17 June, 2019

Advantages of side channel air blowers

01 December, 2015

Side channel blowers are a popular and effective way to produce large volumes of clean, dry compressed air. They can also be used to generate a partial vacuum.

Side channel air blowers can be defined as positive displacement, rotary machines used to move air or other gases. Their simple design makes them low cost and their non-contact configuration means they have no wearing parts so they are ultra-reliable. The design is such that the bearings are outside the compression chamber so are shielded from the heat generated during compression. As a result, maintenance is usually confined to re-greasing the bearings every 28,000 hours of running time (typical usage over 10–20 years).

Energy efficient

It is increasingly common for blowers to be used with variable speed drives (VSD), which allows them to be run in an energy efficient way and/or to be set to specific duty points. The VSD can be fitted externally to the blower; however EuroVacuum Products has just launched a new range of blowers with integral drives. These vary in size from 0.37kW to 5.5kW and are installed onto the electric motor, which allows the output of the blower to be adjusted to match the exact needs of the application. Drives can be used as energy saving devices allowing the rotational speed of the blower to be reduced to the lowest allowable frequency to a ‘tick over’ value when output is not required.

Blowers are also suitable for environments designated as potentially explosive atmospheres. The usual electric drive motors can be replaced with hydraulic motors, which are non-sparking so can be certified for use in explosive atmospheres. EuroVacuum Products offers one of the largest ranges of ATEX rated blowers, including units for ATEX II 2G, 2GD, 3G and D Zone 21 and 22.

Another characteristic of side channel air blowers is that they are quiet in operation, achieved through the addition of a silencer at the outlet, making them suitable for applications where noise would be an issue.

Operating principle

Their operating principle is based on an impeller blade design that stirs the air into a spiral flow or vortex. This creates a dynamic pressure differential with low pressure at the centre or axis of rotation and increasing pressure towards the edge of the vortex. This pressure gradient forces the air or gas to follow a curved path until it reaches the outlet of the blower where it is expelled as compressed air or gas.

As a result, blowers produce suction or vacuum at the inlet and positive pressure at the outlet. Connecting to the inlet or outlet allows the user to generate suction or compressed air, as required.

Side channel blowers are designed so that the impeller is driven directly by the motor; there are no engaging parts or mechanisms that could wear, break or require maintenance.

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