What comes to mind when you think of the word cage? Perhaps a place to keep your parakeet, or “Gone in Sixty Seconds” (as in Nicholas Cage – get it?!). But “cage” also has meaning when referring to a type of industrial fan. So what exactly is a “cage fan,” and when is the right time to use it? Please – read on, dear friend!
A cage fan is really just a larger, stationary version of the oscillating fan you may have in your home or office. Often they are mounted to a simple pedestal, but in some cases can even mount to a pole, column, or other building structure. Most cage fans are considered “budget fans,” since they are usually much cheaper than their high velocity (HV) counterparts. However, while they may not cover as much area as an HV fan, cage fans are undoubtedly useful in certain situations.
Individual workstations are an ideal place for a cage fan, as they generally do not require the power and coverage of an HV fan. Multiple speed settings allow the user to adjust the air movement to their preference, a feature not typically found on an HV fan. Also, cage fans are great for areas that have noise level requirements, but still need air movement. Their lower decibel readings provide quieter, individualized relief during the cooling season.
Not sure which fan is right for you? No problem! Patterson’s friendly, knowledgeable sales staff is ready and eager to help you with all your air movement/people cooling needs! Give them a call today!
the authority in air movement.
CALCULATING ROI FOR HVLS FANS...
When it comes to evaluating potential capital expenditure projects, one acronym stands above the rest – ROI, or return on investment. If you’re considering HVLS fans, calculating ROI helps estimate the time period necessary for full payback in the form of energy savings. But how are these calculations done, and what critical information is needed to do them? Keep reading to find out!
Energy savings from HVLS fans are generally realized during the winter months, due to destratification (see Strait Talk, February 2015). Because of this, knowing your heating cost and consumption information is vitally important, as HVLS fans can help reduce them both by up to 30%!* Also important is the cost of your electricity, since heaters consume electrical power as well as natural gas when they are in use. Other inputs that help “fine tune” your ROI calculation include: facility square footage, hours of operation, number of heaters, heater voltage and amperage ratings, and average length of the winter heating season.
So how is all this data used to calculate ROI? It all starts by estimating current resource consumption costs (both natural gas and electrical – I will spare you the boring formulas here). Once a total consumption amount is determined, calculate a projected savings amount as a percentage of that total consumption (15-20% is usually a solid, conservative savings estimate). Then, subtract your fan electrical costs (again, boring formula) from your savings – this is your net savings amount. Finally, divide your net savings by the projected cost of your new fans and – Bob’s your uncle – you have ROI (in number of heating seasons)! Pretty easy….right?!
Of course, as with any calculation, the result should be used as a guide toward making an informed cap-ex budget decision. It should not be taken as “gospel,” as any number of factors can affect the actual savings amount (e.g. price of natural gas, unusually harsh or mild winters). But overall, an HVLS ROI calculation can provide valuable insight into current resource consumption issues, and identify potential air movement solutions.
Want to learn more about ROI calculations for HVLS fans? Give your regional Patterson sales representative a call today, and let them introduce you to our High-5 fan. You’ll soon be spinning your way to lower heating costs this winter!
*Actual savings depend on heating costs, size of facility, number of fans, and other factors
"My fans are really dusty. Is that a problem?"
- Dan S, MS
Dusting isn’t just a household chore. It’s also a good idea around your work area, especially when it comes to your Patterson high velocity fans. While built to last in the most rugged conditions, cleaning your fans regularly can add years to their life, cut down on replacement costs, and even save you money on energy consumption. Here’s why:
So, as we wind down yet another hot summer, be sure to take a moment to clean your Patterson high velocity fans. Your maintenance budget will thank you!
It’s that time of year again – trips to the beach, backyard barbeques, and of course…the loading/unloading of sweltering hot trailers. Employees of distribution centers and other facilities are faced with this grueling task each and every summer. In many cases, these trailers are left sitting for days before they’re brought to the dock area – creating an oven effect by trapping in heat from prolonged sun exposure. Temperatures can reach in excess of 130°F! Fortunately, Patterson has worked to mitigate this issue with their TC (Truck Cooler) 18-inch fan and HVTC (High Velocity Truck Cooler aka “the Whistleblower”). However, a fan is only effective if it’s used properly, so this month we’ll focus on getting the most relief from your Patterson truck cooling solutions.
