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Rim motor design helps to shrink fans

01 March, 2002

Rim motor design helps to shrink fans

By building a motor into the rim of a fan, ABB engineers in Finland have produced a ventilation device that performs like a radial fan but is the size of an axial fan. They say that the "Integral Fan" takes up half the space of a comparable radial fan without sacrificing any pressure or airflow.

The fan, in effect, combines the motor rotor and impeller into a single component. Magnets in the rim interact with stator windings in the housing to turn the fan. This avoids the drawbacks of conventional fan designs where the motor either takes up valuable space next to the impeller, or reduces the air pressure if it is built into the hub.

Electronics embedded into the fan`s frame adjusts its speed automatically to minimise energy consumption and noise levels. The speed can vary from 0-3,000rpm in response to a 0-10V signal.

The fans, being produced by ABB`s Fläkt business, will be available in three sizes, producing airflows of up to 3,200m3/h, and static pressures of up to 440 Pa. General manager Mika Selänne says that the new fans will be similar in price to other electronically controlled ventilation systems, but more expensive than fixed-speed fans.

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