How to Choose a Fan for Thermal Management?

Across all industries, electronics are constantly advancing with new capabilities and efficiency. As many of these advances require more high-powered components to meet demands, thermal management needs have grown in suit. The industry trend has consistently moved towards smaller packaging, and thus cooling methods must be put in place to maintain the efficiency, reliability, and service lives of electrical systems as they produce heat. Fans are one of the oldest methods for cooling systems, and they have significantly improved in their abilities over the years. As there are many industrial fan types, shapes, and sizes, it is important that one chooses the right fan for their particular operation.

In their most simplistic form, a fan is a powered machine that utilizes an arrangement of rotating vanes or blades to produce airflow. When used for thermal management, fans are capable of reducing heat through the properties of heat convection, that of which is when heat is absorbed from the surface of a component into the air for removal. Fans are quite efficient at heat convection as they can quickly replace warm air with cool air to continue thermal management.

Fans can come in four types, those of which are centrifugal, propeller, tube axial, and vane axial variations. With centrifugal fans, air passes through the blades and is quickly accelerated at a 90 degree angle due to the ducted housing assembly that directs air in a specific direction. Centrifugal fans are commonly used for heat sinks and thermal management, and they are sometimes referred to as a blower. Propeller fans, on the other hand, are quite simplistic as they are devoid of housing and consist only of a motor and propellers. While such variations are quite efficient, their ability to develop pressure is low.

Axial fans are those that use their propeller to draw air into their inlet so that it may be sped up and propelled out of the outlet in the same axial direction. The tube axial fan is one that contains a propeller and disc type fan blades which are all placed within a cylindrical tube housing. Tube axial fans are quite efficient at speeding up air, and they are regularly used for ducted applications. With the vane axial fan type, a disk-type wheel is placed within a cylindrical housing, and downstream guide vanes placed within the assembly increase efficiency. For their operation, vane axial fans are often connected to a motor or may be belt-driven.

When choosing between fan types, it is important to consider the specific needs of the application. For instance, a fan placed within a computer assembly for the means of cooling electronic components must accommodate the size of the printed circuit board (PCB) or housing. Additionally, many applications may restrict the choice of fan based on its power requirements or cooling abilities. If there is a need for increased air volume or flow rate, multiple fans may be used together in either parallel operation or in a series. Through the consideration of various factors and needs, finding the best fit for your application can be easy. When you are ready to begin sourcing the fans and industrial products that you need for your operations, look no further than Industrial Gamut.

Industrial Gamut is a trusted supplier of all types of fans and parts that are required for thermal management. We are also a major supplier of industrial products and electronics, offering competitive pricing on sensors, transistors, semiconductor components, pressure sensor parts, bearings, and other such items. As you explore our expansive part catalogs, you may request a quote for your comparisons at any time through the submission of an Instant RFQ form. Get started today and see how Industrial Gamut can assist you with all your operational requirements.


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