The EXAIR Mini Cooler family is one of the many vortex tube based Spot Cooler products that EXAIR offers. This is the smallest of the group coming in at 550 BTU/hr of cooling capacity. The Mini Cooler Systems are available in two options.
The Single Point Outlet option will give you ten inches of flexible cold outlet to easily position the cold air stream near the target point.
The Dual Point Outlet option gives ten inches of 1/4″ flexible outlet that then splits to two separate four inch lengths of 1/4″ flexible cold outlet hoses.
Both include point or flat fan tips for the cold air outlets
Both include a manual drain filter separator
both include the swivel magnetic base with 100 lb. pull magnet.
The single point hose kit is ideal for small diameter milling or drilling applications where the cold air can cover the contact area of the cutter. It can also be used on soldering, industrial sewing, ultrasonic welding, or even small punching applications to list just a few.
The dual point hose kit is ideal for two separate small diameter cutters, one larger diameter cutter, rotary style knives where there material is being slit, or larger diameter multi-point ultrasonic welders/punches.
When using the Mini Cooler the adjustable cold outlet stays in place and can easily bend around fixtures, spindles, welding horns, or dye aligning pins. The swivel magnetic base gives additional adjustment at the base of the cooler to aid in the versatility of this product. To further the adjustability of the cooler the operating pressure can easily be adjusted to lower or raise the cooling capacity of the Mini Cooler to meet the demands of the precise application.
If you believe you have an application that would benefit from the use of a Mini Cooler, or you are unsure which product would be ideal for your application please contact an Application Engineer. we are all here, willing to help however possible to get your application improved in both safety and efficiency.
By using only a source of compressed air, theCold Gun and High Power Cold Gun produces a stream of clean, cold air 50°F (28°C) below your compressed air supply temperature. The Cold Gun is very quiet at only 70 dBA and has no moving parts to wear out. Just supply it with clean compressed air and it’s maintenance free.
How does it work, and what are the benefits?
The Cold Gun uses compressed air to produce a stream of clean, cold air at 50°F (28°C) below supply air temperature. Generally this will be 20°F-30°F outlet temperature.
They use Vortex Tubetechnology…no moving parts to wear out.
Instant cold air flow with no moving parts!
Cold flow and temperature are preset to optimize cooling capability, and are non-adjustable to prevent freeze-up during use.
Eliminates the expense of both the purchase & disposal of cutting fluids when replacing expensive mist systems.
Removes the potential for health problems associated with breathing mist & vapors, and the safety issue of slipping on a wet floor.
Cold Gun Aircoolant System selection is easy & straightforward…we offer a standard, and a High Powerversion to meet your specific needs.
We also offer Single & Dual Point Hose Kits, to further meet the needs of your application.
One of the best applications I have seen with our cold gun came from a customer in Peru. They are a gold mining operation and they were having trouble with the liquid they were using to cool a saw. Read all about it here!
If you have an application that you believe would be better served by the use of an EXAIR Cold Gun, give us a call.
The Adjustable Spot Cooler is a low cost, reliable , maintenance free way to provide spot cooling to a myriad of industrial applications. Simply turn the knob, and the temperature can be changed to suit the needs of the process. The Adjustable Spot Cooler delivers precise temperature settings from -30°F (-34°C) to room temperature.
It can produce temperatures form -30°F to +70°F (-34°C tp +21°C)
Parts included for flow rates of 15, 25 and 30 SCFM (425, 708, 850 SLPM.) The unit comes from the factory set at 25 SCFM (708 SLPM)
It can produce refrigeration up to 2,000 BTU/hr (504 Kcal/hr.)
A swivel magnetic base allows for easy mounting and portability, you can move it from machine to machine as needed. The flexible cold air outlet tubing holds its position and is easy to aim. Most importantly, there are no moving parts or CFC’s, ensuring maintenance free operation.
