient conditions. This special design is rated for environments up to 700°F and its surface is protected from heat stress by a mil-spec coating process developed for the aircraft industry. It uses just 8.1 SCFM of 80 PSIG compressed air, has an amplification ration of 18:1, and a sound level of only 72 dBA. This highly efficient and quiet air amplifier was the right choice, and the customer has reported back that they ‘have been working good’ in the application. They are also used to circulate hot air in ovens or keep even temperatures on large rotational molds. They also solve heat/cooling problems in glass manufacturing, primary metals, heat treating and power generation. They are the right choice for rugged, high temperature processes.

EXAIR makes other specialty Air Amplifiers, including models made for specific customer applications.  These include designs with flange mounting for exhausting flue gases from a  furnace and a design with a PTFE plug to help pull sticky material through a process while preventing the material from depositing on the Air Amplifier.

To discuss your application and how an Air Amplifier would help out, feel free to contact EXAIR and one our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Mirror Photo Credit – Steve Damron – via Creative Commons Licensei

High Temperature Application Needs High Temperature Filtration

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Two 42″ stainless steel Super Air Knives in need of proper filtration of the compressed air supply

In an undisclosed application, two 42” stainless steel Super Air Knives (shown above) are positioned to provide a needed blowoff function.  The exact purpose of the blowoff wasn’t revealed, but this OEM requested various shims for these knives along with suitable filtration.  Shims, which can be field installed into the knife to adjust the air gap and air flow due to different thicknesses, will directly affect the volume of air and force out of the knife. Determining model numbers and pricing for the requested shims is straightforward, but providing the required filtration proved to be a bit more challenging.

Whenever considering filtration, the first step in product selection is to consider what needs to be filtered from the air; for example, water, dirt, or oil.  This customer needed a method to remove both water and dirt, as well as oil particulate from the compressed air.

The next step is to consider the potential greatest flow (required by the knives) through the filters, which, in turn, requires having knowledge of the intended operating pressure for the application and the air gap set by the shims.  These knives are to be operated at a maximum pressure of 87 PSIG, creating a maximum flow potential of about 260-520 SCFM depending on the chosen shim.  (3.1 SCFM per inch of length for each knife when operating at 87 PSIG * 42 inches per knife * 2 knives = ~260 SCFM;  6.2 SCFM per inch of length for each knife when operating at 87 PSIG and having the additional shims installed * 42 inches per knife * 2 knives = ~520 SCFM)

Lastly, we have to give consideration to the environment into which the filters will be installed.  For example, will the filters be exposed to any kind of wash-down process using specific chemicals; and, what is the ambient temperature in the environment?  The purpose of these questions is to uncover any environmental specifications or limitations.

In this application, those questions uncovered a need to place these filters into a hot environment with temperatures up to 300°F.  Given that our stock filter options have maximum operating temperatures of 120°F, we needed to explore an application-specific solution.

So, the Engineering team at EXAIR sprung into gear to find a suitable, high temperature option, which we in turn presented to the OEM user, offering a specific solution for their specific application.  The high temperature filters for this application are suitable for temperatures up to 450°F with flow rates as high as 600 SCFM at 100 PSIG – a perfect fit!

If you have application-specific needs, we’re happy to discuss and brainstorm potential solutions.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Cabinet Cooler Systems Simple, Quick, and Easy

In this corner EXAIR Cabinet Cooler
In this corner:  EXAIR Cabinet Cooler

 

When compared to air-to-air heat exchangers and refrigerant based air conditioners, Cabinet Cooler systems win hands down.

Companies generally do not have issues with their control panels until the heat of summer. As the ambient conditions get warmer, the temperatures inside electrical panels also rise.  Sensitive electronics start to malfunction and shut down.  A telecommunication company was having the same issues.  They operated an ultra-broadband access service.  When the temperature alarms triggered, the system would shut down and reset.  This on and off cycling concerned the engineers in damaging and reducing the life of the electronics inside the telecommunications control box.

They contacted EXAIR as a possible supplier to retrofit their cabinets in critical areas. They started the conversation with a list of some stringent requirements.  They indicated that they were looking at other options like a refrigerant panel and an air-to-air heat exchanger.  The challenge was on…

Conditions:

Power Consumption: 350 Watts

Maximum Ambient Temp: 150 Deg. F (65 Deg. C)

Cabinet Location: Very limited space

Requirements:

  1. Retrofitting capability and ease of installation to existing cabinets
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. 22mm knockout hole, about 30 minutes to install and weighs 0.5Lbs (0.2Kg).
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Large panel cut outs, roughly 4 hours of installation, and weighs about 30Lbs (13.6Kg)
    3. Heat Exchanger: Poor. Large panel cut outs, roughly 2 hours of installation, and weighs 16Lbs. (7.3Kg)
  2. Fit into tight spaces
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. For this application, it is 5.2” (131mm) high and 1.17” (30mm) diameter.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. 22” (560mm) X 12” (305mm) X 8.5” (216mm). But also need additional room for air flow.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Roughly 11” (279mm) X 16.5” (419mm) X 3.5” (89mm). But also need additional room for air flow.
  3. Able to handle high ambient condition
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. We have a HT version for conditions up to 200 Deg. F (93 Deg. C).
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Limited to about 125 Deg. F (52 Deg. C) maximum.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Limited to 160 Deg. F (71 Deg. C) maximum
  4. Keep internal temperature at or below 95 Deg. F (35 Deg. C)
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. With the high ambient temperature, it has very little effect on the cooling capacity.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. The refrigerant will not work with the high ambient unless a water-cooled condenser is used. Added cost.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Poor. This unit will not be able to keep the temperature below ambient temperatures.
  5. Low maintenance (or maintenance free)
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. No moving parts!!! With filtered compressed air, just put it into the panel and let it run. No PM required.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Minimum quarterly cleaning of condenser, changing the condenser filter, do electrical checks on compressor and fans, and refrigerant leak checks.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Electrical checks on fans.
  6. Long life span
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. 5 year warranty with units lasting over 10 years.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. With high ambient conditions, the compressors and fans can short cycle causing premature failure.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. The fans can quit allowing electronics to heat up.
  7. Low cost (!!!) (This had 3 exclamation marks)
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. Base unit less than $300.00
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Base unit is near $1,500.00
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Base unit is near $1,000.00

Overall, in this scenario, there is no comparison. The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler can be mounted in minutes and start supplying cool air to the electrical components.  With no maintenance required and no moving parts, you can get many years of service.  Simple, quick, and easy made EXAIR Cabinet Cooler the correct choice.  All Cabinet Cooler systems are available with a UL Listed NEMA 12, NEMA 4, or NEMA 4X rating. They are CE compliant and available in 316SS for highly corrosive applications. If you have electrical heating issues like the telecommunication company, you can contact one of our Application Engineers for help.

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

 

Summer Returns & So Does Heat Related Damage to Electrical Cabinets

Summer has not officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the calendar, but temperatures have started to push 90 degrees Fahrenheit here in Cincinnati. As the temperatures increase, your electronics may start to feel the heat. High temperatures can cause circuits breakers to trip, controllers to shutdown, and connectors to be very sensitive.  We have seen electronics lose machine control, report bad readings, or if the heat is not managed promptly, damage circuitry. EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Systems are a simple, quickly installed and effective solution to heat related problems. Beside being installed in minutes and shipping from stock, they have additional benefits over fans, air conditioners and heat exchangers.

During the heat of the summer, fans, air conditioners, and heat exchangers may fail when you need them most.  For instance,  a fan and a heat exchanger work because the temperature differential between the ambient temperature and the inside of a cabinet is large. As the temperature rises, the ambient temperature goes up and a fan or heat exchanger lose their ability to remove heat from the cabinet. In a climate controlled environment this works great, in a hot plant floor without air conditioning, it is a recipe for failure.

So if fans aren’t a good solution you may turn to air conditioners in the summer because they can still produce very cold air at much higher ambient temperatures. You will need hours to install them, cross your fingers that they arrive undamaged, hope the condenser and other moving parts don’t fail and provide a drain for the condensate. If you are in a dusty environment, the filters will clog more often in the summer and require more maintenance. As the temperature rises the air conditioning systems run more often which means they pull in more air and particulate that will clog the filters and lead to reliability problems in the compressor. This compressor is subjected to more of a work load in the summer and more airflow restriction, if the filters are not changed often. This may lead to more air condition filters during the summer months.

EXAIR compressed air operated Cabinet Coolers System are a great solution for cooling enclosures. They operated via vortex cooling which requires no moving parts or filters from the outside air.  They drop your compressed air temperature 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mounting requires a compressed air supply, a standard electrical knockout, and the locknut that comes with the Cabinet Cooler System. The cooling is produced immediately with no lag time. A Electronic temperature controller is a available to maintain a temperature of your choosing.

ETC Dual CC Systems
Cabinet Cooler with ETC

Cabinet Cooler Systems are maintenance free with a clean dry supply of compressed air. Recently, we tested a cabinet cooler that was over twenty years old that still tested to our production standard.  The customer was delighted to hear that is was working so well they wanted it returned.  Cabinet Cooler Systems are available for NEMA 12, NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X enclosures. Kits include compressed air filtration to keep water, dirt and oil out of your enclosure. If you see an open panel door this summer, look into a Cabinet Cooler Systems. We can help you beat the heat.

fan enclosure
Cabinet Coolers will help you avoid this situation.

EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers are in stock and ready to ship to you same day if ordered by 3:00 pm EDT. You can have it tomorrow if you like.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com