Centrifugal Fan Encyclopedia

2023-10-24 | Fan Motor

1. What is a Centrifugal Fan?

A centrifugal fan, also known as a centrifugal blower or centrifugal air compressor, is a common air handling device used to move or compress air or gases. Its operating principle involves the rotation of blades (also known as impellers) to generate outward-flowing air, creating a force known as centrifugal force. As the blades spin, they draw air into the center of the fan and then expel it at high speed, generating air pressure and velocity.

Centrifugal Fan Encyclopedia

2. Structure of Centrifugal Fan:

Casing: The casing is the outer structure of the fan, typically made of metal or plastic. Its primary functions are to protect internal components and guide/control the airflow, ensuring smooth circulation within the fan.

Impeller or Fan Blade: The impeller is the core component responsible for generating airflow. It is usually made of metal or plastic and designed in various shapes and angles to produce the desired air volume and pressure. The shape and angle of the impeller significantly impact the fan's performance.

Shaft: The shaft supports the impeller's rotation. It is typically made of metal, providing sufficient strength and rigidity to withstand the stress during impeller rotation.

Bearings: Bearings support the rotational movement of the shaft and can be ball bearings or plain bearings. Proper bearing design ensures smooth fan operation, minimizing friction and energy loss.

Motor: The motor provides power to drive the impeller's rotation. The fan's performance and efficiency depend, in part, on the motor's capabilities. The motor often needs to be coordinated with a control system to adjust the fan's operating speed.

Inlet and Outlet Ports: The inlet is where the fan draws in air, and the outlet is where the fan discharges airflow. The design shape and dimensions of the inlet and outlet affect the fan's performance and efficiency.

Frame: The frame provides structural support for the fan, holding the entire fan assembly. It is typically made of metal or plastic, ensuring stable fan operation and securing the fan in the desired position.

3. Principle of Centrifugal Fans:

A centrifugal fan operates based on Newton's second law of motion, stating that when an object is subjected to an external force, it accelerates. In the case of a centrifugal fan, the rotation of the blades (or impeller) creates centrifugal force, forcing the surrounding air outward, forming airflow.

Here are the fundamental principles and designs of centrifugal fans:

Air Intake: The rotational motion of the fan causes the central part of the blades to intake air or gas.

Centrifugal Force Generation: As the blades rotate, due to inertia, air is forced outward, generating centrifugal force.

Airflow Acceleration: Air accelerates under the action of the blades, increasing the airflow velocity.

Outlet Airflow: The accelerated airflow is pushed out of the fan's outlet, creating air pressure and velocity.

The design of centrifugal fans is a complex process involving several factors, including required air volume, pressure, efficiency, noise levels, and durability. Here are the main factors to consider when designing centrifugal fans:

Air Volume and Pressure Requirements: Firstly, determine the required air volume (in cubic meters per second or cubic feet per minute) and pressure (in pascals or pounds per square foot) for the application. These requirements will dictate the size and capacity of the fan.

Fan Type Selection: Based on application needs, choose the appropriate type of centrifugal fan, such as forward-curved, backward-curved, high-pressure, or low-pressure fans. Different fan types have distinct performance characteristics.

Blade Design: Design blades with appropriate shapes and angles to ensure high efficiency. The shape and angles of the blades affect the fan's air volume, pressure, and overall performance.

Rotational Speed: Determine the fan's rotational speed, which impacts its performance and noise level. Generally, higher rotational speeds provide higher air pressure but may increase noise.

Inlet and Outlet Design: Design suitable shapes for the inlet and outlet to reduce airflow resistance, enhancing efficiency. The geometry of the inlet and outlet should be optimized based on fluid dynamics principles.

Materials and Manufacturing: Select appropriate materials to ensure the fan's durability and performance. The manufacturing process should ensure the fan's balance and precision.

Control and Monitoring: Consider whether a control system, such as a variable frequency drive, is needed to adjust the fan's operating speed as required. Additionally, design an appropriate monitoring system to track the fan's performance and health.

Noise Control: Consider noise control measures, such as adding silencers or implementing noise reduction designs, to ensure the fan's noise level meets standards and requirements.