The Adjustable Spot Cooler incorporates a vortex tube to convert a supply of compressed air (1) into two low pressure streams, one hot and one cold. With the turn of a knob, the temperature control valve (2) allows some hot air to flow through a muffling sleeve and out the hot air exhaust (3). The opposite end provides a cold air stream (4) that is muffled and discharged through the flexible hose, which directs it to the point of use. The swivel magnetic base (5) provides easy mounting and portability.
The Adjustable Spot Cooler can produce a wide range of air flows and temperatures as determined by the temperature control valve knob setting and the generator installed. The generator controls the total SCFM (SLPM) of compressed air consumption, and is easy to change. From the factory, the 25 SCFM (708 SLPM) generator is installed, producing up to 1,700 BTU/hr (429 Kcal/hr) of cooling. For less cooling, the 15 SCFM (425 SLPM) generator can be installed, providing up to 1,000 BTU/hr (252 Kcal/hr) of cooling. And for more cooling, the 30 SCFM (850 SLPM) generator can be installed, providing up to 2,000 BTU/hr (504 Kcal/hr) of cooling.
Two (2) Systems are available as shown below, and include the 15 and 30 SCFM (425 and 850 SLPM) generators, a filter separator, and either a single or dual point hose kit.
Adjustable Spot Cooler Systems
If you have questions about the Adjustable Spot Cooler or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Among EXAIR’s comprehensive line of Intelligent Compressed Air Products, the Vortex Tube stands out as a unique, and fascinating, solution for a variety of applications requiring a flow of cold air:
Cabinet Cooler Systems: clean, cold air to protect electrical and electronic components housed in an enclosure. Installs in minutes; no moving parts; reliable & maintenance free.
Cold Gun Aircoolant Systems: Direct, focused flow of cold air to replace messy coolant in machining, cutting, drilling, grinding, etc., applications. Integral magnet base for quick & easy installation; single or dual outlet hose kits; standard or High Power to meet any need. Optimized flow for maximum cooling and freeze prevention.
Adjustable Spot Cooler: Similar to the Cold Guns in many ways, but with variable performance for specific applications. Cold air to -30°F (-34°C) on demand.
Mini Cooler: Similar to the Cold Guns and Adjustable Spot Coolers – magnetic base mounting and single or dual outlet hose kits, but more compact. Lower flows for smaller jobs.
Then there are the Vortex Tubes themselves…at the heart of all of these products, but perfectly capable all on their own. In fact, in certain situations, “plain old” Vortex Tubes have been used to do the exact same jobs as all of the above products. They can even be customized, in and of themselves, to meet specific installation, operation, and/or performance needs:
High Temperatures: It should come as no surprise that cold air is often needed because a heat-sensitive item is located in a high heat environment.
Vortex Tubes come standard with plastic Generators and Buna o-rings, which are good for ambient temperatures up to 125°F (52°C).
High Temperature Vortex Tubes are fitted with brass Generators and Viton o-rings for environments where the temperature can reach 200°F (93°C).
Preset temperature & flow: Many times, the ability to adjust the performance of a Vortex Tube is a big benefit, but occasionally it’s a liability.
I know none of your co-workers are like this (nor are mine) but I’ve heard of people who think they “know better” and are prone to tampering with something that is (or WAS) working just fine, thank you very much.
Perhaps you actually DO know better, through experimentation and experience, the optimal performance setting for your application. Let’s say, for example, you install Vortex Tubes on a line of your products, and a technician has to “dial it in” to a specific Cold Fraction.
Any Vortex Tube can be fitted with a drilled orifice (or “Hot Plug”) to replace the Hot Valve, which presets performance to a specific, non-adjustable value. If you know the Cold Fraction you need, it’s as easy as that. If not, it’s as easy as getting a stock Vortex Tube, setting the Cold Fraction where you want it, securing the Hot Valve in position (piece of tape works just fine,) and sending it in.
If you’ve got any other specific requirements – special materials, fittings, custom flow/temperature parameters, etc., give me a call; let’s talk.
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EXAIR has wrote many different articles about how Vortex Tubes work and the applications in which they are used. The idea of making cold air without any freon or moving parts is a phenomenon. This phenomenon can generate cold air to a temperature as low as -50 oF (-46 oC). In this article, I will explain the adjustment of the Vortex Tube to get different temperatures and cooling effects in reference to the Cold Fraction.