The prevailing myth amongst dock area employees is that they must point fans directly at them to receive the maximum benefit. Yet this will only provide temporary relief when at or near the dock door opening. As the employee moves away from the dock door, they will begin to feel less air movement – eventually reaching an area of hot, stagnant air that remains at the front of the trailer. Working in this condition for long periods can bring about the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke if not dealt with appropriately.
So how can we optimize air flow? Very simply, the fan needs to be positioned in one of the upper corners at the dock door opening and aimed toward the same corner at the front of the trailer. Doing so will allow air to reach the entire length of the trailer – evacuating the trapped hot air and creating a constant airflow. Having this continuous movement of air will alleviate many heat stress issues and provide an overall safer work environment on even the hottest of summer days.
Looking to cool more than just your trailers? Check out Patterson’s new db fan – it’s quieter, takes up less space, and is unlike any air movement product you’ve ever seen! As the weather heats up, be sure to call the experts at Patterson – your employees will thank you!
The Authority in Air Movement
Location, location, location! Any real estate agent worth their salt knows these three “principles” are the key to finding a great home. But location is also important when it comes to the placement of your HVLS (High Volume Low Speed) fans. Putting the right fan, in the right place, at the right height will provide a comfortable work environment regardless of season.
As mentioned in a previous article, HVLS fans work best over open areas where air can move freely ceiling to floor, then outward in all directions. For this reason, fans should not be placed near walls or other obstructions, since these may limit airflow and effective coverage area. Ideally, each fan should be between 20 and 25 feet above the floor, using extensions (known as downrods) where necessary to achieve optimum height. Facilities with very tall ceilings will need multiple fans spaced closer together to provide ample air movement at the working level, as ideal fan height may not be possible.
Other factors to consider when placing HVLS fans:
Still have questions? As always, the air movement experts at Patterson are a phone call away! Put their HVLS experience to work in your facility!
THE AUTHORITY IN AIR MOVEMENT
Everyone seems to be using less these days, an altruistic endeavor they call “reducing your carbon footprint.” To that end, energy consumption has been placed squarely in the crosshairs. But wait…I still need to stay cool in the summertime! Is there any way I can keep cool AND reduce my carbon footprint? Why yes….yes there is. I implore you to read on….
A study by the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa investigated a number of cooling alternatives and their effect on a one-room building. The results were decisive: evaporative roof spray showed the largest reduction in cooling load (59%) and the largest overall reduction in net energy transferred (72%). Researchers also found that by continuously cycling cool ambient air through the building at night, and then using an evaporative roof spray system during the day, cooling load and energy transfer reductions improved an additional 5% and 8%, respectively. This application is known as flywheel cooling.
FLYWHEEL COOLING SYSTEMS AT A GLANCE
Night flushing is simply the movement of cool night air through a building by means of a ventilation system. Generally, this system consists of at least one wall-mounted supply fan in conjunction with one or more wall- or roof-mounted exhaust fans. Cross ventilation is important, so fans should be placed in such a manner as to allow air flow from one side of the facility to another. Effectiveness is primarily due to air flow rate, expressed as air changes per hour. Studies vary widely on the optimum number of air changes per hour, ranging from 10 to 30.
An evaporative roof spray system intermittently sprays a thin film of water on the roof surface, and then allows the water to evaporate. When performed in regular cycles, this prevents the roof from getting hot and transferring that heat into the building. The result is lower air temperatures, and a reduced cooling load on the facility HVAC system.
Most industrial sites can benefit from the use of flywheel cooling. The ideal schedule would call for the supply and exhaust fans to be turned on at the end of the workday (or for a 24 hour operation, around 8 – 9 pm). The fans would then circulate air through the facility until around 7 or 8 am the following morning. At that time, the area should be “buttoned up” to retain as much of the cool night air as possible. Then, the evaporative roof cooling system would be activated, preventing the sun’s radiant heat from penetrating the building. The end result would be lower interior temperatures, since nearly 50% of the generated heat load inside a given structure emanates from its roof.
