Air Mover and Air Amplifier Problems


 

Abstract:

Air Mover And Air Amplifier problems! Touted as great maintenance savers and a very efficient means of moving large volumes of air, they can in fact be extremely energy hungry. Based on using a small amount of compressed air to draw through a large amount of entrained air they can cause huge energy waste if an air compressor is run in order for the air mover to operate. It is wasteful to install an air mover on a plant air system unless the air compressor is always running well under peak demand.

Air Amplifiers utilize the coanda effect where a jet of gas hugs the side of a curved surface to create air motion. Using a small amount of compressed air as their power source, air amplifiers or air movers entrain and pull in large volumes of surrounding air to produce high volume, high velocity outlet flows. They create output flows up to 25 times their consumption rate and are used to move air, smoke, fumes and light materials.

air amplifier

Their great selling point is that air amplifiers have no moving parts and no electricity is required. Opening the air gap increases the airflow. While reducing the supply air pressure decrease the outlet flow.

The problem is not the air mover itself. It does its job well. The problem is that you need to run an air compressor to produce the motive air. It has occurred that a 22 kW motor or larger is run to produce compressed air for an air mover when a 3 kW fan would have done the same service.

When Not To Use Air Movers.

  1. Do not introduce an air mover into service where the air compressor is running at its limit. The compressed air required for the air mover will cause air to be drawn away from other applications and they will stop operating properly. Typically air operated control valves will suffer a pressure loss and will not open or close properly.
  2. Do not use an air mover in a plant air system when nothing else is being operated. An air mover can move a large volume of gas. However if a large electric motor must be run to operate the air amplifier it becomes a pointless waste of electricity. Better to install a small electrically driven fan using much less power!
  3. Don’t suck dust or moist vapours through them, as they will block and you will be cleaning them out time after time. The dust and moisture coat the inside of the air mover or air amplifier and grow to eventually block the bore.
  4. Don’t waste compressed air – it’s terribly expensive! Regulate the compressed air supply so you use the very least amount of air necessary. Install a solenoid valve on the compressed air supply to the air mover to turn the air off when the air amplifier is not in service.
  5. Check the material compatibility of the air mover materials of construction is suited to the chemical compatibility of the vapours being drawn through it.

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