To give a basic background on the EXAIR Vortex Tubes, we manufacture three different sizes; small, medium, and large. These sizes can produce a range of cooling capacities from 135 BTU/hr to 10,200 BTU/hr. The unique design utilizes a generator inside each Vortex Tube. The generator controls the amount of compressed air that can enter into the Vortex Tube. As an example, a medium-sized Vortex Tube, model 3240, will only allow 40 SCFM (1,133 SLPM) of compressed air to travel into the Vortex Tube at 100 PSIG (6.9 bar). While a small-sized Vortex Tube, model 3208, will only allow 8 SCFM (227 SLPM) of compressed air at 100 PSIG (6.9 bar). EXAIR manufactures the most comprehensive range from 2 SCFM (57 SLPM) to 150 SCFM (4,248 SLPM).
After the compressed air goes through the generator, the pressure will drop to slightly above atmospheric pressure. (This is the “engine” of how the Vortex Tube works). The air will travel toward one end of the tube where there is an air control valve, or Hot Air Exhaust Valve. This valve can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of air that leaves the hot end. The remaining portion of the air is redirected toward the opposite end of the Vortex Tube, called the cold end. By conservation of mass, the hot and cold air flows will have to equal the inlet flow as shown in Equation 1:
Equation 1: Q = Qc + Qh
Q – Vortex Inlet Flow (SCFM/SLPM)
Qc – Cold Air Flow (SCFM/SLPM)
Qh – Hot Air Flow (SCFM/SLPM)
Cold Fraction is the percentage of air that flows out the cold end of a Vortex Tube. As an example, if the control valve of the Vortex Tube is adjusted to allow only 20% of the air flow to escape from the hot end, then 80% of the air flow has to be redirected toward the cold end. EXAIR uses this ratio as the Cold Fraction; reference Equation 2:
Equation 2: CF = Qc/Q * 100
CF = Cold Fraction (%)
Qc – Cold Air Flow (SCFM/SLPM)
Q – Vortex Flow (SCFM/SLPM)
EXAIR created a chart to show the temperature drop and rise, relative to the incoming compressed air temperature. Across the top of the chart, we have the Cold Fraction and along the side, we have the inlet air pressure. As you can see, the temperature changes as the Cold Fraction and inlet air pressure changes. As the percentage of the Cold Fraction becomes smaller, the cold air flow becomes colder, but also the air flow becomes less. You may notice that this chart is independent of the Vortex Tube size. So, no matter the generator size of the Vortex Tube that is used, the temperature drop and rise will follow the chart above.
How do you use this chart? As an example, a model 3240 Vortex Tube is selected. It will use 40 SCFM of compressed air at 100 PSIG. We can determine the temperature and amount of air that will flow from the cold end and the hot end. The inlet pressure is selected at 100 PSIG, and the Hot Exhaust Valve is adjusted to allow for a 60% Cold Fraction. Let’s use an inlet compressed air temperature to be 68 oF. With Equation 2, we can rearrange the values to find Qc:
Qc = CF * Q
Qc = 0.60 * 40 SCFM = 24 SCFM of cold air flow
The temperature drop from the chart above is 86 oF. If we have 68 oF at the inlet, then the temperature is (68 oF – 86 oF) = -18 oF. So, from the cold end, we have 24 SCFM of air at a temperature of -18 oF. For the hot end, we can calculate the flow and temperature as well. From Equation 1,
Q = Qc + Qh or
Qh = Q – Qc
Qh = 40 SCFM – 24 SCFM = 16 SCFM
The temperature rise from the chart above is 119 oF. So, with the inlet temperature at 68 oF, we get (119 oF + 68 oF) = 187 oF. At the hot end, we have 16 SCFM of air at a temperature of 187 oF.
With the Cold Fraction and inlet air pressure, you can get specific temperatures for your application. For cooling and heating capacities, these values can be used to calculate the correct Vortex Tube size. If you need help in determining the proper Vortex Tube to best support your application, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR. We will be glad to help.