4. Main Advantages of Centrifugal Fans:

High Efficiency: Centrifugal fans generally have high efficiency, providing significant airflow and pressure with lower energy consumption. This makes them highly energy-efficient in various applications.

Strong Adaptability: Centrifugal fans can handle different gases, including dry, moist, and dusty gases. They can adapt to diverse working conditions and gas characteristics.

High Pressure Capability: Centrifugal fans can generate high air pressure, suitable for applications requiring air movement over long distances, such as ventilation duct systems.

Quiet Operation: Compared to certain other fan types, centrifugal fans operate relatively quietly. This is crucial for applications where low noise levels are essential.

Ease of Control: Centrifugal fans can be controlled by adjusting the rotational speed to regulate airflow and pressure. This ease of control allows seamless integration into automated control systems, ensuring precise airflow and pressure control.

High Reliability: Centrifugal fans have relatively simple structures, making them easy to maintain and service. Due to their simplicity, centrifugal fans typically have lower failure rates.

Wide Applications: Centrifugal fans find extensive use in ventilation, air conditioning, HVAC systems, industrial process ventilation, air purification, agricultural ventilation, and various other scenarios.

5. Main Applications of Centrifugal Fans:

Building Ventilation Systems: Used in commercial buildings, offices, hotels, hospitals, etc., to ensure indoor air circulation and provide a comfortable indoor environment.

Air Conditioning Systems: Employed in central air conditioning systems to evenly distribute cooled or heated air to various areas within buildings.

Industrial Gas Handling: Utilized in industrial processes for gas treatment, including emission control, exhaust ventilation, air filtration, etc.

HVAC Systems: In heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, centrifugal fans are used to introduce either warm air or fresh air into buildings, providing both heating and ventilation.

Industrial Exhaust Systems: Applied in factories, warehouses, mines, etc., for exhaust ventilation, removing heat, exhaust gases, and dust, ensuring a safe and comfortable working environment.

Agricultural Ventilation Systems: Used in agricultural buildings such as chicken coops, cowsheds, etc., to provide fresh air, control temperature, and humidity, ensuring optimal conditions for livestock production.

Air Purification Systems: In air purification equipment, centrifugal fans push air through filters to remove dust, pollen, bacteria, and other harmful substances, providing clean indoor air.

Chemical Processes: In the chemical industry, centrifugal fans are employed for gas handling tasks, including mixing gases, gas separation, and gas transportation.

6. Centrifugal Fans and Axial Fans: Differences

1. Operating Principle:

Centrifugal Fan: Centrifugal fans generate airflow radially outward by rotating blades, creating centrifugal force. The force pulls air towards the center of the fan and expels it outward through the blades.

Axial Fan: Axial fans have airflow moving along the fan's axis. Their blades rotate around the axis, propelling the air in the same direction.

2. Airflow Direction:

Centrifugal Fan: The airflow of a centrifugal fan is radial, radiating outward from the center of the fan.

Axial Fan: Axial fan airflow is axial, moving along the axis of the fan.

3. Pressure and Volume Relationship:

Centrifugal Fan: Centrifugal fans typically provide higher air pressure. However, for the same size, they offer smaller airflow compared to axial fans.

Axial Fan: Axial fans are suitable for applications requiring high airflow but lower pressure. They generally provide greater airflow for the same size.

4. Applications:

Centrifugal Fan: Suitable for applications requiring higher air pressure, such as air conditioning systems, ventilation systems, and gas processing systems.

Axial Fan: Suitable for applications needing high airflow but lower pressure, such as cooling systems, heat dissipation systems, and air purification systems.

In summary, centrifugal fans are characterized by providing higher air pressure, whereas axial fans primarily offer high airflow. When selecting air handling equipment, it's essential to choose the appropriate fan type based on specific application needs and airflow characteristics.

Centrifugal fans, with their outstanding performance and wide-ranging applications, continue to lead the development of modern air handling equipment. They provide better assurance for our living environment. In various industries, they play an indispensable role. Let's embrace the kinetic power of centrifugal fans and work together to create a more comfortable and safer world!