For sites that use large HVAC systems, incorporating flywheel cooling into the daily operations plan translates into direct energy savings and reduced electrical consumption. Night flushing and evaporative roof spray greatly diminish the building’s cooling load, decreasing HVAC cycle frequency and duration. Large consumers of electricity will also see an additional benefit of lower peak demand charges and ratchets often imposed by power companies. The University of Stellenbosch study agrees, stating these methods “…not only constituted a saving in the energy consumed by a conventional air conditioner but also decreased the required size of the air conditioner.”
The university study highlights another important point regarding air conditioning capacity. In many cases, cooling load reductions may be dramatic enough to pull unneeded A/C tonnage offline entirely, bringing down yearly HVAC maintenance costs. Facilities located in more moderate parts of the globe could take things even further: “…in milder climate conditions the necessity of a conventional air conditioner may be averted.”
Regardless of climate, HVAC capacity, or industry, environmentally and safety conscious organizations would do well to explore the prospect of adding flywheel cooling to their facilities. The rewards of lower energy bills, more productive employees, and a carbon footprint reduction await.
Artmann, N., Manz, H. & Heiselberg, P., (2008). Parameter study on performance of building cooling by night-time ventilation, Renewable Energy, Vol. 33, pp. 2589-2598
Dobson, R. & Vorster, J., (2011). Sustainable cooling alternatives for buildings, Journal of Energy in South Africa, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 48-66
Finn, D., Connolly, D. & Kenny, P., (2007). Sensitivity analysis of a maritime located night ventilated library building, Solar Energy, Vol. 81, pp. 697-710
Geros, V., Santamouris, M., Tsangrasoulis, A. & Guarracino, G., (1999). Experimental evaluation of night ventilation phenomena, Energy and Buildings, pp. 141-154
World business council for sustainability, [Online]. Available: http://www.wikipedia.com/theinnovationchain. [2009, October 16].
"I have a 35,000 sq ft facility and would like to know what fans you would recommend."
High Velocity or High Volume? When and Where?
When deciding between a high velocity or high volume (HVLS) fan, one must first assess the given area - for while both achieve the goal of people cooling, each has its own set of requirements that maximize their effectiveness.
HVLS fans work best in open areas, where air can be accelerated vertically toward the floor, then outward in all directions. Assembly and inspection lines, loading docks, and staging areas are all great examples where an HVLS fan would provide a comfortable working environment.
By contrast, high velocity fans provide horizontal air movement in more confined spaces, such as aisle ways, pick modules, or any area where material may be stacked floor to ceiling. For more information on the best fan application for your facility, contact a Patterson sales rep today!
PATTERSON FAN... THE AUTHORITY IN AIR MOVEMENT
Thanks for the question, Greg! Let's cruise into it...
THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF FAN MOTOR ENCLOSURES
OK, 80’s rock ballad reference aside, selecting the proper motor type for your industrial environment is vitally important – ensuring years of high performance and reliability from your Patterson fan. Each type is specifically designed to protect the motor’s mechanical and electrical parts to varying degrees. Not sure which one to choose? Take a look at the descriptions below:
Open Drip Proof (ODP) – Prevents liquid from dripping into the motor within a 15° angle from vertical, but still allows air to circulate through the windings. Clean, dry locations are ideal for a motor with an ODP enclosure.
Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) – Possibly the most common and versatile of all enclosure types. A small fan attached to the shaft on the back of the motor creates airflow to aid in the cooling process. Keep in mind that although these motors are “totally enclosed,” they are not air tight.
Totally Enclosed Air Over (TEAO) – This motor has no internal or external mechanism to facilitate cooling. Therefore, it must be mounted in the path of the manufactured fan’s airflow. Many belt driven fans employ this motor type.
Wash Down or Totally Enclosed Wash Down (TEWD) – These enclosures can withstand a high-pressure wash down, and are a necessity for wet or chemical environments. Common uses include food processing, packing, and pharmaceuticals. Be aware that they are not for use in hazardous locations.
Explosion Proof (EXPL) – Essential in many hazardous industries like chemical, oil and gas, and wood processing. A motor given this designation does not mean that it can withstand an exterior explosion. Rather, they prevent an internal spark (or explosion) from igniting a much larger blast outside the housing.
Have questions? Still unsure of your choice? Give Patterson a call! Our knowledgeable sales staff is ready to discuss your application and provide the best possible air movement solution!
Patterson Fan - The Authority in Air Movement