A few weeks ago, we looked at the Vortex Tube and provided a general overview of the device (see that blog here.) In a nutshell – a Vortex Tube uses an ordinary supply of compressed air as a power source, creating two streams of air, one hot and one cold – resulting in a low cost, reliable, maintenance free source of cold air for spot cooling solutions.
One of the features of the Vortex Tube is that the temperature of the cold air and the cold air flow rate is changeable. The cold air flow and temperature are easily controlled by adjusting the slotted valve in the hot air outlet.
Opening the valve (turning it counterclockwise) reduces the cold air flow rate and the lowers the cold air temperature. Closing the valve (turning it clockwise) increases the cold air flow and raises the cold air temperature.
As with anything, there is a trade off – to get higher a cold air flow rate, a moderate cold air temperature is achieved, and to get a very cold air temperature, a moderate air flow rate is achieved.
An important term to know and understand is Cold Fraction, which is the percentage of the compressed air used by the Vortex Tube that is discharged through the Cold End. In most applications, a Cold Fraction of 80% produces a combination of cold flow rate and and cold air temperature that results in the maximum refrigeration or cooling output form a Vortex Tube.
For most industrial applications – such as process cooling, part cooling, and chamber cooling, maximum refrigeration is best and the 32XX series of Vortex Tubes are preferred. For those applications where ‘cryogenic’ cooling is needed, such as cooling lab samples, or circuit testing, the 34XX series of Vortex Tube is best.
To set a Vortex Tube to a specific temperature, simply insert a thermometer into the cold air exhaust and adjust the hot valve. Maximum refrigeration, at 80% Cold Fraction, is achieved when the cold air temperature drop is 50°F (28°C) from the incoming compressed air temperature. See the video posted here for measuring and lowering and the cold air temperature.
For those cases when you may be unsure of the required cold air flow rate and cold air temperature to provide the needed cooling in an application, we would recommend an EXAIR Cooling Kit. The Cooling Kit contains a Vortex Tube, Cold Air Muffler, Air Line Filter, and a set of Generators that will allow for experimentation of the full range of air flows and temperatures possible.
A Vortex Tube uses an ordinary supply of compressed air as a power source, creating two streams of air, one hot and one cold – resulting in a low cost, reliable, maintenance free source of cold air for spot cooling solutions.
The EXAIR Vortex tubes are made of stainless steel, which provides resistance to wear, corrosion and oxidation – ensuring years of reliable, maintenance free operation
The cold air flow and temperature are easily controlled by adjusting the slotted valve in the hot air outlet. Opening the valve reduces the cold air flow and the cold air temperature. Closing the valve increases the cold air flow and and the cold air temperature.
EXAIR Vortex Tubes come in three sizes. Within each size, a number of flow rates, which are dictated by a small internal generator, are available. Selection of the appropriate Vortex Tube can be achieved either by knowing the BTU/hr (Kcal/hr) requirements or the desired flow and temperature requirements. Selection is then based on the specification table (BTU/hr or Kcal/hr is known) or the performance tables (flow and temperature is known.)
The performance of a Vortex Tube is reduced with back pressure on the cold air exhaust. Low back pressures up to 2 PSIG ( 0.1 Bar) will not change performance and a 5 PSIG (0.3 Bar) will change the temperature drop by approximately 5°F (2.8°C)
The use of clean air is essential, and filtration of 25 microns or less is recommended. EXAIR offers filters with 5 micron elements and properly sized for flow.
A Vortex Tube provides a temperature drop to the incoming supply air. High inlet temperatures will result in a corresponding rise in the cold air temperature.
EXAIR offers mufflers for both the hot and cold air discharge. If the cold air is ducted, muffling may not be required.
For best performance, operation at 80 to 110 PSIG (5.5 to 7.6 Bar) of supply pressure is recommended. The Vortex Tubes have a maximum pressure rating of 250 PSIG (17.2 Bar) and a minimum requirement of 20 PSIG (1.4 Bar)